Coens take home Scripter, PGA awards

Saturday evening was a busy one for writer-director Joel Coen.

The iconoclastic filmmaker arrived around 8 p.m. at USC's Doheny Library to pick up the 20th anniversary USC Libraries Scripter Award for "No Country for Old Men."

The award honors both the author and screenwriter of the year's best book-to-film adaptation. Novelist Cormac McCarthy's award was accepted by actress Christine Lahti, and Coen accepted for both himself and his younger brother Ethan, who was stuck at an airport.

After an appreciative "thank you," Coen was whisked to the Beverly Hilton Hotel for the Producers Guild Awards ceremony, where the siblings and Scott Rudin won the Darryl F. Zanuck award for producer of the year in theatrical motion pictures.

The PGA win caps a fruitful week for the Coens and their film-noir western thriller that saw the brothers winning the Directors Guild of America top prize and the cast winning best ensemble at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

With the Oscars less than three weeks away, "No Country for Old Men" is shaping up to be the front-runner for the top Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences prizes.

Besides "No Country," the PGA also selected Brad Lewis as producer of the year in animated theatrical motion pictures for "Ratatouille" and Michael Moore and Meghan O'Hara as producers of the year in documentary features for "Sicko."

On the television side, Tom Thayer, Dick Wolf and Clara George won the David L. Wolper producer of the year award in long-form television for HBO's "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee."

David Chase, Brad Grey, Ilene S. Landress, Terence Winter, Matthew Weiner, Harry Bronchstein, Diane Frolov & Andrew Schneider, Martin Bruestle and Gianna Maria Smart picked up the Norman Felton producer of the year award in drama for HBO's "The Sopranos."

The Danny Thomas producer of the year award in episodic comedy went to Lorne Michaels, Tina Fey, Marci Klein, Robert Carlock, Jeff Richmond and Jerry Kupfer for NBC's "30 Rock." Rounding out the TV category were Discovery Channel's "Planet Earth," which received the producer of the year award in nonfiction television and Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," which won the producer of the year award in live entertainment/competition.

Alan Horn earned the PGA's Milestone Award; Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall received the David O. Selznick award for achievement in theatrical motion pictures; Dick Wolf, the Norman Lear achievement award in television; Simon Fuller netted the Visionary Award; YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen were the recipients of the Vanguard Award; and "The Great Debaters" received the Stanley Kramer award.

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