Open Mic

NAACP Image Awards: A Tough Race for TV Nominees

Hillary Atkin Posted February 19, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Could it be? Having a little bit of momentary awards show withdrawal in the midst of the season, after the boom-boom-boom of the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards and the Grammys.

The next televised extravaganza (after the non-broadcast yet very prestigious upcoming WGA Awards and the Costume Designers Guild Awards) will be the 41st Annual NAACP Image Awards, live on Fox Friday, Feb. 26, at 8 p.m. — but tape-delayed on the West Coast — from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

This year’s theme, “One Nation, One Dream,” represents a utopian goal distilled for the prestigious civil rights organization, which is also celebrating entering its second century of civil rights advocacy.

The nominees — representing excellence in television, film, music and literature — got revved up at a luncheon in their honor at the Beverly Hills Hotel, replete with admonishments from EP Vic Bulluck to keep their acceptance speeches to :45. Yeah, like that’s going to happen — but it’s always fair warning before the winner gets played off the stage or has his or her mic cut.

Attendees were treated to a performance by Judith Hill — Michael Jackson’s duet partner in “This Is It” on the ballad “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” Sans Michael, her piano and vocal performance riveted the crowd, and a few tears could be seen around the room.

The show itself promises more such moments — and some tough races on the TV side. Up for outstanding comedy: “30 Rock,” “Everybody Hates Chris,” “Glee,” “Ugly Betty” and “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.”

Perry is up for several other awards, and no suspense here, will receive the Chairman’s Award, in recognition special achievement and distinguished public service. He’ll be in the company of past honorees including Aretha Franklin, Bono, President Barack Obama, The Dave Matthews Band, Danny Glover, Aaron McGruder and Janet Jackson.

Dramatic programs vying for the Image Award are “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Cold Case,” “HawthoRNe,” The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” and “Lincoln Heights.”

Another highlight: recording industry executive Clarence Avant will be inducted into the NAACP Hall of Fame.

(For a complete list of Image Award nominees, click here.)