Lionsgate's Kevin Beggs Named Executive of the Year by Caucus of Producers, Writers & Directors

5:00 AM PST 11/21/2011 by Alex Ben Block
Michael Buckner/Getty Images For Friends of the Family

Kevin S. Bright, Dennis Doty, Syd Vinnedge, Tanya Hart and Philip Hart also have been chosen to receive awards at the Dec. 4 ceremony.

Kevin Beggs, president of the Lionsgate Television Group, will be honored as the executive of the year by the Caucus of Producers, Writers & Directors at its annual awards show in Beverly Hills on Dec. 4.

The caucus also announced that Kevin S. Bright will receive the chair award, Dennis Doty will receive a lifetime achievement award, Syd Vinnedge will get the distinguished service award, and Tanya Hart and Philip Hart will receive the diversity award.

The group’s 29th annual awards show will be hosted by Bruce Boxleitner. Mark Harmon of NCIS and Jon Feltheimer, chairman of Lionsgate, will be among those presenting awards.

Chuck Fries, president of the Caucus Foundation, will present the Gold Circle Awards to two student filmmakers. First prize is a $60,000 Panasonic camera package and second prize is a $20,000 HTV/illuminate production package. Over the years, close to $1 million has been distributed in grants to 101 college students to finish their thesis film projects.

Under Beggs, Lionsgate has become an important supplier of TV programming. It has a critically acclaimed new series on Starz this season, Boss, starring Kelsey Grammer. It also is the producer of the Emmy-winning Mad Men on AMC and the comedy Weeds on Showtime, which also aired its show Nurse Jackie.

PHOTOS: Behind the Scenes of 'Weeds'

Bright, in a partnership with Marta Kauffman and David Crane, produced the hugely successful TV series Friends. He also directed a number of episodes, including the finale and produced the short-lived spinoff Joey.

Bright moved back to Boston after that to teach television production classes  at Emerson College as well as produce various comedy shows. He is also involved in developing the new Emerson L.A. Center to open in 2013.

Vinnedge, co-founder of Pop Monkey Productions, is the former executive producer of the CBS game show The Price Is Right and the Drew Carey Show. He was president of All American Television (now Fremantle North America), where he played a role in developing such shows as Baywatch, Family Feud and Card Sharks.

Tanya Hart, CEO of Tanya Hart Productions, has been a TV and radio host and commentator. She hosts Hollywood Live With Tanya Hart on the American Urban Radio Network. Her previous credits also include hosting and producing Live From LA With Tanya Hart for Black Entertainment Television.

Philip Hart, CEO of Hart Realty, is a member of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Exposition Construction Authority Urban Design Committee. He wrote the book Cities, Suburbs and Blacks: A Study of Concerns, Distrust and Alienation (with James E. Blackwell) and African Americans and the Future of New Orleans, among others.

At the event, awards will also be given in the category of producers, writers and directors.

The nominees for producer of the year are Dave Bell, Ken Ehrlich, Tom Hanks, Charles Floyd Johnson, John Langley and Denis Leary/Peter Tolan.

The nominees for writer are Lionel Chetwynd, Greg Daniels, Ann Donahue/Carol Mendelsohn, David Shore, Darren Star and Matthew Weiner.

The nominees for director are Jon Avnet, Mark Cendrowski, Louis J. Horvitz, Gail Mancuso, Tim Van Patten and Glenn Weiss.

The show will be produced by Vin Di Bona and Lee Miller. Carla Patterson is the talent coordinator and Todd Thicke head writer.

Di Bona is CEO of Vin Di Bona Productions and chairman of FishBowl Worldwide Media. He was creator of America’s Funniest Home Videos and producer of Entertainment Tonight, among other TV series and shows.

Miller has produced or directed many "event" specials, films and TV series, including the Tony Awards, the Emmys, Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies, People's Choice Awards and the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon.

Swiss Tourism is contributing a $15,000 prize of two business-class round-trip tickets to Switzerland and two first-class Swiss Rail travel passes to be auctioned off at the event. 

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