The Simpsons (Fox)
For eight seasons, The Simpsons has presented biting satire as social commentary, and it still delivers humor and insight, on many levels, for audiences of all ages. While The Simpsons may be one of television’s most unconventional families, it is certainly not dysfunctional. For at the core of all of Bart’s antics, Lisa’s self-doubt, Homer’s indulgences, and Marge’s often smothering mothering is a nuclear family trying its best to hold together under the relentless pressures presented by modern life. The Simpsons, of course, is the creation of cartoonist (and executive producer) Matt Groening that first appeared as 30-second vignettes on Fox Television’s Tracey Ullman Show 10 years ago. In addition to Mr. Groening, the superb creative team, which has generated more than 150 classic half-hours, now includes executive producers Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein, James L. Brooks, and Sam Simon, and a roster of co-executive producers, supervising producers, co-producers, and producers too numerous to mention (except, it would appear, for the credit sequences of their Halloween specials). The exceptional cast which brings this terrific comedy to life is deserving of special recognition. It includes Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria and the “man of a thousand voices,” Harry Shearer. For providing exceptional animation and stinging social satire, both commodities which are in extremely short supply in television today, a Peabody Award is presented to The Simpsons.