The Hollywood Reporter
April 6 - 8, 2001

'Traffic,' NBC score top PRISMs

USA Films added another award to its "Traffic" trophy case when the Steven Soderbergh-directed film won the PRISM Award for theatrical feature film Wednesday night at the fifth annual PRISM Awards. The movie, which garnered four Oscars last month, won over nominees "Bounce," "Pay It Forward," "Requiem for a Dream," and "28 Days."

NBC was the night's other big winner in the awards that recognize the accurate depiction of drug, alcohol and tobacco use and addiction in film, television and comic books. The awards are presented by the Entertainment Industries Council.

NBC received the Larry Stewart Leadership and Inspiration Award for being an encouraging model to the entertainment industry in the accurate portrayal of drugs and alcohol use and addiction.

The network's "Third Watch" got the award for television drama series/episode, while "ER" took home the award for television drama series/storyline.

"I think it's so wonderful that in a country and a business that's so affected by market forces which cause people to write more stereotypical and simplistic behavior· (we) have an award like this that encourages people to get into the subtler, more complex and real behaviors (of characters)," "Third Watch" writer Julie Hebert said.

"At NBC, we take the responsibility of serving the public trust very seriously, and we try to do things that are pro-social and positive," Sassa said in accepting the Stewart award on behalf of the network.

Other winners included HBO's "Sex and the City" for television comedy series story line and CBS' "Cosby" for television series episode. "Days of Our Lives," "In a Heart Beat," "Powerpuff Girls," HBO's "The Corner" and A&E's "Dick Van Dyke: Put on a Happy Face" also were winners. "X-Men" won in the comic category.

The event, which took place at Stage 36 of CBS Television City, was taped for syndication broadcast in August. Co-hosts Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis tried to keep things light, but it was presenter Shawnee Smith ("Becker") who stole the show by surprising the audience with her wacky non sequiturs and fresh-faced attitude.

Presenters included Noah Wyle, Christopher McDonald, Julie Warner, Melissa Joan Hart, Jacob Vargas, Jeffrey Tambor, Hector Elizondo, Alan Thicke, Hattie Winston, Alex Desert and Terry Farrell.

Among the guests were Timothy Busfield, Christa Campbell, Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Roland McFarland, ABC Entretainment's Jacqueline Lyons, Showtime's Sharon Byrens and Cindy Bell, HBO's John Murchison and Kary Antholis, CBS' Lori Shefa, MCA Records' Marilyn Batchelor, MYV's Brian Garden, Doris Roberts, Charles S. Dutton and "ER" producer Joe Sachs and supervising producer R. Scott Gemill.