For the fifth consecutive year, NATPE (National Association of Television Program Executives) selected a unique recognition trophy from Bennett Awards for their annual Innovator Award. These recognition trophies are presented by NATPE each year to recognize outstanding achievement in nonscripted programming. Recipients of these Innovator Awards showcase extraordinary passion and leadership, leveraging their platform in new, innovative and productive ways.
This year (2012), Oxygen’s “The Glee Project” was the recipient of this distinguished award. “The Glee Project” averaged over one million total viewers over the course of its summer run, and reached almost 45 million viewers on multiple platforms. The series serves as an audition platform for Fox’s Emmy- and Golden Globe Award-winning musical comedy-drama sensation, Glee, and the winner receives a seven episode arc on the show. Both shows were created and are produced by Ryan Murphy. The unique Bennett recognition trophies design "Eternal Spirit" was used for this distinguished award. This award featured custom engravings on its marble base of the NATPE logo, the award name, and award recipient. This achievement award was presented to “The Glee Project” on June 8, 2012, at NATPE’s PitchCon 2012 Conference, held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. Newly appointed President and CEO of NAPTE, Rod Perth, presented this award. Accepting the Innovator Award on behalf of “The Glee Project” were President of Oxygen Media, Jason Klarman; series Executive Producers, Michael Davies and Shauna Minoprio from Embassy Row; Casting Director and on-air mentor, Robert Ulrich; and choreographer and on-air mentor, Zach Woodlee; and the four winners from Season One, including Damian McGinty, who gave a special solo performance, as well as Samuel Larsen, Alex Newell and Lindsay Pearce. Past recipients of this prestigious award include Fox’s “American Idol”, ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”, NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”, and Lifetime’s “Coming Home”.