Veteran British Producer, Executive Producer of American Idol & Co-creator and Executive Producer of So You Think You Can Dance, to be honored November 21, at International Emmy Awards in New York
New York, August 2, 2011 – Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of television juggernaut American Idol and the co-creator and executive producer of So You Think You Can Dance, will receive the 2011 International Emmy® Founders Award. International Academy President & CEO, Bruce L. Paisner, announced today that Lythgoe will accept the Award at the 39th International Emmy® Awards Gala, on November 21, 2011 in New York City.
“Starting as a TV executive in London, Nigel Lythgoe has made big jumps across oceans and formats to become one of the major television producers of our time,” said  Paisner.  “The Founders Emmy recognizes these accomplishments, and Nigel’s deep commitment to the art of dance and to the dancers who bring it to life.”
“This is a true honor,” Lythgoe said. “The world of television is becoming increasingly more global, and I am grateful that The International Academy is recognizing the growing importance of performing arts and dance on television throughout the world.”
Born in 1949, Mr. Lythgoe developed an interest in dance at an early age. His first professional job was with the corps de ballet for the national tour of “The Merry Widow,” and he later went on to choreograph the BBC’s Young Generation dance troupe for more than 500 shows. In 2000 Mr. Lythgoe earned himself the nickname “Nasty Nigel” as a judge on hit show Popstars before leaving for Bob Geldof’s television company Planet 24, where he executive produced and directed the U.K. version of Survivor. Additionally, he developed and produced the TV phenomenon Pop Idol of which US version American Idol and Idol Gives Back raised more than $140 million for charity. Lythgoe is the co-creator and executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning series So You Think You Can Dance. Additionally, he executive produced NBC’s Superstars of Dance and Fox’s Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special. In 2010, he took So You Think You Can Dance to the U.K., and in 2011, he launched CMT’s Next Superstar.
Lythgoe is also actively involved with numerous charities. In 2009, he joined forces with director Adam Shankman, Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba and actress Katie Holmes to found the Dizzy Feet Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships to talented young dancers, works to elevate and standardize dance instruction in the U.S., and exposes youth in underprivileged communities to the joys of dance education. In 2010, he also launched a grass roots movement to create National Dance Day, to promote dance education and physical fitness across the United States.
National Dance Day just celebrated its second edition on July 30th, 2011.

About The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is a membership based organization comprised of leading media and entertainment figures from over 50 countries and 500 companies from all sectors of television including internet, mobile and technology. The Academy’s yearly schedule of events includes the prestigious International Emmy® Awards Ceremony held in New York, The International Digital Emmy® Awards at MIPTV and a series of industry events such as Academy Day, The International Emmy® World Television Festival and Panels on substantive industry topics. The Academy was chartered with a mission to recognize excellence in television produced outside of the United States and it presents The International Emmy® Awards in the following fifteen categories: Arts Programming; Best Performance by an Actress; Best Performance by an Actor; Current Affairs; Children & Young People; Comedy; Digital Program: Children & Young People; Digital Program: Fiction; Digital Program: Non-Fiction; Documentary; Drama Series; News; Non-Scripted Entertainment; Telenovela; TV Movie/Mini-Series. For more information go to

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