John H. Falsey, 78MFA, headed west to work as a writer in Hollywood soon after graduating from the UI fiction writing program and quickly became a television pioneer. Together with his partner Joshua Brand, he has created, developed, and produced some of the most innovative programs on television in the last decade. Falseys credits include the critically acclaimed series St. Elsewhere and Amazing Stories, as well as the mini-series A Year in the Life.
The teams current hits are Northern Exposure, a comedy set in the mythical town of Cicely, Alaska, and Ill Fly Away, a drama set in the South in the 1950s. Northern Exposure, which has been described as Woody Allen meets folksy Alaska, features a cast of enchantingly oddball characters who reflect on some of lifes most important questions. The story line for Ill Fly Away, on the other hand, evokes the classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird in its exploration of hard issues such as racism, mental illness, and political influence. Both series have broken new ground in their genres, earning critical praise for their excellent writing and thought-provoking subject matter.
The creative team of Falsey and Brand is recognized for producing highly intelligent and literary programs that are also entertaining and commercially successful. The duo has won two Emmys and a Golden Globe Award, while attracting a devoted audience for some of the highest quality programs on television.
Since 1963, the University of Iowa has annually recognized accomplished alumni and friends with Distinguished Alumni Awards. Awards are presented in seven categories: Achievement, Service, Hickerson Recognition, Faculty, Staff, Recent Graduate, and Friend of the University.