Emmy Winner in the Family – Producer David Doyle Honored
Posted on June 24, 2014
Article by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com
Producer David Doyle and a team of talented collaborators were honored on June 20 with two Emmys for Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin. The awards for Outstanding Travel Program and Outstanding Directing in a Lifestyle/Culinary/ Travel Program were presented at the 41st Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in Los Angeles, California.
Doyle, my niece Jillian’s husband, served as an executive producer for the program.
“We are so deeply into what we do, like most people who care about their work we don’t take time to pat ourselves on the back,” Doyle said by phone June 23 from California, “This is an important thing. In our industry, this is a milestone. We want to be loved like everybody else.”
Distributed by Litton Entertainment (www.litton.tv), the show airs nationwide Saturday mornings on ABC.
In a press release Litton Entertainment noted that under the direction of Patrick Green, Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin, tells stories of beneath the ocean and strives to help viewers better understand “the issues facing our planet and the animals living in it” and “how to protect endangered species while enhancing our understanding of ocean life’s sustaining value to the planet.”
Described by Litton Entertainment as a biologist and author known for his work for conservation of endangered species and ecosystems worldwide, host Corwin traveled with the program to far locations such as New Zealand, Alaska, Botswana “and beyond.” Produced in collaboration with Atlanta-based Georgia Aquarium, the show was nominated too for Outstanding Host in a Lifestyle/Travel Program.
“Litton Entertainment is extremely proud to have Ocean Mysteries, Patrick Green and the programs within the Litton’s Weekend Adventure recognized by the industry’s leading authorities on quality programming,” the press release states.
Doyle was instrumental in bringing Corwin on board with Ocean Mysteries.
“I worked with Jeff Corwin before,” Doyle noted.
In fact, Doyle was involved with Ocean Mysteries from the very beginning. “I was involved from the first moment,” he said.
It is no small achievement to get a concept noticed, let alone picked up for production.
“Taking an idea and getting it on air is a monumental task. There are so many ideas pitched,” said Doyle.
As an executive producer, his responsibilities for Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin are wide and varied. For example, Doyle works on geographical destination selections, determination of the kind of conservation to be featured, as well as, supervision of the crew and finances. And, he provides creative notes and edits. Rarely will an executive producer go on location, he said. However, the position often entails a great deal of related behind-the-scenes travel.
With seven previous Emmy nominations to his credit, Doyle said truly the nominations are an honor unto themselves. However, he summed up his feelings when the win was announced in one word.
“Joy,” he said.
“You never know when you are going to be nominated again,” added Doyle.
As gratifying as the accolades are, he went on to say they are not what drives him and those involved in the program. Rather, it is the work itself that spurs them on and the opportunity to make a positive impact in the world.
“My hope is that the program will have a positive impact on conservation,” he said, “Maybe viewers will decide not to throw a plastic bottle into the ocean.”
“It is education and family-oriented. Saving animals, getting that message out there. Working with quality people. At the end of the day, it feels good,” Doyle added.
Most challenging in the production of Ocean Mysteries said Doyle was the uncertainty that comes with working with animals.
“There is an old saying in the business, ‘never work with kids or animals’,” he said, “Animals cannot hit their mark and programs such as this do not have big budgets. So you can only hope that ‘the whale shark’ will show and you can get all the amazing behavior shots within a timely manner.”
According to Doyle, the fast-paced routine and variation of producing suits his personality.
“I’m not one for minutiae. Moving from one project to the next is always attractive, always enjoyable. Right now we are working on five original programs,” he said.
His production company is Ampersand Media (www.ampersandmedia.com) and Bryan Curb is his business partner.
“Our greatest gift is that we know how to hire really, really talented people,” said Doyle, “We are very fortunate. We have five shows in active production.”
Those shows are Ocean Mysteries (ABC), Sea Rescue (ABC), Lucky Dogs – which is about rescuing dogs (CBS), Game Changers (CBS) and Innovation Nation (CBS).
Doyle’s lists of credits is long. Among those credits are “Christmas in Washington” produced when President Bill Clinton was in office, a tenure as head of programming development and production with Discovery Network’s “Animal Planet”, work on both Emmy and Academy Award productions, production of two radio morning shows in San Diego, California, not to mention one of the first daily web-based comedy shows, called “Second City Headline News.”
Praising him as a mentor, Doyle came into television working for industry icon Dick Clark, who died in 2012.
It was in 1999 that Doyle took a risk and made a bold move, starting his own production company.
“I decided to spread my wings,” he recalled.
His interest in show business began with a visit to Busch Gardens at around age 12, where he saw a magician perform. He watched, mesmerized, while tricks such as rope cutting and knot tying captured the attention of the audience and for that period of time seemed to lift them away from whatever might be weighing on their minds. Soon after he applied for admission, and was accepted at The Magic Castle in California where he studied from age 13 to 21.
“It was a tremendous opportunity. Choreographers and directors would come in, we had access to the highest levels of this business,” said Doyle.
Doyle majored in communications at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. Prior to making his move to producing, Doyle performed his award-winning magician/comedy act at colleges, in clubs and on national television shows.
His time as a magician led to more magic in his life – he met Jillian. A graduate of the University of Connecticut, after college she went to California to work in show business.
It has been years since he performed a magic trick on stage. Nonetheless, Doyle said he hopes the work he does now also connects with people in a way that makes an uplifting difference.
As well as the Emmy win, the couple who reside in California, share pride in another recent milestone. Their son Joshua is now a high school graduate and heads to college in the fall.
“This has been an incredible year,” said Doyle.
The new season of Ocean Mysteries With Jeff Corwin begins in October, 2014.