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[02/23/11 - 07:10 AM]
USA Network Announces the Recipients of "The 3rd Annual Character Approved Awards" Recognizing Twelve Cultural Trailblazers
The recipients will be showcased during the one-hour special, "Character Approved: Honoring 12 Cultural Trailblazers," airing Tuesday, March 8 at 11:00/10:00c.

[via press release from USA]

USA Network Announces the Recipients of the 3rd Annual Character Approved Awards Recognizing Twelve Cultural Trailblazers

Multimedia Campaign Honors Walter Hood (Architecture), Vik Muniz (Art), Emily Pilloton (Design), Prabal Gurung (Fashion), Davis Guggenheim (Film), Grant Achatz (Food), Blake Mycoskie (Giving), Janelle Monae (Music), Dennis Crowley & Naveen Selvadurai (New Media), Lily Rabe (Theatre), and Nicole Krauss (Writing)

Character Approved: Honoring 12 Cultural Trailblazers Documentary to Premiere on Tuesday, March 8, 11/10c Immediately Following The Season Two Finale Of WHITE COLLAR

NEW YORK, Feb. 23, 2011 -- USA Network announced today the 12 honorees for the 3rd annual Character Approved Awards, in recognition of their innovation and cultural contributions. The Awards pay tribute to the visionaries and real "characters" from a cross-section of creative disciplines who are changing the face of American culture. USA Network created the awards to provide a national platform for important cultural influencers and to encourage a collective dialogue around their ideas. USA chose to bestow this year's honorees with the Network's "character seal of approval" based on their cultural impact, legacy and persona. These exceptional pioneers are making progressive changes in their field through innovation, creativity and a willingness to break the mold.

"USA surveyed the cultural landscape and hand-picked twelve exceptional pioneers whose impact in their unique creative disciplines will be felt far into the future," said Alexandra Shapiro, USA's senior vice president, brand marketing and digital. "These honorees defy convention, influence popular opinion and exemplify what it means to be a true character."

The Character Approved honorees will be featured in a multimedia campaign including a one-hour television special, CHARACTER APPROVED: HONORING 12 CULTURAL TRAILBLAZERS, directed by acclaimed documentarian Phil Griffin and produced by @radical.media. The telecast will premiere on USA Network, Tuesday March 8th at 11/10c immediately following the season 2 finale of White Collar and will be comprised of original, exclusive long-form interviews shot expressly for the special.

The 2011 CHARACTER APPROVED HONOREES include:

ARCHITECTURE - Walter Hood: Through his innovative work in landscape architecture, Walter Hood is redefining how we think about our surroundings. He is known for transforming neglected public spaces into places that are relevant and meaningful to their communities. His studio, Hood Design, has been engaged in architectural commissions, urban design, art installations, and research for almost twenty years.

ART - Vik Muniz: For decades, Brooklyn-based Brazilian artist Vik Muniz has transcended media to question perceptions of art. Using whimsical media such as chocolate syrup, diamonds and trash, Muniz has re-appropriated canonized works and created an unconventional aesthetic of his own. The 2011 Academy Award nominated documentary Waste Land, is based on his evocative work.

DESIGN - Emily Pilloton: Pilloton is revolutionizing communities through design. She founded Project H, a nonprofit organization - one part design firm, one part advocacy group - that is dedicated to harnessing the power of design for social good.

FASHION - Prabal Gurung: With his inspiring, fresh aesthetic, designer Prabal Gurung has skyrocketed to the pinnacle of the American fashion scene. Drawing inspiration from around the globe, Gurung transforms clothing into wearable art.

FILM - Davis Guggenheim: Critics and audiences agree - Davis Guggenheim is one of the most talented and influential documentary filmmakers of our time. What he accomplished for the environment with An Inconvenient Truth, he has now done for education with Waiting for "Superman."

FOOD - Grant Achatz: With incredible imagination and whimsy, Achatz has re-envisioned the way we experience food. His Chicago restaurant, Alinea, has transformed food into performance art and is the definition of inspired, inventive cuisine, and is poised to do so again with the opening of Next in April.

GIVING - Blake Mycoskie: In just four short years, Mycoskie has created one of the most innovative and socially responsible retail companies in the country, pioneering the one-for-one sell/give-away concept with TOMS Shoes. Since 2006, TOMS has given over one million pairs of new shoes to children in need through giving partners around the world.

MUSIC - Janelle Monae: Singer, dancer, futuristic funktress. Monae and her music transcend genre and definition. In 2010, Monae released the brilliant and imaginative ArchAndroid, which garnered two Grammy nominations.

NEW MEDIA - Dennis Crowley & Naveen Selvadurai: The founding duo behind foursquare, the locations-based social networking site, have been on a meteoric rise this year, with membership exceeding 6.5 million users. Through their creation, Crowley and Selvadurai have encouraged us to connect in new ways with the people and places that matter most.

THEATRE - Lily Rabe: With one of the most extraordinary performances of the season, Lily Rabe has made The Merchant of Venice on Broadway shine anew. At only 28 years old, Rabe has managed a reinterpretation of Portia that has added originality and new complexity to Shakespeare's work.

WRITING - Nicole Krauss:

Nicole Krauss has emerged as one of the most intriguing authors of the last decade. Her most recent novel, Great House, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and The New Yorker named Krauss as one of the top 20 writers under 40.

The Character Approved multiplatform campaign will also include a six-week on-air flight following the telecast featuring short-form honoree profile vignettes; national print support including ads in Entertainment Weekly, New Yorker, and Rolling Stone; select high-profile out-of-home media placements; a targeted digital effort (e.g. NPR, Huffington Post) as well as a strong social media presence. The digital hub - characterapproved.usanetwork.com - includes exclusive editorial and video footage from hours of honoree interviews by director Phil Griffin.

USA Network developed the Character Approved initiative as an outgrowth of the Characters Welcome brand, a celebration of quirky, interesting and unique characters everywhere. Established in 2009, USA's Character Approved Awards is a real-life extension of the philosophy that has made USA the #1 cable network: a commitment to innovative, surprising, inclusive, buzz-worthy and character-driven content. Each honoree is a character in his/her own right, shaping the American cultural landscape with their distinct voices, personalities and styles.

For more information on Character Approved, visit characterapproved.usanetwork.com.

About USA Network

USA Network is the #1 network in all of basic cable and is seen in over 102 million U.S. homes. A division of NBC Universal, USA is the cable television leader in original series and is home to the biggest hits in blockbuster films, acquired television and entertainment events. Viewers come to USA to find television's best in critically-acclaimed and award-winning original programming, such as BURN NOTICE, ROYAL PAINS, WHITE COLLAR, COVERT AFFAIRS, FAIRLY LEGAL, PSYCH, IN PLAIN SIGHT, LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT and WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW, as well as the highest-rated acquired originals, including HOUSE, NCIS, LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT and CSI. The award-winning USA website is located at www.usanetwork.com, which is home to the popular new casual gaming site, www.characterarcade.com. Characters Welcome.

USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.





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