Live TV Directing Legend Don Mischer to Receive DGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Television

Don Mischer

November 27, 2018

Los Angeles – Directors Guild of America President Thomas Schlamme today announced that live TV directing legend Don Mischer will be the recipient of the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Television Direction.

“Don’s mastery of directing live events is a sight to behold: a fast-paced symphony of meticulous planning and on-the-spot decision-making that brings our nation’s greatest cultural events into our living rooms. And he does it all with grace and confidence. For decades, Don has captivated generations of audiences with our shared moments – from the Oscars and Super Bowl half time shows to the Olympics and President Obama’s historic inauguration. His skill as a director captures a range of human experiences which transcend the present, creating lifelong memories for audiences around the world. Along the way, he’s picked up a record 10 DGA Awards, countless industry awards and nominations for his outstanding work, and the admiration of his peers and colleagues. But that still wasn’t enough for us. We couldn’t be more proud to present Don with our Guild’s highest honor in television for his enduring contributions.”

Mischer will be the fourth recipient of the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Television Direction. The award was created by the DGA Board of Directors in 2014, joining the Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Motion Picture Direction as the two highest honors bestowed by the Guild. Winners are nominated by a blue ribbon committee of prominent television directors and approved by the present and past presidents of the Guild. Television-directing icons James Burrows and Robert Butler received the inaugural honor in 2014, and commercial directing great Joe Pytka received the award in 2016.

The Award will be presented at the 71st Annual DGA Awards on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at the Hollywood & Highland Center’s Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood.

For the second year in a row, Mischer will also serve as Awards Chair for the event. 

Don Mischer

Don Mischer is an internationally acclaimed director and producer of television and live events. He has been honored with fifteen Emmy Awards, a record 10 Directors Guild of America Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement, two NAACP Image Awards, a Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting, and the 2012 Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television from the Producers Guild of America.

As President of Don Mischer Productions, his credits range from We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, The Kennedy Center Honors, and the 100th Anniversary of Carnegie Hall; to Super Bowl Halftime shows (Prince, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen), the opening ceremonies of both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games, the Democratic National Convention, and events celebrating Hong Kong’s re-unification with China. 

Other more recent projects include producing and/or directing The Oscars, the 9/11 Memorial Museum Dedication, and The Breakthrough Prize: Scientists Changing the World. Don also produced Taking the Stage: African American Music and Stories That Changed America for ABC, which celebrated through music, dance and the spoken word, the September 2016 historic opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The many performers with whom Mischer has worked include: Beyoncé, Bono, Prince, Barbra Streisand, Rihanna, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Taylor Swift, Stevie Wonder, Adele, Mary J. Blige, Willie Nelson, Justin Timberlake, Tom Hanks, Justin Bieber, Jon Bon Jovi, and Carrie Underwood, among others.

He has served two terms on the Directors Guild of America National Board, two terms on the Board of Governors of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, received the Governors Award from the National Association of Choreographers, and is a member of the Event Industry Hall of Fame and the Producers Guild of America.

Mischer holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Texas in Austin.

  • The Feature Film and First-Time Feature Film nominees for the 71st Annual DGA Awards will be announced on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.
  • All Television, Commercial and Documentary nominees will be announced on Monday, January 7, 2019.
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