‘Star Trek’ To Be Honored By Television Academy With 2018 Governors Award

The Television Academy announced today that Star Trek will receive the 2018 Governors Award. The prestigious award was chosen by the Academy’s board of governors “recognizing the visionary science-fiction television franchise and its legacy of boldly propelling science, society and culture where no one has gone before.”

The Academy cites a number of reasons for honoring Star Trek including its ability to inspire scientific innovation and cultural awareness, groundbreaking diversity and a message of hope for the future. The Academy also notes that the franchise has picked up 30 Emmy Awards over the decades and been responsible for a number of technological innovations in television production, especially in visual and special effects.

The 2018 Governors Award will be presented at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony on Saturday, September 8, 2018. Star Trek: Discovery was also nominated for two Emmy Awards this year and winners in those categories will also be announced at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony.

In addition to a press release, the Academy also shared the news this morning on social media with a special animation, which you can see below.



Full press release

Star Trek to Receive 2018 Governors Award

The Television Academy today announced Star Trek as the 2018 Governors Award recipient, recognizing the visionary science-fiction television franchise and its legacy of boldly propelling science, society and culture where no one has gone before. The prestigious award winner was chosen by the Television Academy board of governors and the honor will be presented to CBS Television Studios during the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony on Saturday, September 8, 2018.

The Governors Award, which debuted in 1978, honors an individual or organizational achievement in the television arts and sciences that is exceptional and universal in nature and goes beyond the scope of annual Emmy Awards recognition. Mark Spatny is the chair of the Governors Award committee, and John O’Brien serves as vice chair.

Created in 1966 by visionary writer-producer Gene Roddenberry, the original Star Trek series sparked a cultural phenomenon which has extended over 50 years on-air, with more than 700 episodes and 13 movie franchises. Star Trek‘s multiple television series have garnered 30 Emmy Awards.

What began as a television show grew into an entertainment franchise that has consistently depicted humanity’s greatest hopes for a better tomorrow. Throughout Star Trek‘s multiple series, viewers were exposed to a world where technology and science helped improve the human condition. Futuristic technological advancements featured in the show bear striking resemblances to the cell phones and virtual reality systems in use today.

Star Trek is the first television program I can remember watching as a child, and has always been ahead of its time. Not only have all the franchises promoted inclusiveness and acceptance of all people, and inspired creative thought about space exploration and our future, but the technical innovations sparked by the franchise are incredibly significant to the evolution of television production, and also to the communication and computer tools we use in our daily life,” said Governors Award Committee chair Spatny. “We are honored to present this award to a franchise that has made such a lasting contribution to both television and our society.”

From casting decisions to plot points, the series has consciously pursued diversity and equality, providing an optimistic depiction of a diverse and just future that inspires its audience. The original Star Trek provided a war-torn, culturally-divided audience with a sense of hope for the future, one in which race, gender and nationality mattered significantly less than one’s capabilities and strengths. The show actively cast actors of various ethnicities in roles of respect—an actor of Russian descent portrayed Ensign Chekov during the Cold War and an African-American woman portrayed Lieutenant Uhura during the Civil Rights Movement. Further, the character of Lieutenant Uhura (portrayed by Nichelle Nichols) inspired Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to fly in space, and was described as a symbol of hope for equality by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself.

In addition, the franchise is responsible for significant visual and special effects innovations that have set the standard for television production, advancing the art of motion control photography, video and digital compositing and editing, as well as computer graphics.

Star Trek continues to inspire generations of dreamers and doers. Scientists from the California Institute of Technology, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Boeing Company and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, among several other organizations, credit Star Trek and its far-reaching, long-lasting social and cultural impact with driving their careers toward STEM fields.

“For over 50 years, Star Trek has captivated and connected fans from around the world. What the series always brilliantly illustrated is that, despite our greatest differences, we as people are more alike than we realize, and coming together in hopes of a better tomorrow is not just a possibility, but a necessity,” said David Stapf, President of CBS Television Studios. “The impact of Star Trek is far-reaching, and has inspired not only countless individuals, but great advancements in technology, science, health care, space exploration and more. We are so grateful to the brilliant minds and talented individuals, both in front of and behind the camera, who boldly tell stories that stand the test of time. Thank you to the Television Academy for honoring the historic Star Trek legacy and to everyone who has contributed to its success.”

Previous recipients of the Governors Award include last year’s honoree ITVS; American Idol; A+E Networks; William S. Paley; Hallmark Cards Inc.; Masterpiece TheaterComic Relief; the ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC networks for America: A Tribute to Heroes; and the “It Gets Better” Project.



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The award is well deserved!

It’s unfortunate, though, that NBC was the network that took a chance on the original Star Trek, but because of various corporate mergers, Star Trek is now owned by CBS, so CBS is the network that will be honored with the award. Still, it’s great to see Trek get some recognition!

NBC aired it, they didn’t actually produce it so at most they would get a mention for taking a chance on airing such a show. The real shout out, though, would have to go to Lucille Ball for giving the go ahead at Desilu to produce the thing in the first place. Without Desilu it’s unlikely that Star Trek ever would have happened.

No, NBC didn’t produce it. They did commission the pilot, though, and when the first pilot didn’t suit them, they did take the highly unusual step of ordering a second pilot. Desilu wouldn’t have made the show if NBC hadn’t bought it, and it was unusually broad-minded of NBC to order a second pilot; that happens quite rarely.

Sucks that it will be at the Creative Arts awards and not the main ceremony. Who will be getting it on behalf of Star Trek? Hope not anyone associated with STD….

Nichelle Nichols would be my choice or D C Fontana. But I guess Shatner would deserve it too.

My guess would be Rod Roddenberry on behalf of his dad who created the thing to begin with. But Shatner would be good, too.

Fontana would be a GREAT choice, since she did a huge amount to make TOS what it was, plus she’s one of the few people in the TOS creative team left alive. It’ll probably be some CBS suit, though, or maybe one of the Disco showrunners.

I’m going to guess it will be Patrick Stewart, who now is officially employed by CBS after all. If this were the main Emmy show, it would be great to have both Shatner and Stewart jointly accept the award for CBS on behalf of all Trekdom.

Come on they have to give it to Shatner, I know DC Fontana deserves more, but Shatner is one of the biggest reasons why the show was so popular.


Shatner as part of his original television contract had points in the series. So he had more skin in the game than mere residuals, which is why I’m always mistified that some fans actually have convinced themselves that he actively sought to undermine the series shortly after its cancellation? Why would he shoot himself economically in the foot by actively trying to do something like that?

I think they both should be there to accept the award, if only to acknowledge the importance of the creative contributions of both men and women to STAR TREK.

It would be nice to get a mention during the Prime Time Emmys

It will. There’s always a brief segment recapping the event. But as others here have no doubt stated – – correctly – – it would be much better to include this in the Awards’ broadcast (might even give the show a ratings bump), featuring both the presentation of the award an an artfully composed montage from notable episodes and stand-out moments, characters, visuals, musical flourishes et. al. from all the television series (emphasizing TOS , my choice, and it makes sense as the original – and TNG, I guess, but no shortchanging DS9!)

Sometimes they hold back one of the tech awards for the Prime night. Would be nice if they held back the Trek thing for the Prime broadcast. If not, it will get a side mention when the tech awards are mentioned on the Prime night.

Well, that’s nice. Congratulations to all involved!

As a fan, this is gratifying. There have been hundreds of hours of entertainment produced under the Trek banner, and the truth is that much of it has been pretty forgettable. But this isn’t just about quality. As the Academy noted, the show in its many incarnations has been an inspiration to countless scientists, artists, and regular people who long for a better future. The worth of that is beyond calculation, and it’s really not hyperbole to speculate that its very existence may have contributed to our species’ ultimate survival (assuming it does survive). That’s a pretty big deal for a cheesy little TV space opera whose quality peaked very early in its run and was ultimately cancelled due to low ratings.

As to fandom itself, like so much else these days it’s fairly toxic. Unlike the days back when Roddenberry was alive and giving his college lectures in the ’70s, people can’t even seem to agree on what the show means anymore. But it’s nowhere near as toxic as STAR WARS fandom has gotten to be, thank God.

“Unlike the days back when Roddenberry was alive and giving his college lectures in the ’70s, people can’t even seem to agree on what the show means anymore.”

As if Roddenberry ever agreed with what Nick Meyer and Harve Benett did. Different opinions still can result in something great. Let us celebrate our different tastes for this one time.

Interesting point (and I certainly concur that greatness can result from differing approaches and opinions), but not really germane to the one I was making. Roddenberry, whose own views towards his creation changed considerably over the decades, famously had considerable differences with how Meyer and Bennett portrayed Trek onscreen. But there isn’t any reason to doubt that they shared the same values that Roddenberry spoke of in his college appearances: diversity and and building bridges between people are good things in and of themselves, while bigotry and intolerance are inherently destructive. The issue was that Meyer tended to doubt that humanity is perfectable or will ever change (however much he would personally like to see that happen), while Roddenberry insisted that we could learn from our mistakes and continue to move forward.

In any case, I was there, and can assure you that there was much more unanimity amongst fans about what Trek’s “values” meant back then than there is now. For better or worse, that’s just a fact.

Long overdue.

Long overdue! As for the DISCO haters, Discovery brought Trek back into TV’s gestalt After 2 disappointing films in 2013 and 2016.

in 09 and 13, you mean, and ‘horrifically disappointing’ is closer to the mark. But most importantly, you needed to ID DSC as a lesser magnitude disaster, but a mess nonetheless.

Indeed a mess, as it stands, I agree. But not wholly without its virtues, or potential going forward IMHO.

I don’t think this article was a necessary place for you to try to put Discovery “critics” in their place. I don’t like the word “haters”, I don’t think they really want to hate the show, I think if we use these kinds of words we alienate these people even more. I think everyone has the right to criticize, some people just do it more strongly than others. This is an article that celebrates the need for people to come together and posts like yours arent helping.

Sucks that it will be at the creative awards. I would LOVE to see it. Maybe it will make it onto YouTube?

In my opinion, they will air the “Star Trek” tribute as part of the regular Emmy Telecast. These shows are desirous of getting a good rating and this would certainly help spike a rating on this show.
I could see Shatner, Rod Roddenberry, Patrick Stewart and even the star of Discovery all part of the ceremony.
For those that don’t remember, “Star Trek” was honored by the SAG Award or the Actors award show 15 or 20 years ago. Can’t remember which awards show it was.