Andrew Ames

Last updated on 07/15/17

Accomplished Emmy Award-winning production executive, exec producer, showrunner, producer/director/writer with deep experience developing and overseeing multi-platform content in studios and on locations around the world, and a unique blend of skills in all stages of creative as well as in financia… Read more

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Credits and Employment History

VP Global Production
Sesame Workshop, New York, NY
2008-11 (3 years)
In charge of Global TV production department of 30+ staff and freelance, with oversight of: development, production and operations of 28 Sesame-branded international series co-productions, PBS primetime specials, domestic Outreach productions and Sesame library assets.
Accomplishments - International Production:
- Increased international team production output by 30% while reducing staff by 35%;
- Oversaw creation of new Sesame series in Afghanistan, Nigeria and elsewhere.
- Traveled to Pakistan to evaluate and commence new high visibility co-production;
- Plaza Sesamo: played a key role in the revival of Sesame Street’s Latin American version (airing in 17 countries); ratings zoomed from #14 to #1 in Mexico in a single year.
Accomplishments - US Production:
- Oversaw three primetime Sesame specials (PBS) offering strategies & resources for military families and families coping with economic insecurity;
- Primetime Emmy nomination for most recent special, When Families Grieve, hosted by Katie Couric.

Series Producer, Save Our History
History Channel
2002 – 2008 (6+ years)
Oversight of in-house production team for Emmy Award-winning series of quarterly one-hour primetime specials and online content focusing on historical preservation. Each program was designed as an adventure that brought to life a pivotal moment in American history and showcased forensic techniques and new restoration technologies. Responsible for all production, budgets and schedules; produced, directed and wrote all programs.

Co-CEO/Exec Producer, Rocket Science Entertainment
1998 – 2002 (4 years)
Oversaw development and production for series and specials, including:
- Martha Stewart’s Home for the Holidays: The Family Tree (CBS primetime holiday special)
- What’s It Really Like? (syndicated series on unusual jobs)
- America’s Greatest Detective (Court TV)
- Monsterfest with Tim Burton (AMC)
- Between Us with Naomi Judd (WE tv)
- HealthSCOUT iTV (web food & health series, including many segments with chef Michel Nischan)
- Reading Rainbow (PBS) - Emmy Award, Outstanding Children’s Series 2001-2002.

CEO/Executive Producer, Playground 11 Productions
1996 – 1998 (2 years)
Created/Exec Produced all projects, including:
- Capture in the Jungle, one-hour documentary tracking an elephant capture and translocation team in the jungles of Malaysia (producer/director/writer);
- It’s a Jungle Out There, one-hour doc about a US Army unit undergoing jungle survival training in Panama (exec producer);
- Off to Nowhere, unusual reality/doc series featuring celebs on outdoor adventures, named by Entertainment Weekly the “highlight series” of the Outdoor Life Network. Episodes included paragliding in the Venezuelan Andes with Michael McKean; whitewater rafting down Class V rapids in W. Virginia with Tony Shalhoub; searching for wild orangutans in Borneo with David Alan Grier; jungle hiking in Belize with Bill Nye; outrigger canoe competition in Kauai with Kinky Friedman (producer/director/writer).

Vice President, Production, New Media, Inc., Westport, CT
1994 – 1996 (2 years)
Supervised Trailside: Make Your Own Adventure, a how-to adventure weekly series on national public television;
Developed other series, including a kids' version of Trailside and a food/travel series in partnership with Saveur Magazine.

Producer/Director
1981 – 1994
Produced, directed and wrote for a wide range of shows & networks, including Good Morning America, Candid Camera, America's Most Wanted, Disney Channel, Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous.

Co-Executive Producer - Born to Explore with Richard Wiese

ABC/Litton 2012-16, PBS 2017-

4/2012 - until now

Oversee production of 26 half-hour episodes/season of Emmy Award-winning travel/adventure series hosted by renowned explorer Richard Wiese. Has produced, directed and written 58 episodes over 4 seasons filmed in South Africa, Morocco, Tanzania, Chile, Turkey, Scotland and elsewhere. Series has earned 13 Daytime Emmy nominations and has won 2 Daytime Emmy Awards, 2 Parents’ Choice Gold Awards, 27 Telly Awards and 1 CINE Golden Eagle. http://www.borntoexplore.net

Industry Qualifications

Directors Guild of America (Director)

Industry Awards

Awards/Nominations

Emmy Award:Outstanding Children's Series: Reading Rainbow (Producer) PBS 2001-02


Primetime & Daytime Emmy nominations (9):Reading Rainbow PBS
Cool Women with Susan Sarandon WE
When Families Grieve PBSBorn to Explore with Richard Wiese (6 - Directing, Writing, Series) ABC & PBS



CINE: Golden Eagle Awards (8):Born to Explore with Richard Wiese ABC 2014Three Jars, Sesame Workshop PBS PSA 2011For Me, For Your, For Later: First Steps to Spending, Sharing, 
Saving, Sesame Workshop 2011When Families Grieve PBS 2010Coming Home: Military Families Cope with Change PBS 2009Families Stand Together: Feeling Secure in Tough Times PBS 2009



CINE: Special Jury Awards (3):
Coming Home: Military Families Cope with Change, PBS 2010When Families Grieve PBS 2011For Me, For You, For Later  Sesame Workshop 2012
Parents' Choice AwardsGold Award Television, Born to Explore 2013Gold Award Television, Born to Explore 2014Silver Award Television, Born to Explore 2016



Local Emmy Awards (2):New York People, WABC-TV



Houston Internat'l Film & Video Festival/Gold - Trailside: Make Your Own Adventure, PBS



Mercom Award: Gold Medal/Best Director - Arby's Employee Training



Media Access Award/Best Children's Program - Mickey Mouse Club, Disney Channel



Internat'l TV/Film Fest: Silver Medal - New York People, WABC-NY

Education

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, Ann Arbor

M.A.: Radio/TV/Film 1976



COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, New York

B.A.: English and Comparative Literature 1973