David Simon can throw the biggest crawfish fry of the year in New Orleans now that he's been unexpectedly gifted with a $500,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation. The foundation calls him one of their 2010 fellows, but we know this award as the "Genius Grant." It's $500K, no strings attached, paid out over five years. (Yes, every year I secretly hope the phone will ring for me…)

After thrilling, jiving, crying and rejoicing over Simon's Crescent City saga "Treme" earlier this year, I can't think of anyone in television who deserves it more. Good for Simon (my guess is he uses at least some of the coin for a philanthropic purpose).

Other showbiz-related grantees include legit helmer David Cromer and jazz composer Jason Moran.

– Cynthia Littleton

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