Genesis Awards Celebrates 10 Years on TV

Tue. May 23, 2000 12:00 AM by Business Wire

Los Angeles, CA - The Fourteenth Annual Genesis Awards 90-minute television special airs on Animal Planet on Saturday, June 10, at 8 p.m and 11 p.m. -- celebrating a remarkable 10 years on television --first on Discovery Channel and now on Animal Planet.

If you weren't one of the nearly 1,100 people in the audience who were wowed by the array of celebrities and awardees, including Prince, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., on March 18, now is your chance to see what you missed!

Hosts David Hyde Pierce ("Frasier") and Wendie Malick ("Just Shoot Me") presided over the black-tie gala as celebrity presenters handed out the coveted Genesis Award in 23 categories.

Presenters included Maria Conchita Alonso, Christian Bale, Dorie Barton, Garcelle Beauvais, Linda Blair, James Cromwell, Frances Fisher, Kelsey Grammer, Valerie Harper, Tippi Hedren, Earl Holliman, Jesse James, Frankie Muniz, Alan Rachins, Doris Roberts, Susan Sullivan, Concetta Tomei, Joan Van Ark and Dennis Weaver.

A highlight of the evening was Prince's humble acceptance of a Special Achievement Award for his latest CD, "Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic," featuring liner notes that decry the suffering of sheep to produce wool clothing.

Prince walked onstage to a standing ovation. "I've received many awards, but I'm truly humbled just to be here ... I'm truly humbled receiving this ... thank you ... to the Ark Trust for this wonderful award," he said. "There are so many wonderful people in the room ... really, this has been a moving experience just being in a room with all of you."

Other "moving experiences" during the television special include the awards to "Instinct" for a thought-provoking exploration of one man's relationship with gorillas; "The Iron Giant," for a touching anti-hunting moment; "Judging Amy," for an episode focusing on the link between animal cruelty and violence to humans; and "Popular," for an episode in which a student refuses to dissect a frog in her biology class.

"It was a spectacular show befitting the new millennium," said Gretchen Wyler, a former Broadway star and current TV actress (guest roles on "Judging Amy," "Providence," "Stark Raving Mad") and founder of The Ark Trust, Inc. "We had an amazing list of winners in all areas of the media ... works that encompass a wide variety of animal issues."

The artistic theme of the Fourteenth Annual Genesis Awards was "On the Brink of Extinction," with a spectacular stage design depicting all those majestic animals -- the giant panda, orangutan, mountain gorilla, cheetah, Asian elephant, tiger and the northern right whale, among others, who face a perilous fate.

"The tiger has been on this planet for 2 million years," Wyler said, "and now the total number of wild tigers, all subspecies, is a mere 3,000! And the fabulous, funny, wonderful orangutan? Only 15,000 left in the wild! We wanted to bring the plight of these majestic animals to our audience's attention."

Wyler and Robert Halmi Sr. are the executive producers and Paul Flattery is the producer of the TV special. The special is sponsored, in part, by Hallmark Entertainment.

News, photos provided by Business Wire.