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PBS dominates News and Documentary Emmy nominations, but CBS also scores big

PBS flexed its usual strength when the News and Documentary Emmy nominations were announced Thursday, racking up 37 nods for its coverage of Taliban youth, the death of Iranian protester Neda Agha-Soltan and a community battle over a mosque in West Virginia, among other topics.

The public television system was followed closely by CBS, which had a particularly good showing, scoring 31 nominations, including 16 for its long-running Sunday newsmagazine “60 Minutes.” HBO placed third with 20 nominations, one of its largest hauls ever, followed by National Geographic, which earned 19. NBC had 17 and ABC got 9.

“CBS Evening News With Katie Couric” may trail its rivals in the ratings, but it earned eight nominations, the most of the network evening broadcasts, including two for its “Follow the Money” investigative series. The top-rated “NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams” got six nods, while ABC’s “World News,” anchored last year by Charles Gibson, had one.

For the third year in a row, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is recognizing “new approaches” to news, documentary and arts programming, categories that require entrants to demonstrate some form of innovation. That has led to a sizable representation of online productions, particularly by newspapers, which have stepped up their video work in recent years.

The websites of the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Boston Globe, San Jose Mercury News, Time and Canada’s Globe and Mail all scored nominations Thursday.

Latimes.com was nominated for best new approach to documentary programming for “Alabama’s Homeboys,” a multimedia piece about a program in which the Los Angeles gang intervention program Homeboy Industries sends former gang members to work with impoverished children in rural Alabama.

The academy announced that this year’s lifetime achievement award will be given to the accomplished documentarian Frederick Wiseman, who has made 30 films, many of them iconic pieces about American institutions.

Also up for an Emmy: Robert “Joe” Halderman, the former CBS “48 Hours Mystery” producer who pleaded guilty in March to attempted grand larceny for trying to extort late-night host David Letterman. Halderman, who is currently serving a six-month jail sentence, was part of a team that produced a piece about Amanda Knox, an American exchange student convicted of killing her roommate in Italy. The story was nominated for best continuing coverage of a news story by a newsmagazine.

— Matea Gold

twitter.com/mateagold

 
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