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Monte Carlo clocking fest kudos

'24,' 'Curb' draw top nods at Golden Nymphs

See winnersMONTE CARLO — “24” beat tough competish from “The Sopranos” and “The West Wing” while “Curb Your Enthusiasm” outdid “Sex and the City” and “Will and Grace” to pick up outstanding producer of the year kudos for, respectively, U.S drama and comedy series at the Monte Carlo TV Festival Golden Nymph awards on Saturday.

“24” cast members including Dennis Haysbert were in Monaco, although Kiefer Sutherland, who netted actor honors for U.S. drama, was notable for his absence. Allison Janney took the actress nod for her role in “The West Wing.”

In the U.S. comedy section, “Curb Your Enthusiasm’s” Larry David won the actor prize and was also credited as producer along with the show’s Jeff Garlin, Robert B. Weide and Tim Gibbons.

The Nymphs were among 26 handed out in various categories plus numerous special prizes at the 43rd edition of the prestigious European event, which kicked off June 30 and closed Saturday.

‘Tipping’ scores

The U.K.’s Sally Head Prod., which produced period drama “Tipping the Velvet” for the BBC, walked away with European producer.

The BBC’s “Out of Control” won for TV film, while “White Teeth,” from the U.K.’s Company Pictures, drew miniseries honors.

BBC News 24 nabbed 24-hour news program for “Iraq War.”

The recently added format Gold Nymphs went to Endemol’s behemoth “Big Brother” for international format, while “The Price Is Right” from the U.K.’s FremantleMedia netted the international format masterpiece category.

Helen Mirren was on hand to promote the TV version of Tennessee Williams’ “The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone,” which was in competish, while Catherine Deneuve was in town for the world premiere of Gallic web TF1’s modern version of “Dangerous Liaisons.”

The less glamorous, three-day format forum, sandwiched between Ted Turner’s Golden Nymph award on June 30 and the awards night, attracted an A-list of 140 producers, distributors and buyers out of 1,100 participants for the festival itself.

Help given

Some 40 buyers from 30 countries attended the event, including Andrea Wong and Duncan Gray, two senior acquisition execs from U.S. network ABC who were in town to discuss format trends and advise distribs and producers on how to get their formats on air in the U.S.

Buyers were also here to shop for new formats and Sony’s reality talkshow “Flashback,” which uses hypnotic regression to help people gain control of their fears, nightmares and memories, ranked as the most screened program.

Runners up were BBC Worldwide’s “The Sack Race,” in which two contestants compete to be fired from their job on their first day, and Celador Intl.’s “Chain of Thought,” in which two players go head to head in a cerebral challenge to find connections between everything from people to places, literature to movies and historical events to popular culture.

Major networking op

While the format workshop seemed fairly low-key, delegates remarked that, unlike Mip TV or Mipcom, Monte Carlo gave them “quality time” with senior buyers. Many Brits also likened the event to the Edinburgh Intl. Television Festival, which attracts senior U.K. execs and is a key networking opportunity.

David Tomatis, exec VP of the Monte Carlo TV Festival, admitted there was more work to be done to create greater interaction between the festival and the format forum, but he was happy with the event overall.

“If formats are the hot topic next year, then I have no problem with renewing it. We will start to look at that in September. I am much happier with the conference content this year because last year, it was too diversified.”

And the winners are . . .

TV FILM
“Out of Control,” BBC1, U.K.
Script: Pierre Colin-Thibert and Jean-Claude Islert, “Une Ferrari pour Deux,” TF1 and PM Films, France
Director: Krisztina Deak, “Jadviga’s Pillow,” MTV HungarianTelevision, Hungary
Actor: Gotz George, “The Lawyer and his Guest,” (Der Anwalt und sein Gast), Südwestrundfunk, Germany
Actress: Marthe Villalonga, “Born of the Mother of the World” (Nés de la mère du monde) — Cipango, France

MINISERIES
“White Teeth,” Company Pictures, U.K.
Script: Dan Frank, “Jean Moulin,” Scarlett, France
Director: Beeban Kidron, “Murder,” BBC2,U.K.
Actor: Thomas Sangster, “Entrusted,” Le Sabre/Grundy Italia/Simply Committed, France/Germany
Actress: Naomie Harris, “White Teeth,” Company Pictures, U.K.

CURRENT AFFAIRS
“Hugo Chavez — Inside the Coup” (Hugo Chavez – ein Staatsstreich von Innen) – ZDF, Germany
“Back to Bagdad” (Tilbage til Bagdad) — Danish Broadcasting Corp., Denmark

NEWS PROGRAMS
“Guinea Refugees: Sex for Food” — CNN, U.K.
“Iraq War”– BBC1, U.K.

24-HOUR NEWS PROGRAMS
“Iraq War” — BBC News 24, U.K.

EUROPEAN TELEVISION PRODUCER AWARD
Sally HeadProductions, U.K.

PRODUCER AWARDS FOR TV SERIES
DRAMA
Producer: Brian Grazer, Tony Krantz, Howard Gordon, Robert Cochran, Joel Surnow, Sirus Yavneh for “24”
European Producer: Marc Conrad, Friedrich Wildfeuer for “Abschnitt 40”
Actor: Kiefer Sutherland (“24”).
Actress: Allison Janney (“The West Wing”)

COMEDY
Producer: Larry David, Jeff Garlin, Robert B. Weide, Tim Gibbons for “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
European Producer: Mark Bussell, Justin Sbresni for “Barbara”
Actor: Larry David (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”)
Actress: Marina Orsini

INTERNATIONAL FORMAT
“Big Brother,” Endemol Intl., The Netherlands
Special Mention: “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” Celador, U.K.

INTERNATIONAL FORMAT MASTERPIECE
“The Price is Right,” FremantleMedia, U.K.

SPECIAL PRIZES
The Special Prize of H.S.H. Prince Rainier III
“Uppdrag granskning: Hotet från oljan” (Black Sea – TroubledWaters), SVT, Sweden

The Monaco Red Cross Prize
“Pour une poignée de roupies,” TF1, France.

The Red Cross Intl. Committee Prize
“Correspondent: Kenya — White Terror,” BBC2, U.K.

The Amade Prize (World Assn. of Children’s Friends) under the patronage of UNESCO
Fiction: “A Brother for Life” (Dakishimetai), NHK, Japan
News: “Pour une poignée de roupies,” TF1, France.

Signis prize from the Intl. Catholic Assn.
Fiction: “Out of Control,” BBC1, U.K.
News: “Les petits soldats de l’armée russe” (Little Russian Soldiers), Noon, France

University for Radio and Television Intl. documentary grand prix Arman Trophy
“La leçon detolerance,” RTBF, Belgium, director: Roger Beeckmans

Silver Medal: “S21, la machine de mort Kmère rouge,” UNESCO, director Rithy Panh
Bronze Medal: “Et les arbres poussent en Kabylie,” ARTE, France, director Djamila Sahraoui
Special Mention: “L’Odyssée de l’espece,” France 3, director JacquesMalaterre

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