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Arkansas PBS earns eight Mid-America Emmy nominations

Posted 04 Nov 2020

Winners to be announced Nov. 21

CONWAY, Ark. (Arkansas PBS) — Arkansas PBS has earned eight regional Emmy Award nominations from the Mid-America Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS). Winners will be announced Saturday, Nov. 21.

“Our team at Arkansas PBS is passionate about telling the stories of our state,” CEO Courtney Pledger said. “Whether we’re sharing personal histories of Arkansans or shining a light on the people and traditions of Arkansas communities large and small, we are dedicated to showcasing the perspectives and cultural uniqueness of The Natural State.”

“Men & Women of Distinction: Mike Beebe” received three nominations in the categories of Documentary – Historical, Editor – Program and Director – Non-Live (Post-Produced). This film examines the life of the Honorable Mike Beebe, a product of Arkansas, born in a tar paper shack in Amagon. Beebe rose from his humble beginnings to practice law in Searcy and run for Arkansas Senate – where he was first elected in 1981 and served for 20 years – followed by successful runs for attorney general (2003-2007) and, finally, governor (2007-2015). “Men & Women of Distinction: Mike Beebe” was produced by Arkansas PBS, Kathryn Tucker and Casey Sanders and edited by Les Galusha of Galusha Creative LLC.

“A Garden Home Christmas” was nominated for Lifestyle Program – Program/Special. In this original Arkansas PBS holiday special, television host, author and lifestyle expert P. Allen Smith and floral creative designer Holly Heider Chapple offer inspiration for the holiday season from Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm in Roland, Arkansas. The one-hour program features a vision for holiday cooking, decorating and entertaining with family and friends. “A Garden Home Christmas” was produced by CJ Burks, Brent Walker and Patrick Green.

“Friday Night Fordyce” was nominated for Sports – Program Feature/Segment. Tucked away amid the pines in south central Arkansas is the small town of Fordyce (population 4,300). Renowned for detaining The Rolling Stones in July 1975, Fordyce is also a place of football tradition as the birthplace and childhood home of famed coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Home to Arkansas’s first high school football program, the town of Fordyce fills its Paul “Bear” Bryant Stadium on Friday nights to cheer on their Redbugs. “Friday Night Fordyce” was produced by Kevin Thomas Clark.

“Hazel Walker’s Arkansas Travelers” was nominated for Historic/Cultural – Program Feature Segment. Hazel Walker was the only woman ever to own, manage and star for her own professional basketball team. For 16 seasons – from 1949 to 1965 – her Arkansas Travelers barnstormed the country playing only men's teams under men's rules. And, 80-85 percent of their games ended in Travelers’ wins. “Hazel Walker’s Arkansas Travelers” was produced by Charles Eric White.

“The Nudie Devotee” was nominated for Arts/Entertainment – Program Feature Segement. From Porter Wayne Wagoner to Elvis Presley to Gram Parsons, Nudie Cohn outfitted the stars with elaborate, typically rhinestone-studded suits. This digital short details their incredible history with Arkansas collector Neal Pendergraft filmed at the Fayetteville Roots Festival. “The Nudie Devotee” was produced by Casey Sanders and Charles Eric White.

“Tackling Cancer” was nominated for Human Interest – Program/Special. After the loss of his mom to cancer, Conway High senior linebacker Reed Hughes shares how he is tackling books, sports and keeping his mom’s memory and fighting spirit alive. “Tackling Cancer” was produced by LaShuan Vaughn, Tracy Prince and Charles Eric White.

The NATAS Mid-America chapter, which includes television markets primarily in Arkansas, Illinois and Missouri, was chartered in 1962 and began honoring outstanding achievement in this region with local Emmy awards in 1976. The organization’s mission is to encourage excellence in the television community.

Arkansas PBS is Arkansas’s only statewide public media network, which enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. Arkansas PBS delivers daily, essential, local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers through multiple digital platforms, including on-demand services and YouTube TV, and the distinct channels Arkansas PBS, Arkansas PBS Create, Arkansas PBS KIDS, Arkansas PBS WORLD and Arkansas PBS AIRS on SAP. Members with Arkansas PBS Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. Arkansas PBS depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at Arkansas PBS is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).