Downton Abbey writer and creator Julian Fellowes is set to be honoured at the International Emmy Awards Gala later this year.
The 65-year-old, who has written every episode of the hit period drama, will be presented with the prestigious International Emmy Founders Award, a prize which is given to individuals who have significantly contributed to the quality of global television production.
Downton Abbey, which follows the life, loves and upper-class scandals of the Crawley family in early 20th Century England, first hit UK TV screens in 2010 and has since become a global phenomenon. The period drama is now shown in over 250 territories worldwide.
It’s also the most nominated British show in Emmy history with 51 nominations and 11 wins to date and drew in an average audience of 10.1 million viewers when series five premiered on American network PBS earlier this year.
“This is an extraordinary honour, both for me and for the Downton team and I can only say that I feel simultaneously unworthy and very, very grateful,” Fellowes said. “It is a significant high point of my career. Thank you.”
“People everywhere know, follow and are passionate about Downton Abbey, and the Academy is thrilled to honour its writer and creator Julian Fellowes,” Academy President and CEO, Bruce L Paisner added. “Julian has brought a career’s worth of experience and ideas to this landmark television series and we look forwarding to welcoming him and members of the Downton Abbey cast at our Gala.”
The prize comes at a key time for Fellowes, as Downton Abbey comes to an end – it was confirmed last week that the drama won’t return after its sixth season – and he starts work on new American period drama The Gilded Age for NBC.
The British writer follows in the footsteps of former recipients Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams, David Attenborough, Sir David Frost, Simon Cowell and Oprah Winfrey.
Fellowes will be presented with his prize at the 43rd International Emmy Awards Gala in New York on 23rd November