HOLLYWOOD — The Brits snagged six out of seven International Emmys at the 32nd annual gala awards event Monday night in New York. Recognizing top shows originally produced and broadcast outside the U.S., the I-Emmy is considered the most prestigious non-American programming competition.
Britain’s BBC took home top honors for drama with “Waking the Dead,” a series about cold cases from the police vaults, while Granada bagged outstanding miniseries with its epic two-part costumer “Henry VIII.”
Meanwhile, the U.K.’s Channel Four walked away with three trophies, one for the newly instituted non-scripted category as well as prizes for documentary and children’s show. The arts program nod was pocketed by Granada for its pictorial bio of author George Orwell.
While the Brits have traditionally done well in I-Emmy competition, there has been a concerted effort by International Academy organizers to spread the wealth, soliciting more countries to submit entries and setting up judging panels in disparate cities around the world.
As a result, Danes, Germans and other continental broadcasters began in the last few years to score highly. This time around, however, the only non-British winner was Germany, with the award for comedy going to Studio Hamburg’s “Berlin, Berlin.”
“This year the British made a major comeback. Over 500 jurors from 38 countries participated in the judging, and they have decided to recognize excellent British productions with the majority of the 2004 I-Emmy Awards,” I-Academy president-CEO Bruce Paisner told Daily Variety
Other honors presented during the three-hour gala were the Directorate Award, which went to TeleMunchen managing director Herbert Kloiber for his contributions to international television; the Founders Award, bestowed on MTV Networks Intl. for revolutionizing music on television and supporting the global fight against HIV/AIDS; and the Ted Cott Award, which went to Len Mauger, veteran Australian Channel Nine broadcaster, in recognition of his outstanding dedication to the I-Academy.
The ceremony at the New York Hilton was hosted by Graham Norton, host of Comedy Central’s “The Graham Norton Effect,” and Channel Four U.K.’s “So Graham Norton.” Among those joining him as presenters, and reflecting the global nature of the event, were Harry Belafonte and Lenny Kravitz; “Queer Eye” star Carson Kressley; stars of the French version of “Queer 5″ Benjamin Bove and Junior; PBS chief exec Pat Mitchell; Phoenix Chinese Channel anchor Luyu Chen; veteran ABC TV exec Herbert Granath; broadcast news icon Don Hewitt; and chairman of China’s Sun Media Lan Yang.
The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is the largest organization of global broadcasters, with members from 62 countries and over 350 companies.
“Waking the Dead”
BBC 1 (U.K.)
— a Granada/WGBH Boston co-production in association with Powercorp. for ITV (U.K.)
“The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off”
–Yipp Films for Channel 4 (U.K.)
“Berlin, Berlin” —
Studio Hamburg (Germany)
— a Twenty-Twenty Prod. for Channel 4 (U.K.)
CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE
“The Illustrated Mum”
— a Granada Kids Prod. for Channel 4 (U.K.)
“George Orwell: A Life in Pictures”
— a Wall to Wall Prod. for BBC 2 (U.K.)
MTV Networks Intl.
TED COTT AWARD
For all variety's headlines, follow us @variety