The writers of TV movies about deafness, Alzheimer's disease and dyslexia were nominated Thursday for the top honors in the 1986 Humanitas Prizes, which reward "humanizing achievement in television."
The winner in the category for prime-time programs at least 90 minutes in length will receive $25,000. The nominees are Clifford Campion for the CBS movie "Love, Mary," about a young woman who escaped reform school and went on to become a doctor after it was discovered she had dyslexia; Darlene Craviotto for the NBC movie "Love Is Never Silent," about a girl who is the only link to the hearing world for her deaf parents; and Vickie Patik for the CBS movie "Do You Remember Love," about a woman suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
John Markus, who won $10,000 last year for an episode of "The Cosby Show," was nominated in the 30-minute category again this year for another episode of the popular NBC comedy, titled "Denise's Friend." One of his fellow writers on the series, Matt Williams, also was nominated for a "Cosby Show" episode, "An Early Spring," while the third nomination went to David Lloyd for the pilot episode of "Mr. Sunshine" on ABC.
Nominated in the 60-minute category, which carries a $15,000 prize, were Bruce Franklin Singer for the "Every Daughter's Father Is a Virgin" episode of ABC's "Moonlighting," Robert Eisele for the "Ordinary Hero" episode of CBS' "Cagney & Lacey," and Channing Gibson, John Masius and Tom Fontana for the "Sanctuary" episode of NBC's "St. Elsewhere."
The prizes, to be handed out at a luncheon Thursday, are awarded by the Human Family Educational & Cultural Institute, a Pacific Palisades-based organization that has been giving prizes since 1975 to writers of television programs that "affirm the dignity of the human person, probe the meaning of human life (and) help liberate, enrich and unify the human family."
Nominations also were announced in the children's live action category, but none were made in the area of children's animation. Father Ellwood Kieser, president of the institute, explained that while many of the animated scripts entered this year exhibited humor, "we were unable to find shows that sufficiently tapped the humanizing potential of animation. This is a cause for sadness for us."
Competing for the $10,000 prize in the live action category are Josef Anderson for an "ABC Afterschool Special" called "No Greater Gift," Jeanne Betancourt for another "ABC Afterschool Special," "Don't Touch," and Alan L. Gansberg and Judith M. Gansberg for "Have You Tried Talking to Patty?," a presentation of "CBS Schoolbreak Special."