The NAACP Image Awards have been televised for years, but this is the first time they'll be live.

And LL Cool J, who was chosen to host, looks at it as a special honor. "It's kind of like, if you're going to have someone take the last shot [in a basketball game], who do you want to have the ball?"

The awards recognize the artistic achievements of people of color, individuals who promote diversity in the arts, and those promoting social justice.

Special accolades will go to comedian Bill Cosby for his cultural impact; musician Bono for bringing focus to issues of poverty and health in the third world; and CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien to underscore that the NAACP, as a civil rights organization, recognizes quality work in news as well as entertainment, said Vic Bulluck, executive producer of the telecast.

For others who will learn of their honors during the telecast, LL -- who has won several Image Awards of his own -- advised: "Appreciate the moment and have an attitude of gratitude."

-- Judith S. GilliesTHE 38th NAACP IMAGE AWARDS


8 p.m.


Up for AwardsNominations in selected television categories:

Comedy Series

o"All of Us"

o"The Bernie Mac Show" o"Everybody Hates Chris" o"Girlfriends"

o"Ugly Betty"

Actor, Comedy SeriesoBernie Mac, "The Bernie Mac Show"

oDonald Faison, "Scrubs"

oDuane Martin, "All of Us"

oGeorge Lopez, "George Lopez"

oTyler James Williams, "Everybody Hates Chris"

Actress, Comedy SeriesoAmerica Ferrera, "Ugly Betty"

oMaya Rudolph, "Saturday Night Live"

oRaven-Symoné, "That's So Raven"

oTichina Arnold, "Everybody Hates Chris"

oTracee Ellis Ross, "Girlfriends"

Drama Series


o"Grey's Anatomy"


o"The Unit"

o"The Wire"

Actor, Drama Series

oDennis Haysbert, "The Unit"

oHill Harper, "CSI: New York"

oIsaiah Washington, "Grey's Anatomy"

oJesse L. Martin, "Law & Order"

oMichael K. Williams, "The Wire"

Actress, Drama Series

oCCH Pounder, "The Shield"

oJennifer Beals, "The L Word"

oKimberly Elise, "Close to Home"

oRegina Taylor, "The Unit"

oRoselyn Sanchez, "Without a Trace"