Entertainment news shows always like to ask stars where they were when they learned they were nominated for an Emmy award. Some actors talk about being woken up by early morning calls from agents with the news; others mention popping champagne corks in celebration. It was a little less glamorous when Nutmeggers Preetha Nooyi and Ted Yang heard about their Emmy nod. They got an email.
Facing competition from three television news teams, Nooyi and Yang are nominated for Writer, Short-Form Content at this year’s (virtual) 44th Annual National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Boston/New England Chapter Emmy Awards ceremony on June 26. The two wrote the script for a video public service announcement (PSA) telling the story of Maria, a U.S. citizen, and how 4-CT (Connecticut COVID-19 Charity Connection) helped her and her family when they were unable to receive a stimulus check. The PSA was part of 4-CT’s relief campaign.
PSAs are ubiquitous on television, particularly at odd hours. You may recall one of the most famous PSAs out there: Smokey the Bear warning against forest fires.
4-CT, which celebrated its first birthday on April 1, has proven invaluable in helping those most affected by COVID-19. The group has raised over $20 million during this past year to aid CT citizens struggling with the health and economic effects of the coronavirus. (The group is now looking to advance its work beyond the pandemic.)
While Yang and Nooyi are singled out as the writers, both stress it was a team effort in creating and producing the PSA. AJ Gundell — a 13-time Emmy-winning composer, Sharad Khare — biographer to the stars, Ernie Anastos — an Emmy- and Murrow-winning news anchor and Priya Mairyappa and Jeremiah Hay from 4-CT were instrumental to the project.
“This was a group effort,” said Yang. “It caught us by surprise, but we’re thrilled to be nominated.”