British top International Emmys

Jordan, Argentina take home first-ever prizes at nods

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NEW YORK -- Jordan and Argentina took home their first-ever International Emmys as U.K. shows added seven to their country's collection at Monday's ceremony in New York.

That's one more than the Brits won in each of the past two International Emmy competitions. "Life on Mars" again took home the prize for best drama series for its final season on the BBC; it also won in 2006.

Jordan's "The Invasion," produced by Arab Telemedia Prods., won in the telenovela category. It's a love story about a Palestinian during 2002's Israeli military operation. "Television por la identidad," from Argentina's Telefe Contenidos, won for TV movie/miniseries. The mini focuses on how an organization of women rescued their grandchildren after the children's mothers disappeared during the 1976-83 dictatorship.

Beyond that, though, most of the rest of the night belonged, as always, to the Brits. Along with the country's win for "Mars," David Suchet won best performance by an actor for his portrayal of media magnate Robet Maxwell in "Maxwell," produced by the BBC, and Lucy Cohu won best performance for an actress for her role as Liz in "Forgiven" (Betty TV for Channel 4 and More4).

Also winning from the U.K. were "Strictly Bolshoi" (Ballet Boyz Prods. for Channel 4), arts programming; "Shaun the Sheep" (Aardman Animations/CBBC), children and young people; "The I.T. Crowd" (Talkback Thames Production for Channel 4), comedy; and "The Beckoning Silence" (Darlow Smithson Prods./C4/C4i), documentary.

Beyond the wins from Jordan and Argentina, the only other country to spoil the night for the Brits was the Netherlands with "The Big Donor Show" (Endemol for BNN), which won for nonscripted entertainment.

"Law & Order" creator Dick Wolf was honored with the International Emmys Founders Award.

In presenting the award, longtime "L&O" star Sam Waterston described Wolf's accomplishment as having been a virtual writers, actors and directors "full employment act in New York." In his accepting speech, Wolf put the emphasis on the collaborative nature of television citing people including Rene Balcer, Peter Jankowski and Charlie Engel, an NBC Uni executive.

"Doing the show is the most fun you can have with your clothes on," he said.

Elizabeth Guider in New York contributed to this story.
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