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Ninth Annual NATPE Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award Nominees

In honor of the late programming executive Brandon Tartikoff, NATPE recognizes four figures in TV  each year with the Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award.

Known as a professional whiz who brought a singular sense of humor and respect for the creative  process to all that he did, Tartikoff passed away in 1997 at age 48. Among his career triumphs, at 31,  he took over a then-struggling NBC Entertainment and in a few short years turned NBC into a ratings winner. He introduced such enduring hits as Cheers, Hill Street Blues, The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Golden Girls and St. Elsewhere.

The Legacy Award is presented to individuals who embody the sort of extraordinary passion, leadership,  independence and vision in creating TV programming that Tartikoff exhibited throughout his career. Profiles of the 2012 Legacy Award recipients appear below. This year's honorees are:

Matthew Weiner: A Gent, Provocateur

Mad Men creator feeds determination to produce strong characters we can't get enough of
By Paige Albiniak

For many television scribes, writing and executive producing what a fair number have heralded to be the best show ever to hit the air -- The Sopranos -- might have been enough. For Matt Weiner, it was just the beginning. More

Cecile Frot-Coutaz: Ideal 'Idol' Shepherd

FremantleMedia North America boss' business roots, creative chops, diplomacy combine to create perfect leadership for pop-culture hits
By Andrea Morabito

After American Idol rebounded following Simon Cowell's departure, it became clear the secret to the Fox reality show's long-running success was not just its acerbic British judge. But it may be in part to the woman behind the scenes of Idol: Cecile Frot- Coutaz, CEO of FremantleMedia North America. More

Dennis Swanson: Man With the Midas Touch

Creating success at every stop, and finding it in Oprah and Regis and Kathie Lee
By Paige Albiniak

Dennis Swanson is a member of broadcasting's old guard. He's a bear of a man, an intimidating-looking former Marine, and when he speaks, it's to the point. But as we know, looks can be deceiving. More

Fernando Gaitán: 'Betty, la Fea' His Hit, But No Swan Song

Journalist-turned-TV creator continues telling modern stories with universal themes as Colombia RCN-TV executive  
By Paige Albiniak

Fernando Gaitán, vice president of production and content at Colombia's RCN-TV, took the classic story of the ugly duckling and turned it into the  most popular soap opera the world has even seen. More