Coronavirus Updates: USC  |  SCA

September 21, 2009

Gold Standard

Six More Emmy Wins for SCA Alums

By Jimmy Kelly

Matthew Weiner '90 center, with cast and crew of Mad Men, accepting the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. Images courtesy of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Photography by Matthew Imaging.
It was another banner year for SCA alumni at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards as five Trojans walked away with six of the coveted statuettes in honor of their hard work in television. To date, USC alumni have amassed 125 victories and 2009 marked the 34th consecutive year of Emmy wins by members of the SCA family.

The ceremony, held at the Nokia Theater on Sunday, September 20, had a familiar ring to last years when Matthew Weiner  '90 gave the final acceptance speech of the night on behalf of AMC's now two-for-two champ for Outstanding Drama Series, Mad Men. The series, which revolves around a 1960s era Madison Avenue advertising firm, also netted Weiner his second consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series for the show's second season finale, "Meditations In An Emergency," along with co-writer, Kater Gordon.

"I'm absolutely thrilled and honored by the Academy's recognition of Mad Men once again," said Weiner. "I speak for the entire cast and crew when I say we're thankful to have been given the creative freedom to make a show like this."

Marcy Patterson '02 has had the chance to take part in that creative freedom as an associate producer on Mad Men and while she didn't leave the Nokia with an Emmy of her own, she was thrilled to join Weiner and the rest of her team onstage for the show's big win.

"I love working on Mad Men and feel so lucky to be part of a project that I am proud of and working with such a talented group of people that feel like family," said Patterson.

The Office director Jeff Blitz '97 with his Emmy for Outstanding Directing for A Comedy Series. Photo by Matthew Imaging.
The family behind NBC's The Office also had much to celebrate on Emmy night, none more than Jeff Blitz '97, winner for Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series for his episode, "Stress Relief." In addition to the Emmy win, the Blitz-directed Office episode also had the honor of airing after the 2009 Super Bowl, earning the highest-ever Nielsen rating for the series. While Blitz was pleased about the recognition, he was quick to acknowledge the importance of his many collaborators.

"I really felt that winning was a victory for the whole show," said Blitz. "That's not false modesty, just a clear sense that the success of any episode of The Office is the product of many people. So, yes, my name gets engraved along the base and, yes, the award gets to spend its days and nights at my house, but I do feel it's a win for the whole show more than for me in specific."

The Office, a remake of the British comedy series of the same name, incorporates a mockumentary style in detailing the lives of the employees at the fictional Dunder Mifflin paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania, led by the inept and perpetually clueless Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell.

"In many respects, when I direct on The Office, I feel like the Michael Scott of the show," Blitz added. "I've managed to land in a position of authority that I hang onto as if by magic and largely thanks to the blazing talents of the people all around me. Still, Michael Scott would never turn down a Dundee Award no matter how unearned. And so it is with me and my Emmy."

Other SCA winners this year include: Michael Baber, '93, Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series for his work as music editor on Battlestar Galactica; Jarratt Carson, '89, Outstanding Reality – Competition Program as supervising producer on The Amazing Race; and Sarah Skibitzke, '04, Outstanding Reality Program as producer on Intervention.

Patterson gave credit to the training she received at SCA for playing a part in getting her to the Emmy stage.

"My experience at SC definitely helped prepare me for working in the industry as it gave me not only the skills but also the perseverance and confidence necessary to succeed."