Many professionals in the television and film industry spend their entire careers working toward an Emmy nomination. That accolade came early for a group of Drexel alumni recently nominated for the prestigious honor.
Six former Westphal College of Media Arts & Sciences students have been nominated for a Mid-Atlantic Emmy for their work on “Off Campus,” a sitcom that started as a multidisciplinary student project. They continued to work on the show after graduation, fittingly mirroring the lives of the sitcom’s five main characters navigating their post-graduate professional and personal lives.
Described as a cross between “Friends” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” the show was picked up by CBS’ The CW Philly 57 in 2011. “Off Campus” previously earned the Mid-Atlantic Emmy for “Outstanding Achievement in a Student Production” in 2011 and was nominated again in 2012 for “College Production–Arts and Entertainment/Cultural Affairs.”
For its third consecutive nomination, “Off Campus,” a show made possible by the generous support of the The Kal and Lucille Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies, is one of the two productions nominated in the “College/University–Long Form: Fiction” category by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Though all nominees were selected as a group for their work on “Off Campus,” the alumni were also recognized for their roles within the nomination, which is different from the Primetime Emmy Awards that recognizes individual achievement in specific categories.
Nominated supervising producer and director Andrew Catania, ’12, and supervising producer Laurel Chadwick, ’12, aren’t new to the nomination list. They were part of the “Off Campus” Emmy-nominated team in 2012 and Emmy-winning team in 2011.
New 2013 graduates Andrew Misialek and Alex Igidbashian were nominated as both directors and writers, and Arlynn Katz was nominated as a producer. Megan Pollin was nominated as an editor.
“The goal of the production of ‘Off Campus’ is to give the students an experience as close as possible to a primetime network television series production,” said Andrew Susskind, the instructor and faculty executive producer of the show, and also associate teaching professor and program director of TV Production & Media Management in Westphal. “We run it just as a professional series would be done, with department heads, supervising producers, rotating directors, etcetera.”
According to Susskind, when the Drexel alumni worked on the show, they performed all production tasks but hired professional local actors.
This year’s Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards will be presented Sept. 7 at the Sheraton Society Hill Hotel in Old City.
The first two episodes of the sitcom can be viewed here.