Carnegie Mellon University
June 06, 2014

Press Release: Carnegie Mellon To Air its First Prime-time TV Commercial During Tony Awards® Broadcast

June 8 Spot Focuses on University's Strengths in Arts, Business, Science and Technology

Contact: Ken Walters / 412-268-1151 /

PITTSBURGH—Just weeks after announcing that it has become the Tony Awards® first exclusive higher education partner, Carnegie Mellon University is releasing its first network, prime-time television commercial to air on Sunday, June 8, during the Tony Awards broadcast on CBS.

The animated spot, which highlights CMU's success in the arts, business, science and technology, will air twice during the Tony broadcast. Last year, more than seven million households watched the Tony Awards, and viewership of the show has increased by 20 percent every year.

Carnegie Mellon's marketing team worked with Cinevative, a Los Angeles-based production company, to develop the script, and the distinctive voiceover was recorded by CMU alumnus Billy Porter, the 2013 Tony Award-winning star of "Kinky Boots." Cinevative created the original animation that showcases a selection of CMU's most notable accomplishments. Hollywood and Broadway producer Paula Wagner, another CMU alum, served as creative consultant for the striking 30-second production.

The commercial also recognizes the Tony Awards, Juicy Couture, which was co-created and co-founded by CMU alumna Gela Nash-Taylor (A'78), and celebrated artist and Carnegie Mellon alumnus Andy Warhol (A'49).

In the fall, CMU and the Tonys will co-create and launch the first national recognition program to honor kindergarten through high-school (K-12) theatre educators.

In addition, Carnegie Mellon alumni are no strangers to the Tony Awards stage at Radio City Music Hall. CMU's School of Drama is the oldest drama degree-granting program in the United States and celebrates its centennial in 2014. In the past century, CMU has produced hundreds of Tony nominees and 31 Tony winners — eight winners in 2013 alone.

This year, six CMU alumni have been nominated for a Tony:

  • Paula Wagner as a producer for Best Play for "Mothers and Sons";
  • Jamie deRoy (A'67) as a producer for Best Musical for "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder";
  • Cherry Jones (A'78) for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for "The Glass Menagerie";
  • Sutton Foster for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for "Violet";
  • Peter Hylenski (A'97) for Best Sound Design of a Musical for "After Midnight";
  • Leigh Silverman (A'96) for Best Direction of a Musical for "Violet."

During the broadcast, two other CMU alumni — Zachary Quinto (A'99) of "Star Trek" and Broadway's "The Glass Menagerie" and Matt Bomer (A'01) of "The Normal Heart" and "White Collar" — will introduce the creation of the "Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre Education presented by Carnegie Mellon University." This new accolade, which will be presented to the winning theatre educator on stage at the 2015 Tony Awards, will include a trip to New York City and a financial contribution to the theatre arts program at the winner's school.

Nominations will be open to the public and accepted starting in September 2014 at and A panel of judges comprised of the American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League, CMU and other leaders from the theatre industry will select the finalists and winner based on criteria set forth by the committee. Demonstrating a positive impact on the lives of students, advancing the theatre profession and a commitment to excellence will be among the qualifications.

The 2014 Tony Awards, hosted by Hugh Jackman, will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Sunday, June 8, on CBS. The 68th annual Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.


About Carnegie Mellon University:
Carnegie Mellon ( is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 12,000 students in the university's seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. A global university, Carnegie Mellon has campuses in Pittsburgh, Pa., California's Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Mexico.

About the Tony Awards: The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. At The Broadway League, Nick Scandalios is Chairman and Charlotte St. Martin is Executive Director. At the American Theatre Wing, William Ivey Long is Chairman and Heather Hitchens is Executive Director. Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment are the Executive Producers of the 2014 Tony Awards. Mr. Weiss will also serve as Director of the 2014 Tony Awards.

IBM, the official information technology partner of the Tony Awards, develops, designs, and hosts the official Tony Awards website, across digital platforms. Audemars Piguet is the presenting sponsor of the Tony Awards Red Carpet. United Airlines is the official airline of the Tony Awards. The New York Times is the official and exclusive print media partner of the Tony Awards. Nexxus Salon Hair Care is the official beauty partner of the Tony Awards. Paramount Hotel is the official hotel partner of the Tonys. PEOPLE is the official magazine partner of the Tony Awards. City National Bank is the official bank of the Tony Awards. Carnegie Mellon University is the first-ever, exclusive higher education partner of the Tony Awards.