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William Blinn to receive WGAW lifetime nod

23 December 2008 12:00 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The WGA West will honor William Blinn with its Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television during the 2009 Writers Guild Awards ceremony Feb. 7.

The guild's highest TV award, the Laurel honors lifetime achievement for outstanding television writing. Blinn will join the ranks of Rod Serling, Norman Lear, Steven Bochco, Susan Harris, Stephen J. Cannell, John Wells and last year's honoree, David Chase.

Blinn's five-decade resume includes the TV longform projects "Roots," "Brian's Song" and "The Boys Next Door" and such series as "The New Land," "Fame," "Eight Is Enough," "Starsky & Hutch," "Gunsmoke," "Bonanza," "My Favorite Martian" and "Rawhide." He also co-wrote the hit 1984 Prince film "Purple Rain."

Blinn has been nominated for five Emmys and six Writers Guild Awards, winning two of each. He also won a Peabody Award for "Brian's Song" and the Humanitas Prize for "Roots."

"William Blinn's writing changed the face of television," Wgaw president Patric Verrone said. »

- By Jay A. Fernandez

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'Truth' doc up to bat with Gossett

11 March 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- Louis Gossett Jr. has signed on as executive producer and narrator of a documentary titled The Untold Truth about the Negro Baseball Leagues.

The docu focuses on the history of black baseball from 1865-1947, when Jackie Robinson became the first black baseball player in the major leagues.

Gossett (Roots) is partnering with Los Angeles-based Wrapped Prods. and its principals John Rittenour, Gregg Champion and Gary Ballen, who will executive produce the project with Gossett and secured an exclusive rights contract with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo., to make the film.

Ballen, a music producer and talent manager, brought Gossett on board. Champion, a sports producer and director who has worked for Fox Sports Net, CBS, NBC and ESPN, is directing the docu, which still is seeking a distribution partner. The plan is to release the film during this year's World Series.

" 'Roots' showcased African-American history from slave trade to emancipation," Gossett said. »

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