HOLLYWOOD — Scribes David Magee (“Finding Neverland”), Kier Pearson and Terry George (“Hotel Rwanda”), and Frank Cottrell Boyce (“Millions”) are among the finalists for the 2005 Humanitas Prize.
Twenty-three writers in six film and TV categories will compete for a total of $115,000 in prize money. Awards luncheon will be June 29 at the Hilton Universal Hotel; Frank Pierson, who is receiving the Kieser Award, will be the keynote speaker.
Humanitas trustees voted not to give a 30-minute TV comedy award this year, citing a lack of half-hour shows that met the group’s standards for both humor and human insight.
“We like to keep the bar high,” said Humanitas prexy Frank Desiderio. “And this year, we just didn’t see that they reached that bar.” In the past, the prize has gone to shows such as “MASH,” “The Cosby Show” and “The Wonder Years.”
In the 60-minute TV drama category, Fox’s rookie medical skein “House” received two nominations — for its pilot, by David Shore, and an episode penned by Sara B. Cooper. NBC dramas “ER” and “The West Wing” round out the four-finalist race.
Contenders for 90-minute program are Lionel Chetwynd (A&E’s “Ike: Countdown to D-Day”), Ruben Santiago Hudson (HBO’s “Lackawanna Blues”) and Jeff Arch (CBS’ “Saving Milly”).
Established in 1974, the Humanitas Prize recognizes writing that deals positively with the human experience. Past winners include Steven Bochco (“Hill Street Blues”), Steven Zaillian (“Schindler’s List”), Matt Damon and Ben Affleck “(Good Will Hunting”) and Kenneth Lonergan (“You Can Count on Me”).
Feature Film ($ 25,000)
“Finding Neverland,” screenplay by David Magee (Miramax)
“Hotel Rwanda,” written by Kier Pearson and Terry George (United Artists)
“Millions,” written by Frank Cottrell Boyce (Fox Searchlight)
90-Minute ($ 25,000)
“Ike: Countdown to D-Day,” written by Lionel Chetwynd (A&E)
“Lackawanna Blues,” written by Ruben Santiago Hudson (HBO)
“Saving Milly,” teleplay by Jeff Arch (CBS)
“ER” (“Alone in a Crowd”), written by Dee Johnson (NBC)
“House” (pilot), written by David Shore (Fox)
“House” (“Damned if You Do”), written by Sara B. Cooper (Fox)
“The West Wing” (“NSF Thurmont”), written by John Wells (NBC)
Children’s Animation ($ 10,000)
“Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks” (“Waking Thor”), written by Kelly Ward and Cliff MacGillivray (PBS)
“Paz” (“Things Change”), written by James Still (Discovery Kids – TLC)
“ToddWorld” (“Who’s Your Best Friend?”), written by Pamela Hickey and Dennys McCoy (Discovery Kids – TLC)
Children’s Live-Action ($ 10,000)
“Buffalo Dreams,” written by Marjorie Schwartz Nielsen (Disney Channel)
“Carry Me Home,” written by Christopher Fay (Showtime)
“Searching for David’s Heart,” teleplay by Karen Leigh Hopkins and Alan Marc Levy (ABC Family)
Sundance Feature Film ($10,000)
“Love, Ludlow,” screenplay by David L. Paterson
“The Motel,” screenplay by Michael Kang
“Swimmers,” screenplay by Doug Sadler