NEW YORK (November 19, 2006) — The International Emmy Awards typically honor the top television programs produced outside of the United States, but two Americans were among the honorees selected to be lauded during a gala ceremony Monday night.
The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences selected producer-director Steven Spielberg to receive its Founders Award for his “long and distinguished career in television.”
Though noted for his acclaimed films, from “Jaws” to “Schindler’s List,” Spielberg began his career directing episodes of such TV series as “Night Gallery” and “Colombo.” His later TV projects included the long-running medical drama “ER,” the animated series “Animaniacs” and the miniseries “Band of Brothers.”
Ronald S. Lauder, a former U.S. ambassador to Austria, was named as the recipient of the academy’s Directorate Award for fostering the development of independent television broadcasting in six Central and Eastern European countries. Lauder, a former cosmetics executive with Estee Lauder Inc. and a noted New York art collector and museum patron, is also founder and chairman of Central European Media Enterprises, a TV broadcaster in Central and Eastern Europe.
Other award categories include best actor, best actress, comedy, arts programming, children’s programs, documentary and other formats.
British television productions dominated the field, garnering 17 of the 36 nominations. The British detective series “Vincent” (Granada) was nominated in two categories for best drama series and best performance by an actor, Ray Winstone.
Germany and Brazil each had five nominations, while France had three and Norway two. Japan, China, Sweden and the Netherlands had one apiece.
Among the celebrity presenters scheduled to appear at the gala were actresses Rosie Perez and Susan Sarandon; Lorenzo Lamas, star of the popular soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful”; CNN international correspondent Christiane Amanpour; CBS news anchor Katie Couric; Brazilian actor-director Milton Goncalves, French actor Thierry Fremont; Chinese TV journalist Rose Liuqi, and Robert Iler, Dominic Chianese and Steven Van Zandt of the HBO mob family series “The Sopranos.”
The academy is the largest organization of global broadcasters, with more than 500 members from nearly 70 countries.