Driving Jersey Nominated for an Emmy Award

Home Grown Jersey TV Series and Website honored by National Television Academy

The team of Driving Jersey is pleased and proud to announce that their 4 year old series and video project has been nominated for an Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Achievement in New Approaches to Entertainment ( The category recognizes innovative production techniques and the use of media enhancement to support content. 

The show and concept was created by Steve Rogers (Red Bank) and Ryan Bott (Manahawkin). Each half-hour episode includes profiles of people, places, institutions and ideas all connected to Jersey and all linked to the human experience.  The show has a range of varying content, from magazine style profiles to performances by Jersey singers/songwriters/bands and musicians to moments of zen, the creators call, Look At This.  Originally Driving Jersey was a web only project, regularly premiering new segments and performance videos online.  Rogers and Bott developed segments into half-hour episodes when college and universities in Jersey approached them about airing their content.  The Emmy nomination is based on the content, creativity and execution of both the segments and the site that platforms Driving Jersey’s work.

“The story of Driving Jersey and this nomination is too good to be true, except it is,” said Rogers.  “Four years ago when I started Driving Jersey, I was a correspondent for the Emmy Awards.  I was writing about folks who were nominated or won Emmys.  Now I’m one of them.” 

Rogers was laid off from the Academy at the height of the recession in early 2009.  “It wasn’t easy,” he said, “…it still isn’t.  I, like so many others, would send out resume after resume and never hear a word.  I knew that the only way out was to make my own way.”  Along with Bott, Rogers spent his free time journeying around the state meeting people and documenting their lives.  “We were driving Jersey…simple as that…being inspired or enlightened by every person we met, every story we heard.”

Rogers is also the Producer/Director of the video survey project Given The Power, as well as a contributing writer/producer for AOL in New Jersey.  He is the author of a forthcoming book, 5 Story, which chronicles life at the turn of the twenty-first century in Manhattan.  Bott is also a partner in Given The Power and is the lead singer of the band The Following.

Rogers and Bott grew up in the same Jersey town, but actually connected as friends and collaborators when they met in New York in 2001.  Bott was studying to be an audio engineer at the School of Audio Research. “We shared an interest in film and Jersey,” Rogers said, “actually we mostly shared an interest in creating cool things.  We liked to make things, which is one of the reasons we tag the end of every episode with a “made by” instead of a “produced and directed by.”  When the two friends found themselves back in Jersey, exploring the state again, the idea to capture their adventures sounded like fun and a great project as well.  Driving Jersey was born. 

This is Driving Jersey’s first nomination.  The category was created in 2007.  The first winner in the New Approaches category was of the Black Eyed Peas, for his Yes We Can project and site that energized Barack Obama supporters and created an anthem that led to the White House.  Subsequent winners have included the John Lennon film I Met The Walrus and last year’s winner, Mtv for their series Unplugged

Winners will be announced on June 17that the Creative Arts Ceremony at the Bonaventure Hotel, in Downtown Los Angeles, California.