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Bruce Johnson

Graduation Year: 
1971
Award Year: 
2002

Following graduation in 1971 with a degree in English, Bruce earned a Ph.D. in English and education, with studies in film, from Northwestern University. His first film, made in 1977, was a promotional documentary for the ABC mini-series "Roots."

Bruce moved to Hollywood in 1979 where he started out making low-budget teacher-education films for Dave Bell Associates, an independent television production company. He did everything: wrote, produced, directed, edited, and sound on location. Over the next several years, Bruce produced documentaries, industrial films and public affairs programs. His credits included "America, America," a series for the Disney Channel profiling extraordinary Americans, and "On Campus," a PBS news program that won him two of three Emmy Awards in 1983 and 1984. In 1985 Bruce joined Hanna-Barbera as a producer and became swept up in animation.

Bruce was named studio general manager when Turner Broadcasting acquired Hanna-Barbera in 1991. After several years, he began to miss the creative work that comes with producing, and in 1995, formed PorchLight Entertainment with the founding vision to "tell good stories that impart moral lessons." His target audience: the entire family. The company's flagship property is the very successful "Adventures from the Book of Virtues" - classic stories from around the world now in its fourth season on PBS. This series has been sold in over 75 countries worldwide. Next came "Jay Jay the Jet Plane," a preschool series that airs daily on PBS. The company has also produced movies for the Disney Channel, Fox Family Channel, Animal Planet, Hallmark, and others.

(From the 2002 news story)

Bruce Johnson