April 6, 1939 |
Manhattan, New York
|Occupation||Television producer, documentary filmmaker|
|Known for||President of HBO Documentary Films|
Sheila Nevins (born April 6, 1939) is an American television producer and the President of HBO Documentary Films. She has produced hundreds of documentary films for HBO and is one of the most influential people in documentary filmmaking. She has worked on productions that have been recognized with 59 Emmy Awards, 31 Peabody Awards, and 21 Academy Awards. She has won 28 individual Primetime Emmy Awards, more than any other person.
Sheila J. Nevins was born on April 6, 1939 in Manhattan, New York to Stella, a chemist, and Benjamin Nevins, a Russian immigrant post office worker and bookmaker. Her mother suffered from Raynaud's disease and scleroderma. Her uncle was a wealthy inventor and helped pay for her schooling. She didn't have a television growing up until she was in high school. She attended Little Red School House and the High School of Performing Arts in New York City. She received a BA in English from Barnard College in 1960. In 1963 she received an MFA in Directing from the Yale School of Drama. She married a Yale lawyer in the 1960s. Though she wanted to pursue a theater career, her husband wanted her to be home evenings and weekends, forcing her to find a daytime job.
Nevins began her career at the United States Information Agency as an actress in Adventures in English. In 1975 she began working as a writer and producer for the Children's Television Workshop. She also worked at Scribner making recordings of books for blind people. Nevins was a researcher then associate producer for The Great American Dream Machine on National Educational Television. She worked under Alvin H. Perlmutter from 1971 to 1973 and did "man on the street" interviews. Inspired by the film Salesman, she hired Albert and David Maysles to direct parts of the show. Nevins was a Field Producer for The Reasoner Report on ABC News in 1973. She wrote for Time-Life Films from 1973 to 1975 and worked briefly for 20/20. Nevins was a producer for the CBS news magazine Who's Who in 1978 and 1979. Nevins declined Don Hewitt's invitation to be a producer for 60 Minutes.
Nevins returned to HBO in 1986 as Vice President of Documentary Programming. In 1995 she became the Senior Vice President of Original Programming. Nevin's tenure at HBO saw the rise of sexually-themed programming in the America Undercover documentary series.
Nevins was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame in 2000. She was the Executive Vice President of Original Programming from 1999 to 2003. She has been HBO's President of Documentary and Family Programming since 2004.
Nevins wrote the introduction for the 2007 book Addiction: Why Can't They Just Stop?
Primetime Emmy Awards
- 1993 Outstanding Children's Program for "Beethoven Lives Upstairs"
- 1995 Outstanding Informational Special for One Survivor Remembers
- 1995 Outstanding Informational Special for Taxicab Confessions
- 1995 Outstanding Children's Program for Going, Going, Almost Gone! Animals in Danger
- 1997 Outstanding Informational Special for Without Pity: A Film About Abilities
- 1997 Outstanding Children's Program for How Do You Spell God?
- 1999 Outstanding Non-fiction Special for Thug Life in D.C.
- 2000 Outstanding Non-fiction Special for Children in War
- 2000 Outstanding Children's Program for Goodnight Moon & Other Sleepytime Tales
- 2003 Outstanding Children's Program for Through a Child's Eyes: September 11, 2001
- 2004 Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special for Elaine Stritch: At Liberty
- 2004 Outstanding Children's Program for Happy to Be Nappy and Other Stories of Me
- 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award
- 2005 Outstanding Children's Program for Classical Baby
- 2005 Exceptional Merit In Nonfiction Filmmaking for Death in Gaza
- 2006 Outstanding Children's Program for I Have Tourette's But Tourette's Doesn't Have Me
- 2006 Exceptional Merit In Nonfiction Filmmaking for Baghdad ER
- 2007 Outstanding Nonfiction Special for Ghosts of Abu Ghraib
- 2007 Exceptional Merit In Nonfiction Filmmaking for When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts
- 2008 Outstanding Children's Program for Classical Baby (I'm Grown Up Now): The Poetry Show
- 2008 Exceptional Merit In Nonfiction Filmmaking for White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
- 2009 Governor's Award for the Creative Arts Emmy Awards
- 2009 Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking for The Alzheimer's Project: The Memory Loss Tapes
- 2009 Outstanding Children's Nonfiction Program for The Alzheimer's Project: Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am? with Maria Shriver
- 2010 Outstanding Nonfiction Special for Teddy: In His Own Words
- 2011 Outstanding Children's Program for A Child's Garden of Poetry
- 2011 Outstanding Science, Technology and Nature Programming for Google Baby
- 2013 Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Special for "Manhunt: The Inside Story Of The Hunt For Bin Laden"
- 2014 Outstanding Children's Program for "One Last Hug: Three Days At Grief Camp"
- 2014 Exceptional Merit In Documentary Filmmaking for "Life According to Sam"
- 1999 Peabody Award - Personal Award
- 2006 Peabody Award for Baghdad ER
- 2013 Peabody Award for Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in The House Of God
- 2014 Peabody Award for Life According to Sam
Cable Ace Awards
- 1997 Documentary Special for "Heart of a Child"
- 1995 Documentary Special for Gang War: Bangin' In Little Rock
Nevins married investment banker Sidney Koch in 1972. The pair have a home in Litchfield, Connecticut as well as an apartment on the Upper East Side. They have one son, David Koch (born 1980). Nevins has a younger sister (born 1946) who is a doctor. Nevins enjoys theater and is an admirer of Gloria Steinem, who she has deemed "next to my mother, the most important woman I’ve ever met."
- Taubin, Amy (Summer 2004). "HBO’s Sheila Nevins Nurtures and Nudges". Ms. Magazine.
- Sheila Nevins interview. Interview with Karen Herman. May 2, 2006. Archive of American Television. New York. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- Jensen, Elizabeth (June 11, 2010). "The Force Behind HBO’s Documentaries". The New York Times.
- Salamon, Julie (March 3, 2002). "Nevins Rules". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 28, 2012.
- Hoffman, John; Froemke, Susan (ed.) (2007). Addiction: Why Can't They Just Stop?. New York: Rodale. ISBN 1-59486-715-1.
- "THR's Women in Entertainment 2011: Power 100". The Hollywood Reporter. December 7, 2011.
- "Sheila Nevins, Personal Award". The Peabody Awards. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- Jensen, Elizabeth (August 12, 2011). "Steinem’s Story, for a New Generation". The New York Times.