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News: Shedding a Bright Light on Caretakers, Your Turn to Care Wins Gracie Award Executive Producer Margaret Hussey Brings Critical Stories To Life

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News: Shedding a Bright Light on Caretakers, Your Turn to Care Wins Gracie Award Executive Producer Margaret Hussey Brings Critical Stories To Life
on Jun 18, 2013 at 10:06:09 pm

(Hollywood, California--June 18, 2013) Margaret Hussey, award winning producer of hundreds of hours of news and reality programs, will join her "women in media" colleagues in New York in June, when Your Turn To Care will receive a Gracie Award® for Outstanding Series. Hussey is the Executive Producer for "Your Turn to Care," produced by KCET.

Your Turn to Care explores the often daunting challenges that face America's growing generation of baby boomers as they step up to care for ailing or aging loved ones. The series is hosted by acclaimed actress and award-winning author Holly Robinson Peete, who shares her own experiences of caring for her father who had Parkinson's disease. The series features a number of expert voices, most notably Gail Sheehy, author of Passages in Caregiving, who seek to contextualize the complex issues of caregiving for viewers, while highlighting personal stories from well-respected actors, television personalities, and journalists including Patricia Richardson (Home Improvement), Monica Potter (Parenthood), Hector Elizondo (Last Man Standing), Robert David Hall (CSI Crime Scene Investigation), Sandra Tsing Loh (NPR's Morning Edition, KPCC) and Steve Lopez (Los Angeles Times columnist). The initiative was made possible with support from MetLife Foundation, California Community Foundation, The Lippey Family Trust and Gladyce L. Foster.

More than a series, Your Turn To Care offers an innovative broadcast, social media, and web-based engagement for the viewers, who can explore stories and information in a multi-faceted manner. Produced to air as a 4 part series, KCET and Hussey also launched a companion website, featuring 50 videos and 100 articles with countless links to additional resources. "Modern storytelling flings a far net," said Hussey. "From the beginning, we saw that it was important to keep the dialogue going, and to go outside the 'box' of the screen. The web site along with Facebook and Twitter not only provided resources to caregivers but also enabled a social media conversation. It was the goal of Your Turn To Care to speak to people in as many ways, through as many venues as possible."

"There are nearly 48 million Baby Boomers in the U.S. alone who will be called upon to be caregivers" said Hussey, "As our population ages, we are experiencing the full force of what that actually means, emotionally, fiscally, pragmatically, as more and more of us step up to care for parents, older siblings, and loved ones. I was compelled to help bring these stories to life because it's one of the most important trends that face our society. Caregiving is not going to diminish, it will continue to grow."

Hussey has an impressive and extensive resume, producing for Scripps, HGTV, Food Network, Discovery, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and others over the past 20 years. She is a graduate of San Francisco State University, Columbia College and the American Film Institute.

Hussey concluded, "I've been incredibly lucky to be part of this outstanding series, and I believe the stories we've told are truthful and informative. We hope that they are helpful. I am thrilled to be winning a Gracie!"


10 questions with award winning producer Margaret Hussey as she prepares for her GRACIE AWARD moment:

Margaret Hussey has been a working producer in television for the past 20 years.  Starting at NBC News right out of AFI, she has worked on projects at every major outlet, and has produced hundreds of hours of programming.  At work on a pilot script, she answers questions about the Gracie award winning Your Turn To Care, the topic, and a producing career.

Why Your Turn To Care, Now?  What compelled you to take on this project?
I had heard from a friend that KCET was in the early stages of developing a project focusing on caregivers.  I have thought for a long time that this is one of the most compelling topics facing not just my generation, but all of us.  I have so many friends who have taken on this responsibility, and I've seen their struggles, and also the absolute meaningfulness that this brings.  So, I gravitate to the topic, and I was able to meet with KCET, and after pulling together a fantastic team, we got to make this amazing show.

According to the National Center on Caregiving, two-thirds of caregivers are unpaid family members. They are typically jumping in during a crisis with little or no information or support. They need help. So, yes, the topic is absolutely fascinating to me.  It has to be, or I cannot put in the time, effort, and thought needed to do a good job.

Why not just a broadcast?
It's not a one dimensional world anymore , where you put up a show, it airs, and it has meaning. You have to engage the audience where they live, and they live on facebook, the internet, twitter, tumblr…they seek and are now used to multi-faceted engagement. There is also a lot of interesting content that doesn't make it into almost any broadcast, and these channels offer the ability to put more facts, anecdotes, and stories up to be consumed differently.  At the end of the day, putting up a series absolutely requires that you put into the planning and production, a more dynamic plan for content.

From serial killers, househunters, wedding planners, and other stops along the way, how'd you get to caregivers?
I have a fascination with humanity.  Sometimes that means there is a dark side, and sometimes that means there is laughter.  I look for projects and stories that make people feel connected to what's going on.  I produced over 200 hours of House Hunters and House Hunters International, and I never tired of finding ways to connect the audience to the families we featured. We all crave connection."

What's Next for you?
I'm working on a pilot for a legal series that centers around gun control.  It's a real-life setting, and I cannot add much because I'm smack in the midst of the final negotiations with the organizations and individuals, but I am excited that the timing is now for this kind of show.

What do you think is important for aspiring filmmakers, documentary filmmakers, etc?
Embrace change.  I graduated from film school 20 years ago, and there was no Facebook.  Transmedia was not even a viable concept, and my cell phone was not smart.  So while I embrace the latest technology, my first thought is how it impacts the story.  I feel that it's important to deeply understand classical storytelling.  There is nothing but good to come from watching good stories, real or not. With the availability of content, you can be up to date on the best of documentaries, old and new. And stylistically, there are no hard and fast rules. The Oscar winning documentary, Searching for Sugarman wasa great example of a powerful story that pushed the technical and storytelling devices in new and interesting ways but ultimately, it was the viewer's ability to relate to the central character that made it a great film. It's all about connection.



About The Gracies
Presented by the Alliance for Women in Media (AWM) Foundation, The Gracie Award(r) recognizes exemplary programming created for women, by women and about women in all facets of electronic media, as well as individuals who have made contributions to the industry. The awards program also encourages the realistic and multifaceted portrayal of women in entertainment, news, features and other programs.

About Margaret Hussey - Executive Producer
Margaret Hussey brings a unique blend of experience to her role as Executive Producer of Your Turn To Care. The highly experienced producer has spent nearly 20 years creating and overseeing a variety of reality, news and documentary projects for major cable outlets and networks that run the gamut from travel, baking, design to more serious topics such as obsession, neonatal health, crime, and news. She has written hundreds of hours of programming ("Fabulous Cakes," "Housebound: Trapped Inside," "House Hunters International," "NICU: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit," "My Kid's Smarter Than Me," "Popstars," "Design on A Dime," "The Other Half," and "Travel Daily" to name a few. Born and raised in Chicago, she was a Directing Fellow at the American Film Institute, earned a Masters in Arts from San Francisco State University, and her BA from Columbia College, Chicago.


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