'Desperate' times at Monte Carlo TV fest

ABC dramedy wins audience award

MONTE CARLO -- "Desperate Parents" and "Desperate Housewives" shared the spotlight on Thursday night, with both series taking top prizes in the comedy category as the 49th annual Monte Carlo TV Festival wrapped.

ABC/Disney's "Desperate Housewives" received the fourth annual Eurodata TV International Audience Award for top comedy series at the festival's Golden Nymphs awards ceremony at Monaco's Grimaldi Forum. France 2's Gallic series "Desperate Parents" saw its producer Elephant Story named outstanding international producer in the TV comedy category, while the show's stars Valerie Bonneton and Bruno Salomone were named best actress and best actor in a comedy series, respectively.

Eurodata's other international TV audience awards went to Fox's "House" for best drama TV series and to "The Bold and the Beautiful" for best soap opera worldwide.

German producer Hofmann & Voges Entertainment was named outstanding European producer in the comedy category for "Turkish for Beginners." German miniseries "The Wolves" shared the title of best miniseries with Belgian title "Flesh & Bones." The U.K.'s "The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall" was named best television film, and the film's director Rowan Joffe was named outstanding director.

French actress Isabelle Adjani shared her best actress win for "Skirt Day" with British actress Julie Walters for her role in "A Short Stay in Switzerland." Japan's Masakazu Tamura took home the best actor prize in the TV movie category for his turn in "Ah, You're Really Gone Now."

Canada's CBC TV took home the award for best TV news item for the network's coverage of the Zimbabwe election while the U.K.'s Sky News was named best 24-hour news program for coverage of the Mumbai attacks.

The five-day event, presided over by Monaco's Prince Albert II, hosted TV stars from across the Atlantic including Matthew Fox ("Lost"), Jennifer Love Hewitt ("Ghost Whisperer"), Kate Walsh ("Private Practice"), Eric Close ("Without a Trace") and Kyle MacLachlan ("Desperate Housewives").

"The Monte Carlo TV Festival is great because it's a celebration of television and great storytelling. It's a chance for us to come back to say thank you to all of our fans," Eric Close said, despite his bittersweet appearance after CBS recently canceled "Without a Trace" for the fall season.

"To be someplace where everyone is so passionate about TV is really cool," "Sex and the City" and "90210" producer Darren Star said in an interview, adding: "I'm surprised to see so many people from the TV business in L.A. here."

The closing ceremony was followed by a gala dinner in the Monte Carlo Sporting Club with the prince, featuring music from the Twelve Irish Tenors group.
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