JOAN TO PRIMETIME: "TAKE THAT! AND THAT!"
Excellent! The nominations for the prestigious Humanitas Prize are out. In the highly-contested 60 minutes drama category, freshman series Joan of Arcadia has won two of the three nominations. Series creator, Barbara Hall got a nomination for the Pilot episode, and staff writer Joy Gregory also got a nomination for the episode "The Uncertainty Principle". The other nominee in the category is John Wells, who will lose for his episode of ER, "Makemba".
The Humanitas Prize is highly esteemed in the industry and by writers, because it applauds not only technical mastery, but also the overall social worthiness of a project. At stake in the 60 min. category is a $25,000 prize, but much more, bragging rights that a show is responsible and good for the world.
I am actually in happy shock about the nomination - as each year, Humanitas seems to keep getting farther and farther from the Catholic values that inspired its Founder Fr. Ellwood Kieser to inaugurate the award back in the early '80s. I wasn't sure if Joan would be hip enough to get a fair hearing from the same readers who also nominated (gay propaganda ruthlessly unfair dreck) Angels in America to win in the 90 min. television movie category.
Joan is also being heavily promoted by CBS for a prime-time Emmy. The noms for the Emmy's will be released on July 15. I think Joan is probably a shoe-in for an Emmy nom. This is quite extraordinary. In an industry where Nip and Tuck, Queer Eye and The L Word have all the buzz, it's pretty much miraculous a show about a sixteen year old talking to God (and He's a nice God with - in the words of the pilot "a good personality") is finding this kind of acclaim.
I think a big part of this recognition is the power of Barbara's personality. You'd have to know her to know what I mean. Plus the fact that she has a very good show. But as we have seen in the past, having a good project doesn't guarantee anything in entertainment industry awards.