Producer to receive founders award at Int'l Emmys gala

The Intl. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is set to present producer Nigel Lythgoe with its 2011 Founders Award.

Lythgoe, exec producer of “American Idol” and exec producer and co-creator of “So You Think You Can Dance,” will receive the kudo at the 39th Intl. Emmys gala in Gotham on Nov. 21.

Lythgoe began his showbiz career as a professional dancer and choreographer, starting out in the corps de ballet for the national tour of “The Merry Widow” and moving on to choreograph the BBC’s “Young Generation” company for “Top of the Pops,” among many others.

As a TV choreographer, he collaborated with performers ranging from Ben Vereen and Shirley Bassey to the Muppets.

As a producer, Lythgoe’s credits include “Gladiators” and “Blind Date,” as well as the U.K. incarnation of “Survivor.” Most recently, he launched “CMT’s Next Superstar.”

He is involved with charities including the Dizzy Feet Foundation, which provides scholarships and works to give dance education in underprivileged communities.

“This is a true honor,” Lythgoe said. “The world of television is becoming increasingly more global, and I am grateful that the Intl. Academy is recognizing the growing importance of performing arts and dance on television throughout the world.”

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