Afternoon Notes: Nevins, Hewitt, VH1’s ‘Megan’ Suspect

Three unrelated stories that loosely break down as “The Good, The Good and the Bad, and the Ugly:”

Sheila2005 — HBO documentary czar Sheila Nevins is an extremely deserving choice for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ annual Governors Award, which recognizes extraordinary use of the medium.

At times, it seems as if Nevins and HBO have been single-handedly supporting the serious documentary business, especially with so little first-rate reporting done by the network newsmagazines.

Here are some of the vital stats from the academy’s release:

This year, in addition to the Governors Award, Nevins is nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards: three nominations for The Alzheimer’s Project including Grandpa Do You Know Who I Am?; as well as a nomination for  Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery.  Over the course of the 21 years that Nevins and her HBO documentary unit have been participating in the Primetime Emmy Awards, she has personally amassed 54 nominations and 22 wins, including 2008’s White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for “Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking,”   Classical Baby for “Outstanding Children’s Program,” When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts for “Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking”; and Ghosts of Abu Ghraib for “Outstanding Nonfiction Special” in 2007, and many more. 

During Nevins tenure, HBO’s critically acclaimed documentaries have gone on to win 20 Academy Awards. As an executive producer or producer, she has received 22 Primetime Emmy® Awards, 25 News and Documentary Emmys® and 31 George Foster Peabody Awards, as well as a personal Peabody Award.  In 2005, she was given the News and Documentary Emmy for Lifetime Achievement by the National Television Academy in New York, as well as another Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Documentary Association.  She was inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2000.

Don Hewitt deserves every accolade thrown his way for creating “60 Minutes,” but as even the producer — who died at age 86 — discussed in his later years, there was a darker side to the program’s popularity.

Once news divisions were perceived as a profit center, it changed the way that networks thought about them — and helped grease the wheels for the bastardization of broadcast news that we’ve seen over the years.

The irony is that Hewitt’s CBS program — which continued to indulge in tough investigative reporting — inspired a host of imitators that took all the wrong lessons away from its success.

— Too little is known to draw any informed conclusions about Ryan Jenkins — the murder suspect featured in VH1’s “Megan Wants a Millionaire” — but I feel pretty safe in saying that this is another reminder that people who make a career out of going from one reality TV show to another are a mercurial bunch.

As police search for Jenkins, VH1 has announced that it is pulling “Megan.” And according to TMZ, Jenkins is also featured in the third edition of “I Love Money,” which might also have to be shelved if the contestant faces a murder charge.

All this needs to be sorted out, but on its face, that old adage “If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas” comes to mind. 

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Voices News from Variety