David Nutter to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award for Television Direction at 76th Annual DGA Awards

David Nutter LTA

December 14, 2023

Los AngelesDirectors Guild of America President Lesli Linka Glatter announced today that Director David Nutter will become the sixth Director to receive one of the Guild’s top accolades, the Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Television Direction. The prestigious Award, which recognizes Nutter's legendary career as an acclaimed Director of episodic television, will be given out at the 76th Annual DGA Awards ceremony on Saturday, February 10, 2024.

With the announcement of the award, Glatter shared “I want to wholeheartedly congratulate the extraordinary David Nutter on this well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award honor. David has had a truly phenomenal directing career on so many of the most high-profile series in episodic television.  His amazing track record of directing pilots that launched successful series includes: The Time Traveler's Wife, Deception, Containment, The Flash, Arrow, The Mentalist, Supernatural, Without a Trace, Smallville, Millennium and Roswell, among many others. In total, David has directed 24 pilots, 21 of which were picked up to series and were responsible for 1,554 episodes of television. To quote the cover of our own DGA Quarterly, David is truly the 'King of the Pilots.’

His passion, creativity, and mastery of the craft over his expansive career underscores exactly why David serves as an inspiration to fellow Directors everywhere. On behalf of the Guild, I’m beyond thrilled to celebrate David’s talents and contributions to the art of Directing and am incredibly proud to announce this honor for Lifetime Achievement in Television.”

In 2015, Nutter won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series for the critically praised Game of Thrones episode “Mother’s Mercy.” He has received six DGA Award nominations starting in 2006 for his directorial achievements on episodic series The Sopranos, Entourage (2007), the limited series The Pacific (2010), and three nominations for his acclaimed work on Game of Thrones (2013, 2015, 2019). Nutter has also earned four Emmy nominations for his exceptional directorial work on several critically acclaimed shows including: The X-Files, The Sopranos, The Pacific and Game of Thrones. He has been awarded three Emmys for Executive Producing Game of Thrones in 2019; directing Game of Thrones’ acclaimed 2015 “Mother’s Mercy” episode; and was honored with his first Emmy in 2002 for the riveting Band of Brothers miniseries that still resonates as a masterpiece today.

Working across a wide variety of genres – from science fiction to drama to crime procedurals, Nutter’s passion for his work is unparalleled. He started his career working on 21 Jump Street in 1987 before landing on The X-Files, where he also directed several notable early episodes. This move gave him the opportunity to direct his first pilot, for the sci-fi series Space: Above and Beyond, which rocketed him to new heights — cementing his status as one of television's most sought-after pilot whisperers.

Beyond his work on pilots, Nutter also still found time to direct episodes of ongoing franchises — perhaps most memorably – he helmed the much-buzzed-about “The Rains of Castamere” episode of Game of Thrones also known as “The Red Wedding.”

In addition to his directorial achievements, Nutter has been active in the DGA.  He has been a member of the Guild since 1987 and has served as part of the Political Action Committee (PAC) Leadership Council, offering his voice to inform legislators and policymakers about Guild members needs and concerns. In May 2023, he was appointed as Co-Chair of the DGA’s new Disability Committee. With compassion and courage, Nutter helps to lead the DGA’s efforts to understand on-set challenges facing disabled members and make sets more accessible for Directors, crews, and all Guild members.

Nutter has uplifted the next generation of Directors by participating in the DGA’s Student Videoconferencing program and other DGA Special Events Programming such as A Conversation with Episodic Television Directors – How Inspiration Fuels the Art of Directing. Through these events, he has helped inspire creativity in future Directors and candidly discussed inspirational figures and projects that fuel his own creative development.

When informed that he would be the sixth recipient of one of his Guild’s highest honors, Nutter said he was stunned.

“The DGA has always been my foundation, my shining light, my bulwark against the impediments that so often crop up in this industry. This is really a career pinnacle of sorts for me and validates what I’ve been doing to such a tremendous degree. Combined with the great support of my family, and my friends, and my fellow crew members and creatives, I can’t think of anything more gratifying than to receive this commendation.”

Though Though his episodic triumphs astound, his integrity and vision propelling progress equally inspire. He has given and continues to give so much to our Guild and our industry and now it is our turn to honor this legend.


David Nutter accepts the 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award for Television Direction

About the DGA Lifetime Achievement Awards:

The DGA Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Television Direction was created by the Board of Directors in 2015, joining the Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Motion Picture Direction as the two highest honors bestowed by the DGA. Winners are nominated by a blue-ribbon committee of prominent television directors and approved by the present and past presidents of the Guild.

Past recipients of the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Television Direction: 
  • 2022    Robert A. Fishman 
  • 2019    Don Mischer
  • 2016    Joe Pytka
  • 2014    James Burrows; Robert Butler
76th Annual DGA Awards Key Dates
  • Tuesday, January 9, 2024: Television, Commercial and Documentary nominees
  • Wednesday, January 10, 2024: Theatrical Feature Film and First-Time Feature Film nominees

DGA Communications Department (310) 289-5333