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Producer David Simon Wins MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’

The $500,000 prize comes with no strings attached for the “Treme” and “Wire” producer

david simonDavid Simon, producer of HBO's "The Wire" and "Treme," is among the 2010 MacArthur Foundation "genius grants" class announced Tuesday.

The $500,000 grants handed out by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation come with no strings attached.

"It makes it easier to go into the room with the network and argue against doing the usual thing in television," Simon said in an interview with the Associated Press on news of the award.

Simon told AP his wife, author Laura Lippman, would like to thank the foundation for "five years of fresh material." Soon after finding out he won, she said, "Hey Genius, you forgot to take the trash out last night."