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Imprisoned producer among Emmy nominees

David Letterman's failed extortionist nabs nom for '48 Hours'

The former CBS News producer imprisoned for attempting to extort David Letterman was nominated for an Emmy on Thursday.

Robert "Joe" Halderman, the "48 Hours Mystery" producer who pled guilty to attempted grand larceny in March, was one of four producers honored for outstanding continuing news coverage for a story about a student convicted of killing her roommate. Halderman is currently serving a six-month sentence.

As usual, PBS received the most nominations, getting 37. The public broadcaster was followed by CBS (31), HBO (20), National Geographic (19), NBC (17), ABC (9), CNN and History Channel (6), CNBC (4), BBC America 2 (2) and MSNBC (1).

CBS' "60 Minutes" was the most honored news program, getting 16 award nominations. "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric" received eight nods, "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" and "National Geographic Explorer" earned six.

The Lifetime Achievement award will be given to documentarian Frederick Wiseman, who has produced, directed and edited 38 films.

"From the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the struggling American economy, to the inauguration of Barack Obama, 2009 was a significant year for major news stories," said Bill Small, chairman of the news and documentary Emmys. "The journalists and documentary filmmakers nominated this year have educated viewers in understanding some of the most compelling issues of our time, and we salute them for their efforts."