Downtown Partners’ TV entries earn seven Emmy nods


Final nominees competing for 2012-13 Chicago/Midwest Emmy awards out of hundreds of submissions in 72 categories, will be announced Sept. 24 at a party at the American Junkie in River North.

With seven nominations, Downtown Partners Chicago and associate Mark Mitten, creative director/producer of Mitten, Inc. appear to have the most, from among the 18 Chicago non-news commercial, documentary and programming categories, according to the Emmy Master Lists.

They also may be the only advertising agency among the plethora of entrants.  Their nominated work includes three Cubs spots, three PSAs and short pieces for a program:

Cubs Fergie Jenkins features veteran All Star Jenkins as a spokesman for a tour of Wrigley Field, stepping out of a wall of ivy to greet a group of visitors.

Cubs 7th Inning Stretch is a compilation of celebrities who each sing a portion of the Cubs “anthem,” “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

Cubs Home Run “tries to show the heritage of the team with historic scenes and the current team players,” Mitten says.

The 100 Club First Responders is a PSA shot in LA for the organization that provides financial services to the families of fallen police and firemen, with a unique twist.

Mark Mitten with 2012 Emmy awardIt features Chicago actors who have played cops and firefighters in movies and TV shows: Gary Sinise, Dennis Farina, William Peterson, Dennis Franz, Joe Mantegna and Tom Dreesen.  “It was magical, as this was the first time they had been on a set together,” Mitten notes.

100 Club of Chicago’s PSA takes place at a local hockey game where family members pay homage to a late Club member, and a flag raising ceremony his honor presented by firemen.

United Way PSA uses vignettes of real people struggling to survive to encourage giving to the organization to help those in need.

Ted X Midwest is a pair of 90-second pieces airing between speakers on a Ted Conference broadcast; one was “Fred X,” a takeoff of a guy who started his own Ted show and the other was a talking rabbit.

Downtown Partners producers were Mark Mitten, Jim Schmidt, Lee Hillerich, Joseph Stuart, Lynn Millspaugh, Will Meyers, Kendall Fash, Morgan Bradley, Dan Consiglio, Grant Simpson, Lynn Millspaugh, Chris Strong, Brooks Ruyle and Colin Carter.

If any of these entries win, it will only be the second time that Downtown Partners/Mitten Inc. take home an Emmy. Their first Emmy win last year was for a 9-minute mini-doc, Chicago: The Most American City.”  The tour of Chicago landmarks and noted leaders had been requested by Mayor Emanuel for showing to the worldwide attendees of the NATO Conference, held here in 2012.


  • Chris Olsen: The Karl Dahl Show: Karl Dahl and the Golden Cube. Kai Harding Productions.
  • Gail Baker, Barbara Allen, Shelley Spencer: Colorblind: Rethinking Race. Middle Passage Productions 
  • Jens Bogehegn and Scott Lynch, separately,  Light & Shadow. Zacuto Films
  • Jordan Arseneau: Composite. Oak Brook Productions
  • Nicolas DeGrazia, Daniel Kullman: The Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition, Season 2 Trailer; Brian Sarfatty: Ravinia Festival: Chicago’s Circle Rockets Launch. Bitter Jester Creative 
  • Everett Ray Hibbs: Composite. TLN
  • Jordan Arseneau: Composite. Oak Brook Productions
  • A Better Way: Louis Pierce, Producer. Big Idea Company
  • Christian Robins: Innovation Center 60; Steam Spinlab 60, Bridges Media
  • Manchester United Kit Launch: Eric Sawitoski, Producer. Aon and Bridges Media
  • Be Involved: and Be There for Your Friends: Jeff McCarter, Executive Producer; Malik Dubose, Kelsey Phillips, LaTasha Wilson, Chad Rispalje, Christiana Santos, Jovan Brown, Producers. Free Spirit Media
  • An Evening With Berry Gordy: Julieanna Richardson, Producer. The HistoryMakers
  • Colors of Cuba: Regina Fraser, Pat Johnson, Maria Dugandzic-Pasic, Producers; Matt Wechsler, Annie Speicher, Jamieson Mulholland, Co-Producers. Grannies on Safari
  • WVON: 50 Years of Impact: Bob Hercules, Yvonne McNair, Producers. Media Process Group
  • Pritzker Military Library Presents: John Borling: Taps on the Wall, Bradley Guidera, Andrew Edeker, David Cannek, Kenneth Clarke, Nancy Houghton, Producers. Pritzker Military Library.

A Message from the Students of Notre Dame: Jeremy Pinckert, Producer. Explore Media

Some are multiple nominees this year and previous Emmy winners.

American Junkie doors open at 6 p.m., nominations start at 6:30 and are scheduled to end at 8 p.m.  Purchase tickets, $10 TV Academy members, $15 non-members, or RSVP online; call 312/369-8600, or email

The 2013 Emmy Ceremony will be hosted by Jerry Springer and held at the Alhambra Palace, 1240 W. Randolph.

Apologies if your entry was inadvertently omitted from this list.  Send your information to and we’ll promptly post it.