Longtime HBO executive Sheila Nevins has been named this year’s reciepient of the TV Academy’s Governors Award, the organization announced Wednesday.
Nevins, president of HBO Documentary Films, is just the 15th person or organization to be given the Governors Awards since it was launched in 1978. The Academy says the award is meant for "an inpidual, company or organization that has made a substantial impact and demonstrated the extraordinary use of television."
“Sheila Nevins is highly deserving of the Governor’s Award after 21 years of distinguished participation in the Emmy competition by her acclaimed HBO unit, as well as for her lengthy, multiple award-winning career,” TV Academy CEO John Shaffner said. “Sheila’s remarkably sustained work-in-progress continues into the 2009 season with the unit’s trademark service to the documentary ideal.”
The honor might help soothe some of the hurt feelings between the Academy and HBO. The pay cable giant has been irked by attempts to shift longform categories off the primetime show as well as a recent rules change that makes it harder for HBO employees to vote for their network’s programming.
Nevins has earned 54 Emmy nominations– and 22 wins– during the past two decades thanks to efforts such as "When the Levees Brok" and "Ghosts of Abu Ghraib." She’s up for four more Emmys this year.
During her tenure at HBO, the channel’s documentaries have also won 20 Academy Awards.
National Geographic Channel’s “Preserve Our Planet” received the Governors Award last year. Other previous recipients include "American Idol Gives Back," Jerry Lewis, Walter Cronkite, Johnny Carson, Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, Ted Turner, Grant Tinker and Red Skelton.
Nevins will be given her award during the Sept. 12 Creative Arts Emmys at the Nokia Center. E! Entertainment Television will air a two-hour special featuring winners on Sept. 18.