CDC’s Entertainment Education Program provides expert consultation, education and resources for writers and producers who develop scripts with health storylines and information. Because 88% of Americans learn about health issues from television, CDC recognizes that prime time and daytime television programing are great outlets for our health messages. The CDC works in partnership with Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S) at the University of Southern California’s Norman Lear Center to share public health information with storyline creators.
Resources for Entertainment Writers and Producers:
- Tip sheets: Contain easy-to-use, credible information on pressing health issues: includes information such as who’s at risk, typical symptoms, prevention messages and case examples.
- HH&S staff holds meetings for show creators and network officials which inform them of the full range of services available, including consultations and visits from CDC experts.
- Expert panel discussions are also planned in coordination with organizations like the Writers Guild of America, west and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to examine the implications of dramatizing critical health issues.
Highlights of Entertainment Education Accomplishments:
There have been many EE outreach successes over the years. The public health subject matter and the TV shows include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury and the Lifetime Movie Network
- HIV/AIDS and MTV during World AIDS Day
- HIV/AIDS and Tyler Perry Studio’s comedy, Meet the Browns
- Asperger’s Syndrome and NBC-TV’s Parenthood
- Cancer and the CW’s 90210
- CDC advised big-budget movies like the 2011 film, Contagion and the 2010 Warner Brother’s film, I Am Legend.
Recognition of Health Story Lines and Creators:
The Sentinel for Health Awards are presented annually by HH&S and CDC. The award was established in 2000 as a way to recognize television storylines that promote health topics and audience awareness. CDC evaluates nominees during the first round of selection based on their scientific accuracy and health message. In the second round, HH&S select the finalists based on their entertainment value. Categories include primetime drama and comedy, daytime drama, and Spanish-language telenovela.
For additional information, contact:
Demetrius M. Parker
Office of Associate Director for Communication
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Get email updates
To receive email updates about the Gateway, enter your email address:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30333
TTY: (888) 232-6348
- Contact CDC-INFO