For the first time in its 15-year history, judges for the Humanitas Prize for humanizing achievement in television writing did not nominate any programs in the $25,000 category for TV movies, saying that none was worthy.
"In the opinion of the judges, this was an excellent year in the half-hour and the hour categories. . . . But in our opinion it was a disappointing year in the long-form category," said Father Ellwood Kieser, president of the Human Family Institute. "We found a number of good movies of the week, but no great ones."
In hopes of stimulating more programs that utilize the full potential of television to enrich as well as entertain, the Pacific Palisades-based institute gives out cash prizes each year to writers whose work is deemed by the judges to project positive values.
Nominees for the $10,000 prize in the 30-minute category were Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer for an episode of NBC's "Baby Boom," Matthew Carlson for ABC's "The Wonder Years" and Carmen Finestra and Gary Kott for NBC's "The Cosby Show."
In the 60-minute category, which carries a $15,000 prize, ABC's "thirtysomething" collected two nominations for episodes by Susan Shilliday and Joseph Dougherty, and ABC's "China Beach" got the other two for a script by Patricia Green and another by John Sacret Young and William Broyles Jr.
In the children's categories, each of which carries a $10,000 prize, the nominations for best live-action script went to Bruce Hanson and Donald McDonald for "ABC Afterschool Special: Date Rape," Bruce Harmon for "ABC Afterschool Special: Taking a Stand," and Alan Gransberg for "CBS Schoolbreak Special: My Past Is My Own."
Writers nominated in the animation category were George Atkins and Gordon Bressak for CBS' "The Adventures of Raggedy Ann & Andy"; Patsy Cameron, Tedd Anasti and Therese Naugle for NBC's "Alvin & the Chipmunks"; and Mike Zaslove, Doug Hutchenson and Larry Bernard for ABC's "The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh."
The winners will be announced July 6.