ABC plucks 'Japanese' Rose

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ABC's fish-out-of-water format "I Survived a Japanese Game Show" was the big winner at the 49th Rose d'Or festival, one of Europe's most prestigious TV honors, taking the Best of 2009 prize as well as the Rose trophy for best reality show.

Accepting his trophies, Tim Crescenti of Small World IFT, which produces and distributes "Japanese" internationally, wondered aloud why he was one of the only Americans attending this year's ceremony.

"Maybe it's because so many of the shows on air in America now come from here — from Europe, Asia or South America," he said. "Maybe Americans are afraid to compete with you."

Crescenti went on to trace the history of the show, which started as a paper format out of Denmark and is now on air in several European territories in addition to its U.S. run.

The U.K. and Canada, whose TV industries have taken a beating in the past year, were showered with Roses at Tuesday night's ceremony in the Swiss resort town. Brit shows took home four Rose d'Or statuettes including best arts documentary for Channel 4's "The Curse of Mona Lisa" and best sitcom for ITV's long-running "My Family."

Canada grabbed three Roses, among them the best comedy prize for CBC's "The Rick Mercer Report."

Iranian-American comedian Maz Jobrani hosted the ceremony, which featured a smattering of Hollywood talent as presenters, among them Jennifer Garis of "The Bold and the Beautiful" and "CSI Miami" star Sofia Milos, who brought the house down with her pitch-perfect Swiss German, retained from her childhood in Zurich. (partialdiff)
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