2011 Keynote: Bill D'Elia
Ithaca College, Class of '69
Former student of Rod Serling
Bill D’Elia made his feature film directing debut with “The Feud” (1990), which he adapted from the novel of the same name by Thomas Berger. D’Elia made his television directing debut the following year, helming multiple episodes of the Emmy award-winning “Northern Exposure.” Today his directing credits include episodes of the Emmy award-winning series “Picket Fences,” “The West Wing” and “Law and Order,” several movies for television including “The Dottie West Story,” and multiple episodes of hit series such as “GLEE,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “The Mentalist.”
Prior to directing television and film D’Elia directed hundreds of television commercials through his own New York based production company. His commercials have received numerous industry awards, including the Addy, Clio, Telly, and the Art Director One Show awards.
From 1996 to 2000, D’Elia was Executive Producer/Director of “Chicago Hope,” receiving two Golden Globe and three Emmy nominations including a nomination for “Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series” for the musical episode entitled “Brain Salad Surgery.”
In 1999, D’Elia co-created the hit drama series “Judging Amy.” In 2000, he became Executive Producer/Director of the Emmy award-winning series “Ally McBeal,” and received two more Golden Globe nominations. For the episode entitled “Ally McBeal: The Musical,” he received another Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series.” D’Elia directed the episodes that introduced Robert Downey, Jr. to the cast and was nominated for the Directors Guild of America Award for “Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Comedy Series” for the episode entitled “The Last Virgin.”
From 2001 to 2004, D’Elia was a Consulting Producer/Director for various television series including “Miracles” and “The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H.” while continuing to direct episodes of “The West Wing.” In 2003, he directed a short comedy segment for “Saturday Night Live” entitled “Al Gore visits The West Wing” starring the former Vice President.
In 2004, during the show’s final season, he became a Consulting Producer/Director of “The Practice,” helping David E. Kelley create the characters and settings that would become the legal dramedy “Boston Legal.” He then directed the pilot and Executive Produced the series along with Mr. Kelley. From 2005 to 2009, D’Elia received a Peabody Award and four more Emmy nominations for his work on “Boston Legal,” twice for “Outstanding Drama Series” as an Executive Producer and twice for “Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.” He is among the first recipients of the “Television Academy Honors” given by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to recognize those that create “television with a conscience” with programs that “present issues of concern to society in a compelling, emotional and insightful way.”
In 2010, continuing his long association with David E. Kelley, he directed the pilot for “Harry’s Law,” written by Mr. Kelley and starring Kathy Bates. Bill continues to direct and, with David E. Kelley, executive produce “Harry’s Law,” now in its second season.
D’Elia took classes from Rod Serling while attending Ithaca College.