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MONTE CARLO, Monaco — Uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer was honored with the Monte Carlo Television Festival’s lifetime achievement award here Saturday night, with a presentation from Monaco’s reigning monarch, Price Albert II, and a salute from CSI castmembers including Ted Danson, Wallace Langham and Eric Szmanda.
A solo Albert, whose palace announced earlier this week that wife Charlene is expecting their first child, presided over the ceremony, which opened the five-day festival.
“His productions, with the familiar lightning logo, have not only delighted audiences worldwide but also greatly impacted modern culture,” he said, saying Bruckheimer is “in the process of becoming the most successful producer of all time.”
With a tribute to his works from the big screen and small — including Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop and the various CSI incarnations, the audience reflected on Bruckheimer’s 40-year career.
“It’s been said that 80 percent of success is showing up. Perhaps that explains the good fortune that I’ve had because I’ve been showing up for the past 42 years and I have no intention of stopping,” said Bruckheimer.
“He’s one of the most successful producers in the world ever, really, in film and television and we’re in a business where most people celebrate themselves and look for publicity and that’s not who Jerry is. He focuses on the production and he’s a trendsetter and he does things on film that no one else has ever done,” reflected Danson.
As if to prove Danson right, Bruckheimer then seized the microphone and thanked the actors for coming, saying: “It’s not about me, it’s about the writers and the directors and the wonderful people we have in front of the camera that makes the magic, I’m just a small part of it.”
Joel McHale, in town to promote the final network season of Community in Europe, worked with Bruckheimer on the upcoming thriller Deliver Us From Evil. “Jerry is a very patient man and he’s quiet and you realized that the big, loud personalities that are out there are way less intimidating than someone who is absolutely secure with themselves and quiet. He’s just totally content and happy to be working. He could not be cooler on set,” he said.
Bruckheimer is the third high-profile Hollywood award recipient under CEO Laurent Puons tenure, following Disney Media Networks co-chairman Anne Sweeney in 2012 and actor Donald Sutherland’s prize last year. Puons, playing up the current quality of the global “golden age of television,” is working to strengthen the festival’s talent roster in an effort to make it the second South of France festival, becoming to television what Cannes is to cinema.
“It’s very smart, there’s a million film festivals, and television for so many years was the bastard little brother of film,” said McHale. “We are in the golden age of TV because cable has allowed shows to do almost anything they want creatively and give a lot of time to tell those stories, so it’s time to do a festival that celebrates television.”
The festival juries, presided over by Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress Jane Seymour, will award prizes for best series, best miniseries, best TV film and best news program later this week, as well as welcoming Nobel Peace Prize winner Bishop Desmond Tutu for the international premiere of his documentary, Children of the Light.
“We are delighted to welcome two very special gentleman who are both legends in very different fields,” said Puons. “The diverse content of the festival demonstrates its dynamic and eclectic nature making it a unique event on the industry calendar.”
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