Nigel Lythgoe to Be Honored With International Emmy Founders Award

“American Idol” executive producer follows last year’s recipient, Simon Cowell, in receiving the trophy

Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of "American Idol" and co-creator of "So You Think You Can Dance," will receive the 2011 International Emmy Founders Award this year, the Emmys' International Academy President & CEO Bruce L. Paisner said Tuesday.

The British-born Lythgoe will receive the honor at the 39th Annual International Emmy Awards Gala on November 21 in New York City.

Past recipients of the Founders Award include Steven Spielberg, Sir David Frost, and Lythgoe's former "American Idol" cohort Simon Cowell, who received the award last year.

Calling the award "a true honor," Lythgoe enthused, "I am grateful that The International Academy is recognizing the growing importance of performing arts and dance on television throughout the world.”

In announcing the award, Paisner praised Lythgoe's "deep commitment to the art of dance and to the dancers who bring it to life.”