The 33rd Humanitas Prize ceremony was held on Tuesday at the Hilton Universal Hotel in Los Angeles, and one of the big winners that night was NBC’s long-running medical drama, ER.
ER scriptwriters R. Scott Gammill and David Zabel reigned in the 60-minute category for the episode “There Are No Angels Here.” Along with the prestigious recognition came a cash prize worth $15,000.
The winning episode was aired during the show’s 12th season. It featured Dr. Gregory Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) working in Darfur, a far western region of Sudan. There he meets an injured Sheik and his pregnant wife, but is unable to give the Sheik proper medical care because the Sudanese police, informed of the couple’s political importance, are preventing him and Dr. John Carter (Noah Wyle) from doing so. The Sheik’s wife gives birth while the Sheik is in prison and suffers post-partum complications. Pratt and Dakarai (guest star Eamonn Walker) plan to transport her to the surgical center, but on their way there, are ambushed by Janjaweed soldiers.
The Humanitas Prize, which was created by Father Ellwood “Bud” Keiser, is an award given to film and television screenwriters whose works promote human dignity, meaning and freedom. Keiser, along with literary figureheads Ray Bradbury and Robert Abernathy, gave out the first Humanitas Prize Awards in 1975.
Aside from ER’s Gammill and Zabel, CBS’ Jennifer Crittenden was also given the award. Her script for The New Adventures of Old Christine episode entitled “Oh God, Yes” won the 30-minute category. The episode showed lead character Christine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) examining her faith as her son (Trevor Gagnon) takes an interest in religion.
Other recipients of the award include Peter Morgan for Longford (90-minute category), Disney Channel’s Anna Sandor for Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front (live-action category) and PBS’ Sindy McKay, Dennis Haley and Marcy Brown for “The Gift,” an episode of Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks (children’s animation category).
HBO’s Jonny Mais, who wrote the Weeds episode entitled “Pot Chocolate,” won the $10,000 David & Lynn Angell Fellowship in Comedy Writing, while writer Larry Gelbart earned the Kieser Award in recognition of his 60-year career.
-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Photo Courtesy of NBC)