The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences last night presented the 2nd Annual “Television With A Conscience” Honors recognizing 2008 television programs that “entertained, enlightened and encouraged positive change by presenting a compelling look at various issues of social concern”. Eight shows in all were honored, including FX’s 30 Days. As one of its producers, Ben Silverman was supposed to attend but — surprise, surprise — he was a surprise no-show. So the other three producers went up to the podium. “Ben Silverman couldn’t be here because he is continuing his long love affair with Nikki Finke,” Morgan Spurlock told the audience. Which prompted huge laughs from the insider crowd. Spurlock proceeded to give a fun and earnest speech riffing on the fact that 30 Days has been cancelled. He even went on his knees begging the Academy voters to nominate the show for an Emmy. I hear the most moving monent of the evening had to be when Laura Ziskin joined Sherry Lansing on the podium for the award for Stand Up To Cancer (ABC/NBC/CBS) and became teary-eyed as she told the audience, “As a cancer survivor, I’m determined to beat it. Some 1,500 Americans die every day of cancer. That’s criminal. We can make a difference — and we are.”
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