Bill D’Elia ’69 and David E. Kelley Receive Serling Award

Bill D’Elia ’69 and David E. Kelley were this year’s recipients of IC’s Rod Serling Award for Advancing Social Justice through Popular Media. The pair were honored at a ceremony on December 7 at the Paley Center in Los Angeles. Actor William Shatner, who appeared in two episodes of Serling’s show The Twilight Zone and also starred in Boston Legal, presented the award.

The award is given in honor of Serling, who taught at the college from 1967 to 1975, and recognizes modern media professionals whose work raises awareness of prejudice, inequality, and society’s changing social norms.

D’Elia and Kelley worked together on groundbreaking shows such as Ally McBeal, The Practice, and Boston Legal. Those shows were renowned for using court cases to showcase controversial topics and social justice issues. Several of the shows earned a Peabody Award, one of the most prestigious awards in electronic media, given in honor of “distinguished achievement and meritorious public service.”

D’Elia, who was the college’s 2017 Commencement speaker, began directing television in 1991, when he helmed several episodes of the Emmy-winning show Northern Exposure. Over the course of his career, he’s won two Television Academy Honors awards, and earned eight Emmy and four Golden Globe nominations.