A personalized Bennett Award was presented to American Idol on July 31, 2008 at NAPTE’s (National Association of Television Program Executives) LATV Festival. The Bennett Award "Brilliant", designed by Bennett Awards artist MK Shannon, was selected for NAPTE’s inaugural Reality Innovator Award. NAPTE created the Reality Innovator Award to recognize outstanding achievement in reality programming. Recipients of the award showcase extraordinary passion and leadership, leveraging their platform in new and innovative ways. American Idol was recognized for its Idol Gives Back program, which has raised millions of dollars during the last two seasons for various U.S. charities that deliver support to underprivileged children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the country.
The Bennett Award was presented to American Idol by Rick Feldman, NAPTE President and CEO, and Giuliana Rancic, co-host of E! News along with American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest. The unique award was accepted by Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of American Idol, on behalf of American Idol’s producers. During his acceptance speech, Lythgoe dedicated the award to all of the children Idol Gives Back has benefited. The presentation was held in Los Angeles at a gala celebration at The Annex in the Hollywood & Highlands Entertainment Complex.