TV Producer Will Receive UNH Alumni Association's Highest Award on Friday, Oct. 1

By Kim Billings
UNH News Bureau

DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire Alumni Association will award its highest honor -- the Pettee Medal -- to television producer Marcy Peterson Carsey Friday, Oct. 1.

The award ceremony takes place at Johnson Theatre in the Paul Creative Arts Center. The program will be simulcast in two locations, the Hennessey Theatre, also in PCAC, and in the Memorial Union Building's theater, located on the top level of the MUB.

Carsey, who graduated cum laude from UNH in 1966 with a degree in English, is the producer of such hits as "The Cosby Show," "Roseanne" and "3rd Rock from the Sun."

"Marcy's accomplishments as a television producer, businesswoman, role model for other women in business, and philanthropist are legion," says Paul Caswell, president of the Alumni Association. "She exemplifies the kind of outstanding achievement and distinguished service represented by the late Dean Pettee, for whom the medal is named, and we are proud to award it to her."

Carsey's talents are familiar to anyone who has watched television in the last two decades. Together with partner Tom Werner, Carsey has built the world's most successful independent production company.

Carsey says she strives to make every show "worthy of its airtime. We have found that if you want to produce good T.V., you have to do it in a unique way, ignoring the trends and trusting your instincts," she explains. "That means bringing together the finest writers, castingdirectors, producers and directors, and allowing those talented people to grow and flourish."

Carsey-Werner has had a string of hits since its first, "The Cosby Show," in 1984. During the 1988-89 season, the company became the first independent company or studio to sweep the top three rankings, with "The Cosby Show" at number one, "Roseanne" at number two, and "A Different World" at number three. Since then Carsey-Werner has produced many successful comedies, including "Grace Under Fire, "Cybill," "3rd Rock from the Sun," "That '70s Show," and "Cosby." Carsey-Werner has won the Emmy, the People's Choice Award, the Golden Globe, the NAACP Image Award, the Humanitas Prize, the Peabody, and humanitarian awards for its efforts to produce responsible television.

Prior to the award presentation, Carsey will be interviewed by fellow alumna Natalie Jacobson, a graduate of the class of 1965 and one of Boston's best-known television news anchors. Jacobson joined WCVB-Channel 5 in Boston as a reporter in 1972, and in that same year, became the anchor of the station's noon newscast.

In 1976, Jacobson became the first woman to anchor an evening newscast in Boston, and today she and her husband, Chet Curtis, are co-anchors of three of NewsCenter 5's nightly news programs. With Jacobson as anchor, NewsCenter 5 has garnered nearly every top broadcasting award, including several New England Emmys for best newscast, the highest awards given by the Associated Press and United Press International, and the 1985 Peabody Award.

September 27, 1999

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