4 Join Television Academy's Executive Committee

Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, Albert Cheng, Millicent Sheldon and Benito Martinez join board

Television Academy chairman-CEO John Shaffner said Thursday that he has named four new members of the academy's executive committee: writer-producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, digital media executive Albert Cheng, actor Benito Martinez and director Millicent Shelton.

The new appointees join the current executive committee chair’s appointees Dick Askin and John Landgraf.

“Linda, Albert, Benito and Millicent are each extremely creative and hardworking individuals who I have no doubt will bring a thoughtful and smart perspective to the executive committee,” said John Shaffner. “It is a great privilege to serve the Television Academy alongside such a distinguished group of professionals.”

Bloodworth-Thomason created CBS Television's hit series "Designing Women" and "Evening Shade." She also was executive producer, along with husband Harry Thomason, of "Hearts Afire," "Women of the House" and "Emeril." In July 1992, Bloodworth-Thomason produced the documentary "The Man From Hope," which introduced Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in New York.

Cheng is executive vice president, digital media, for the Disney/ABC Television Group. He is charged with general management and strategic oversight of digital media for the group’s broadcast and cable networks.

Shelton is an award-winning director and writer. In 2009, she became the first African American woman nominated for an Emmy for directing in a comedy series, for NBC's "30 Rock." She also earned an NAACP Image award for directing in a comedy series for "The Bernie Mac Show." She made her feature film directorial debut with Miramax’s "Ride," a hip-hop road comedy based on Shelton’s original screenplay. She also has produced and directed more than 100 music videos for artists including Salt-N-Pepa, Aaliyah, R. Kelly and Mary J. Blige.

Martinez won the 2007 ALMA Award for supporting actor for his performance on the Primetime Emmy-winning FX drama "The Shield." He also was recognized by the Nosotros Foundation, the National Hispanic Media Coalition and the National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Communications. He also has performed with La Compania de Teatro de Albuquerque, a bilingual theater company co-founded by his mother, Margarita Martinez. His film credits include "Million Dollar Baby" and "Mi Familia," while his TV credits include recurring roles on "Saving Grace" and "The Unit."