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David E. Kelley — and Judge Judy — among NATPE honorees

November 10, 2009 | 12:13 pm

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The Hollywood Reporter has noted that NBC Universal Television Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin, Emmy-winning writer-producer David E. Kelley, GroupM Chief Executive Irwin Gotlieb and Judge Judith Sheindlin (of "Judge Judy" fame, of course) are the recipients of the seventh annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards, which will be presented Jan. 25 as part of the National Assn. of Television Program Executives' (NATPE) 2010 Market and Conference in Las Vegas. 

The awards were announced Sunday by NATPE President and Chief Executive Rick Feldman and Chairman Kevin Beggs, who is also Lionsgate's president of TV programming and production. The Tartikoff Legacy Award was created to recognize "a select group of television professionals who exhibit extraordinary passion, leadership, independence and vision in the process of creating television programming and in evoking the spirit of Tartikoff's generosity."

Tartikoff was the much-respected president of NBC's entertainment division whose programming, which included such enduring hits as "Hill Street Blues," "L.A. Law" and "Cheers," helped turn around the network's ailing fortunes in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Gaspin, who was promoted to the chairmanship in July, oversees all of NBC Universal's television entertainment operations. Kelley's credits include such critically acclaimed and Emmy-winning programs as "Boston Legal," "Ally McBeal" and "The Practice." Gotlieb's GroupM is the world's largest advertising media company in terms of billings; it was formed in 2003 by WPP Group to act as parent company for many of its media agencies, including Maxus and MindShare. Sheindlin is a former New York family court judge whose successful syndicated series, now in its 13th season, has received 12 Emmy nominations since its launch in 1996.

— Paul Gaita

Photo: David E. Kelley. Credit: Getty Images.

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