History / HH&S By the Numbers

Hollywood, Health & Society is a program of The Norman Lear Center, and initially funded in part by a cooperative agreement with the CDC.

In 1994, an expert panel was convened by the HIV program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to consider CDC's role working with the entertainment industry in order to reach the public with health information about HIV. Members of entertainment, public health, academic and advocacy organizations came together and discussed the issues involved in this type of collaboration for two days. The panel's final report urged the CDC to work with the entertainment industry to inform writers about HIV and all other health issues that CDC was addressing.

In 1997, the director's office of CDC launched a pilot project that provided information and expert consultants to writers in Hollywood. The pilot project was successful, so in 2001 the CDC awarded the USC Annenberg School's Norman Lear Center a five-year cooperative agreement grant to lead this project. Since then, Hollywood, Health & Society has become a fully developed program, with funding from a range of federal agencies, partner organizations and private foundations.


Vital Statistics | October 2009-Present (unless otherwise noted)

• Worked with over 960 TV series and pilots on over 60 networks and streaming services
• Worked with shows that have as many as 17 million viewers 
• Received over 4,500 inquiries from television writers 
• Conducted 594 expert briefings 
• Covered over 700 topics in inquiries and briefings 
• Worked with over 2,000 experts in inquiries and briefings
2,276 aired storylines resulting from HH&S briefings and consultations over an 8-year period (2012-2020)
• Monitored 16 seasons of prime time TV for health and climate change content (2003- 2019)
    ◦ More than 2,500 hours of content
    ◦ More than 100 different health issues
• Evaluated 23 storylines for audience impact
• Published 32 peer-reviewed journal articles 
• Provided more than 2,000 links to public health information on show websites 
• Worked with over 30 shows to broadcast PSAs, info spots, toll-free numbers 
• Produced 56 quarterly Real to Reel newsletters featuring over 100 health topics
• Produced over 150 tip sheets on priority health topics 
• Presented at over 115 professional conferences 
• Presented over 143 Sentinel for Health Awards