Star Trek to Receive the Governors Award at the Emmys

The Star Trek franchise will be bestowed the honor of the Governors Award by the Television Academy at this year’s Emmys.

Star Trek is already scheduled to assume standard orbit at the Primetime Emmy Awards, with current series Star Trek: Discovery‘s pair of nominations (for makeup and sound editing). However, it appears that the 1966-launched franchise will be accepting another form of adulation from the Television Academy, the prestigious Governors Award.

The Academy has announced that Star Trek, represented by CBS Television Studios, will accept the prize of this year’s Governors Award on September 8 at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony. As the official explanation states of the esteemed prize, “The Governors Award, which debuted in 1978, honors an individual or organizational achievement in the television arts and sciences that is exceptional and universal in nature and goes beyond the scope of annual Emmy Awards recognition.”

Contextually, the Governors Award – decided by the Academy’s board of governors – has selected honorees such as (last year’s winner,) ITVS, the PBS-distributed documentary platform, along with a diverse mix of past winners such as American Idol, A+E Networks, the It Gets Better Project, John Walsh, Ted Turner, Bob Hope, Walter Cronkite and even Lucille Ball (1989), whose company with Desi Arnaz, Desilu Productions, initially brought Star Trek to television.

Of course, Star Trek – with 700 episodes and 13 movies over its 52 years – is no stranger to Emmy-acknowledged acclaim, having earned 30 Emmy Award wins, though primarily in categories such as visual effects, costumes, makeup and sound mixing. However, the Governors Award will be the first time that the Academy honors the substance of the franchise, acknowledging it as the cultural gestalt that it has clearly become over the past half-century, inspiring multiple generations to enter STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields and serving as a guidepost for humanity’s goals in space. As Mark Spatny, the chair of the Governors Award committee, lauds:

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Star Trek is the first television program I can remember watching as a child, and has always been ahead of its time. Not only have all the franchises promoted inclusiveness and acceptance of all people, and inspired creative thought about space exploration and our future, but the technical innovations sparked by the franchise are incredibly significant to the evolution of television production, and also to the communication and computer tools we use in our daily life. We are honored to present this award to a franchise that has made such a lasting contribution to both television and our society.”

CBS Television Studios president David Stapf chimes in on the Star Trek celebration, stating:

“The impact of Star Trek is far-reaching, and has inspired not only countless individuals, but great advancements in technology, science, health care, space exploration and more. We are so grateful to the brilliant minds and talented individuals, both in front of and behind the camera, who boldly tell stories that stand the test of time. Thank you to the Television Academy for honoring the historic Star Trek legacy and to everyone who has contributed to its success.”

Star Trek is replenishing the dilithium crystal chamber of its legacy with Star Trek: Discovery, which will premiere Season 2 on CBS All Access on a date to be determined in early 2019.

Joseph Baxter is a contributor for Den of Geek and Syfy Wire. You can find his work here. Follow him on Twitter @josbaxter.

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