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House, Earl Among Humanitas Winners

Humanitas cash prizes for life-affirming TV and film writing were given out Wednesday in Los Angeles.

TV winners were:

•Fox's House ($15,000, hour category) for "Three Stories," written by David Shore, saluted for "its poignant probe into the pain and confusion that comes when someone we love disappoints us.”

•HBO's The Girl in the Cafe ($25,000, 90-minute), written by Richard Curtis, cited for "the clarion call to universal concern."

•NBC's pilot for My Name Is Earl ($10,000, 30-minute), written by Greg Garcia, for "its light hearted portrayal of how we can right our wrongs."

•Nick Jr.'s Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends: A Froggy Day in Sunny Patch ($25,000, animation), written by Alice Prodanou, for its "whimsical portrayal of the importance of friendships.”

•Showtime's Edge of America ($25,000, kids live action), written by Willy Holtzman, "for showing that caring and compassionate adults can make a difference."

The prizes were established in 1974 by Father Bud Kieser, an L.A. priest and producer of the TV series Insight. Initially it was bankrolled by a three-year grant from the Lily Foundatioin, but has since been funded by a consortium of studios, the major networks, and individuals.

The prizes are to "sustain writers in their humanizing task," which is roughly defined as those who best "use their immense power in a humanistic way, to enrich as well as entertain their viewers."