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Feb 14, 2003  •  Post A Comment

British Academy Film Awards to air this month

Add Feb. 23 to your award show calendar. That’s when BBC America will telecast, live and commercial-free, the British Academy Film Awards, the United Kingdom’s equivalent of the American Academy Awards. Like the Oscars, the British awards this year are set to be a race between “Chicago” and “Gangs of New York,” which lead the field with 12 nominations each, followed by “The Hours” with 11, “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” with nine and “The Pianist” with seven.

Kurtis to be honored at Chicago International TV Awards: Veteran newsman Bill Kurtis is being honored with a lifetime achievement award at the upcoming 39th annual Chicago International Television Awards, which will take place on March 6. Mr. Kurtis is best known as the executive producer and anchor of A&E’s “Investigative Reports” and “Cold Case Files” and as the anchor of “American Justice.”

Starz Encore names Silverstone VP of program acquisitions: Nancy Silverstone has been promoted from executive director, program acquisitions, to VP, program acquisitions, at Starz Encore Group. She will be responsible for negotiating licensing deals with independent and major studios for first-run and library titles, library buyouts, documentary co-productions, Starz! Pictures premieres and restoration deals, as well as for overseeing the acquisitions budget and for managing the multicultural acquisitions and film evaluation departments.

ABC and Fox pick up comedy pilots: ABC picked up four comedy pilots, while Fox added three to its slate.

ABC greenlighted a still untitled project written by Tom Hertz about an introverted New Yorker who marries into a large, gregarious family from Kansas. It’s produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Brad Grey Television. Mr. Hertz executive produces, along with Brad Grey.

ABC’s other three pilots come from Touchstone Television. “My Life With Men” centers on a woman struggling to raise her four sons, her father, and her husband all at the same time. The show is written and executive produced by Denise Moss and Sy Dukane. Nena Rodrigue is also onboard as an executive producer.

“Hope and Faith,” produced with Industry Entertainment, is a family comedy based on two-sisters – one a housewife and the other a popular soap opera actress – and how their lives are turned upside down when the “star” of the family has to move in with her “normal” sister. Joanna Johnson is the writer and co-executive producer. Keith Addis, Emile Levisetti and Michael Edelstein are also executive producers.

Paramount Television and Storyline Entertainment have partnered with Touchstone to produce an untitled project by writers and executive producers Ann Flett-Giordano and Chuck Ranberg. Its’ about a young couple where the man is from a very conservative, straightlaced family and his girlfriend is the daughter of a gay couple. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are also executive producers.

Fox ordered its latest three sitcom pilots from sister studio 20th Century Fox. “Arrested Development,” produced with Imagine Television, is about a young widower who becomes the family patriarch when his dad goes to jail for fraud. Mitch Hurwitz writes and executive produces, while Ron Howard and David Nevins also executive produce.

A remake of “Mr. Ed” got the greenlight with Jack Handey executive producing and Original Television as a studio partner. Original will also co-produce “The Pool at Maddy Breakers” about three women in their late twenties who were the most popular girls in high school and now no longer are. Ron Leavitt will executive produce. #