About Us

Nice Work Productions brings together more than 50 years of award-winning television production experience through its partners, Jay Nelson and Jimmy Rhoades—everything from highbrow national PBS documentaries to network reality shows. A soup-to-nuts creative shop, Nice Work has done both commission work—like the 2012 Michigan Emmy winner Racing with the Sun produced for the University of Michigan and broadcast on the Big Ten Network and Detroit Public Television—and original ideas like their 2011 Michigan Emmy award winner, FIRST in Michigan State Championships: Powered by Chevrolet which they conceived, got sponsored, produced and broadcast on WXYZ-Detroit and other ABC stations across Michigan.

Jay Nelson Nice Work PartnerJAY NELSON – Partner  
jay@nicework.tv In more than two decades with public television, Jay Nelson mastered the trick of producing high-quality, innovative programs on lean budgets. Local, statewide and national series and stand-alone programs he created and executive produced received numerous local, regional and national awards in addition to garnering favorable attention from critics, cultural organizations and viewers alike. Jay created and co-executive produced the much-honored arts & culture series Backstage Pass for Detroit Public Television as well as the then record-setting 1995 pledge special Detroit Remember When, which is still making money for the station.  Jay was also the guy behind the sports documentary Michigan Football Memories which took a unique approach to telling the story of the culture of Michigan football – going beyond the players, coaches and athletic directors to include the band, the fans, the fight songs and the broadcasters.  Legendary former University of Michigan Athletic Director Don Canham – whose marketing genius began a string of sell-out home games that started in the late sixties and continues to this day – said, “Michigan Football Memories is the best thing I’ve seen on Michigan football – bar none.” Jay also heads up Nice Work’s Management Consulting efforts.


Jimmy Rhoades Nice Work PartnerJIMMY RHOADES – Partner  jimmy@nicework.tv In a television and entertainment career that spans more than two decades, Jimmy’s constant and overriding goal has been to engage audiences with great stories. Jimmy began as a stand-up comedian, touring America with a constantly evolving act. Comedy led to television, as he was invited to bring his unique brand of humor to such venues as Star Search, The MTV Half-Hour Comedy Hour, and Comedy Central. The skill set of stand-up lent itself to on-camera hosting, for which Jimmy won three Emmy Awards for his work on Public Television. Soon, he extended his talents behind the camera, writing and producing field segments and studio-based sketches. Along the way, his critically recommended stand-up play, Bark Like a Comic, enjoyed an extended run at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater. In its review of the play, The Chicago Tribune raved that Jimmy was “a cracklingly funny speedball on and off stage!” On the TV front, segment production grew to include all aspects of pre-production, field and studio production, overseeing post to delivery, and even editing his own work. Segment production led to series production, beginning with Detroit’s multiple Emmy Award-winning arts and entertainment series Backstage Pass. During a six-year stretch in Los Angeles, Jimmy entertained America as a producer on shows such as The Bachelor: Special Edition and Average Joe III. As the Director of Development of a mid-sized production company, Jimmy regularly pitched all the major buyers and sold several concepts into cable development, many of which survived the rigors of the network development slate to make air.