The Americans (FX Networks)
If a great drama series is judged—at least in part—by the way its story ends, then FX’s The Americans can easily be counted among the best television shows in history. The 1980s-set thriller, centered on two Soviet spies deeply undercover as middle-class American parents in a Virginia suburb, won its first Peabody in 2015. For six seasons, creator Joe Weisberg and his producing partner Joel Fields used the show’s tensions—including an FBI agent who lives across the street—to tell complex stories about patriotism, family, relationships and duty. In 2018, Weisberg and Fields brought their acclaimed story to a masterful conclusion, forcing spies Elizabeth and Philip Jennings to make impossible choices as their carefully constructed lives imploded on multiple fronts. Ultimately, the finale delivered on much of what fans hoped to see while still surprising them, including a confrontation between the Jennings and FBI agent Stan Beeman in a parking garage that stands as one of the best scenes in the series’ history. For ending one of TV’s best dramas with one of the television’s best series finales, The Americans wins a rare second Peabody Award.
Creators: Joe Weisberg. Showrunners: Joel Fields, Joe Weisberg. Executive Producers: Joe Weisberg, Joel Fields, Graham Yost, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, Chris Long, Mary Rae Thewlis, Stephen Schiff. Co-Executive Producers: Peter Ackerman, Tracey Scott Wilson. Producer: David Woods. Consulting Producer: Joshua Brand. Co-Producers: Crystal Whelan, Tyson Bidner. Directors: Dan Attias, Kevin Bray, Roxann Dawson, Chris Long, Matthew Rhys, Thomas Schlamme, Stefan Schwartz, Sylvain White. Writers: Peter Ackerman, Hilary Bettis, Joshua Brand, Joel Fields, Sarah Nolen, Stephen Schiff, Justin Weinberger, Joe Weisberg, Tracey Scott Wilson. Editors: Katie Ennis, Amanda Pollack, Daniel Valverde. Talent: Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich, Holly Taylor, Keidrich Sellati, Costa Ronin, Brandon J. Dirden, Margo Martindale. Cinematography: Joseph Bradley Smith, Daniel Stoloff. Composer: Nathan Barr. Music Supervisors: Amanda Krieg Thomas, PJ Bloom.