Andy Heyward

Chairman & CEO, Genius Brands

Andy Heyward

Emmy Award-winning Andy Heyward has made more episodes of kid’s television than any other producer.  After graduating from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy in 1975, he joined Hanna-Barbera as a writer and story editor.  During his five years with Hanna-Barbera, he was involved in the development and writing of numerous series including Scooby Doo, Flintstones, Jetsons, Smurfs, Yogi Bear and Scooby’s All Star Laff-A-Lympics.  In 1980 he moved to France where he joined DIC Audiovisual, a production company specializing in children’s animated programming.  1982, he co-created Inspector Gadget and during the following years he has produced over 5,000 episodes of award-winning children’s programs, most of which shows and brands are household names, including Inspector Gadget, The Real Ghostbusters, Alvin and the Chipmunks, G.I. Joe, Hello Kitty, Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario Bros, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, Captain Planet, Teddy Ruxpin, Sailor Moon, Madeline, Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego, Liberty’s Kids, and dozens more.  In 1994, he convened the National PTA, National Education Association, UCLA and producers from throughout the industry to draft the first voluntary set of program guidelines for children’s television.  In 1996, he hosted the first meeting between then FCC Chairman Reed Hundt and children’s television producers.

Today under Genius Brands International, Heyward produces and licenses brands ranging from Stan Lee Comics, to Baby Genius, to Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club, to Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab, to Space Pop for the global market.  He has also been the largest producer of FCC mandated educational informational programming for children, and has produced hundreds of PSAs promoting child safety, health, exercise, and nutrition. In collaboration with Warren Buffett, he produces the short film which opens the annual Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders meeting, and he co-authored a book with Warren Buffett promoting financial literacy for kids.  Heyward is also the author of Go Go Gadget – The Creation of Inspector Gadget. Genius Brands is currently producing RAINBOW RANGERS for Nickelodeon and Mattel Toys, as well as LLAMA LLAMA for Netflix, starring Jennifer Garner, now in its second season.

Andy’s notable work in children’s programming has earned him multiple industry awards, and his charitable efforts off-screen have resulted in numerous recognitions. Some of his awards include two Emmys, nine Emmy nominations, two Humanitas Awards, two Cable Ace Awards, five Golden Reel Awards, three Environmental Media Awards, a New York Television Festival Award and a National Education Association Award, among others.  He was inducted into the KidScreen Hall of Fame and won the Studio of the Year at Italy’s Cartoons on the Bay International Festival of Television Animation in 2006 (co-awarded to Roy Disney).

Heyward is a member of the Producers Guild of America, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).  He was the 2010 UCLA College of Humanities Commencement speaker and is currently a Mentor in the UCLA mentoring program.  He is active in many community activities, including serving on the Board of Directors of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.