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PGA lauds Daly, Semel with its Golden Laurels

Duo has kept studio in top three for 14 years

Robert Daly and Terry Semel, Warner Bros.’ chairmen and co-CEOs, received the Producers Guild of America’s Milestone Award on Tuesday at the guild’s ninth annual Golden Laurel Awards.

The Milestone prize was presented by Dustin Hoffman, who once shunned awards shows but who is up this year for an Academy Award for his role in “Wag the Dog.”

Also featured as presenters at the Beverly Hilton event were “Titanic” Oscar nominee Gloria Stuart, James Woods, Jane Seymour, Pam Dawber, Walter Mirisch and Tony Danza. Michelle Lee and Debbie Allen were hosts, and Jack Wells performed announcing chores.

Semel and Daly, at the head of WB’s senior management since 1981, have helped the studio occupy one of the top three positions in domestic box office for 14 consecutive years.

Among the studio’s hits during the duo’s tenure have been “The Killing Fields,” the “Lethal Weapon” and “Batman” series, “JFK,” “The Fugitive,” “Unforgiven” and “L.A. Confidential.”

The producers of “Confidential,” Arnon Milchan, Curtis Hanson and Michael Nathanson, were among those nominated for the Darryl F. Zanuck Theatrical Producer of the Year Award.

The others were Steven Spielberg, Debbie Allen and Colin Wilson for “Amistad”; James L. Brooks, Bridget Johnson, Kristi Zea, Richard Sakai, Laurence Mark, Laura Ziskin, John D. Schofield and Richard Marks for “As Good as It Gets”; Lawrence Bender, Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, Jonathan Gordon, Su Armstrong, Kevin Smith, Scott Mosier and Chris Moore for “Good Will Hunting”; and James Cameron, Jon Landau and Rae Sanchini for “Titanic.”

The winners, both in motion picture and television categories, had not been announced by press time late Tuesday.

TV noms were divided between non-episodic productions and episodic series, with awards named after veteran TV producer Norman Fenton. In the non-episodic category, the nominees were Michael Fuchs, Nick Paleologos, Fred Zollo, Nellie Nugiel and Bonnie Timmermann for “In the Gloaming”; Bernard Sofronski and Cedric Scott for “Mandela and deKlerk”; Robert Benedetti, Laurence Fishburne, Derek Kavanagh, Kip Konwiser, Kern Konwiser and Peter Stelzer for “Miss Evers’ Boys”; Terence A. Donnelly for “Twelve Angry Men”; and Mark Carliner, John Frankenheimer, Julian Krainin and Ethel Winant for “George Wallace.”

In episodic TV, the nominees were Michael Cascio, CarolAnne Dolan and Diane Ferenczi for “Biography”; Barry Levinson, Tom Fontana, Jim Finnerty, Anya Epstein, David Simon, Julie Martin, Jim Yoshimura, Eric Overmyer and Gail Matrux for “Homicide: Life on the Street”; Garry Shandling, Brad Grey, John Roggi, Jon Vitti, Jeff Cesario, John Ziffren, Becky Hartman-Edwards, Carol Leifer, John Markus, Judd Apatow and Earl Pomerantz for “The Larry Sanders Show”; David Manson, Richard Kramer, Bill Cain, Cyrus Yavneh, Marlane Meyer, Michael Breault, Sandy Kroopf and Vanessa Hayes for “Nothing Sacred”; and Chris Carter, R.W. Goodwin, Howard Gordon, Frank Sponitz, Joseph Patrick Finn, Kim Manners, Paul Rabwin, Rob Bowman, Lori Jo Nemhauser, John Shiban, Vince Gilligan and Ken Horton for “The X-Files.”

The PGA also gave its Vision Awards — intended for projects of an uplifting, humane nature — to “Amistad,” which recounts a revolt by slaves and their subsequent trial; and “Lewis & Clark,” a PBS documentary about the famous explorers, which was produced by Ken Burns. The Nova Award, given to emerging producers who show promise, went Trey Parker and Matt Stone for Comedy Central’s “South Park,” and, in the feature category, to Uberto Pasolini for “The Full Monty.”

In addition, the films “The Sting” and “The Graduate,” as well as TV productions “Brain’s Song” and “Winds of War/War and Remembrance,” were inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame.

Tony Danza presented the Lifetime Achievement Award for television to Garry Marshall. Mirisch, a past winner of the David O. Selznick Lifetime Achievement Award, presented it this year to Clint Eastwood.

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