MSNBC, largely through National Geographic Explorer, led the field of cable channels that earned 2003 News and Documentary Emmy Award nominations last week.
The network received 13 nominations, 12 of which were for Explorer, one of cable's longest-running and most-awarded series. Show segments cited in various categories included "Forgotten Desert", "Owls: Silent Hunters" and "Terminal Velocity."
After years in a two-hour format, Explorer launched a revamped version on MSNBC last month, cut to an hour, renamed Ultimate Explorer
and hosted by Lisa Ling, formerly of ABC's The View.
For its part, National Geographic Channel received two nominations for episodes of National Geographic Today
and True Originals.
The News With Brian Williams
— a former MSNBC attraction that moved to NBC-owned sibling CNBC last summer — earned its first News Emmy nomination as a CNBC program for its "Jerusalem ER" reports.
Nearly 1,500 entries were considered for this year's awards, all for outstanding program and individual achievements during 2002.
"They illustrate the excellent work currently being done in the field," National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences president Peter Price said in a statement. "The hard news nominees showcase remarkable reporting on such diverse topics as international terrorism, airport security, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the arrest of the D.C. snipers, the brutal conflict in the Congo and the rescue of the Pennsylvania miners. The breadth of coverage in the documentary area is equally impressive."
Nominated documentaries, Price added, "include a five-part series on the human brain to a portrait of the celebrated American landscape photographer Ansel Adams."
Cable News Network picked up six nominations, four for episodes of its CNN Presents
documentary hour dealing with al-Qaeda, Iraq and other subjects. Among other news networks, Fox News Channel said it did not submit any entries.
Three Discovery Channel programs —Kids Behind Bars, Mortal Enemies
and Weird Nature
— collectively earned the network five nominations. Multiple nominations were also handed to The History Channel, Cinemax, Home Box Office, The Learning Channel and Sundance Channel.
A&E Network, Animal Planet and Discovery Health Channel were given one nomination each.
The winners will be presented Sept. 3 in New York. A new set of awards for business and financial journalism will be showcased late this fall.