The Peabody Awards

The Peabody Awards


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  • “Viewpoint,” “Nightline,” and “America Held Hostage: The Secret Negotiations”
    “Viewpoint,” “Nightline,” and “America Held Hostage: The Secret Negotiations”

    The role of the Peabody Board in seeking to recognize excellence in radio and television is a difficult one. It is difficult not because there is so little to recognize, but because there is so much. ABC News has a cup which almost “runneth over.” As the Board viewed program after program from ABC News, each of which indicated the excellence of that organization, it came to the conclusion that recognition was due ABC News for the superb overall effort, for the sustained excellence, and, in particular, for some programs and series which stood out. Thus, a Peabody Award to... read more

  • Bill

    A Peabody Award goes to CBS-TV and Alan Landsburg Productions for the heart-warming story of Bill. Based on the true story of a mentally retarded adult who spent most of his life in a mental institution until befriended by a young film maker, this gripping human drama brings Bill back into community life and, eventually, into independence, all through the love and concern of one who cares. It is doubtful that anyone watching Mickey Rooney as “Bill” failed to be deeply moved, for this is a story that tugs at the heart strings, brings a tear to the eye and... read more

  • Carl Sandburg at Connemara
    Carl Sandburg at Connemara

    Carl Sandburg at Connemara, from the Signature series, wins a Peabody Award for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The producers went to Flatrock, North Carolina and “Connemara,” the last home of Sandburg, the poet, biographer and folk-hero, to capture the sounds and the atmosphere of the times, the location and the people, at this historic site. Low-key recollections of one of America’s greats are provided by his friends, his students, and his relatives. Best of all, Sandburg’s reading of some of his incomparable works skillfully heightens the artistry of this well-produced and highly interesting documentary. Carl Sandburg at Connemara demonstrated an... read more

  • Dance In America: Nureyev and the Joffrey Ballet/In Tribute to Nijinsky
    Dance In America: Nureyev and the Joffrey Ballet/In Tribute to Nijinsky

    A Peabody Award goes to WNET/Thirteen and PBS for the series Dance In America. Produced by WNET/Thirteen, New York, and brought to the American public through PBS, Dance In America created an interest in this art form that has never been manifested so strongly before. Dance is flourishing in schools; dance performances are drawing larger crowds than ever before; more articles about the dance are appearing in magazines and newspapers-and Dance In America can claim a large share of the credit for this surge of interest in the art of dance. The Peabody Award proudly goes to WNET/Thirteen and PBS... read more

  • Eighth Decade Consortium: “Fed Up With Fear”
    Eighth Decade Consortium: “Fed Up With Fear”

    Fed Up With Fear was produced by five television stations which joined together as The Eighth Decade Consortium. It sought to show how the citizens of five diverse communities are seeking to battle crime and, in the opinion of the Peabody Board, the Consortium did its job exceptionally well. The program went well beyond the usual documentary in that it asked viewers to become involved themselves, and KOMO-TV in Seattle provided a resource handbook and a toll-free hotline to help its audience take that first step. The example of banding together and utilizing the best resources that each station has... read more

  • Eyewitness News
    Eyewitness News

    A Peabody Award goes to WLS-TV, Chicago, for Eyewitness News. This news organization’s first-class investigative reporting is exemplified by two specific reports: Traffic Court: Justice or a Joke? and So You Need A Driver’s License. The expose of the faults within the system of traffic court justice is magnified through competent editing and thorough skillful handling of facts. The investigation of corruption in granting “black-market” licenses resulted in the operators of some driving schools being indicted. These two exceptionally well done investigative reports indicate that WLS-TV’s Eyewitness News teams are careful in research, thorough in preparation, present their facts accurately,... read more

  • Hill Street Blues
    Hill Street Blues

    Hill Street Blues wins a Peabody Award for NBC and MTM Enterprises. This unique portrayal of police work in a decaying section of a big city has an air of realism that so many similar programs lack. Writers and co-producers Steven Bochco and Michael Kozoll deserve much of the credit for this realism. The dangerous, often violent, sometimes depressing, yet frequently humorous events that face the “Blues” are skillfully blended with the sometimes unethical compromises demanded by police department politics. Excellent acting by a superb cast brings out the toughness of the “Blues” yet never destroys the compassion necessary to... read more

  • Institutional Award: KATU-TV for a Series of Significant Television Documentaries
    Institutional Award: KATU-TV for a Series of Significant Television Documentaries

    KATU-TV, with an excellent news staff, has not limited its documentary inquiries into purely local matters but has sought to determine such things as whether the Army and Air Force National Guard units in Oregon are ready for service and how the citizens of Southern Italy picked up the pieces and began to start over again after a massive earthquake which devastated that region. In moving beyond the boundaries of their home city to state, national and even international matters, the station has demonstrated that it has an outstanding news operation. The Peabody Board has singled out three quality documentary... read more

  • Institutional Award: WSMV-TV for a Series of Significant Television Documentaries
    Institutional Award: WSMV-TV for a Series of Significant Television Documentaries

    WSMV in Nashville, Tennessee, has demonstrated that it is a television station with an outstanding news operation. There are many good news operations, there are a number of excellent ones, but very few that can really be called outstanding. The Peabody Board believes that WSMV’s news operations fall into the latter category. The station has demonstrated its capabilities with a number of excellent documentary programs from which the Board has listed four as good examples of a quality work: Crime’s Children, Hot Cars, Cold Cash, Split Second Justice and Crime’s Carousel. The citizens in Nashville should be considered fortunate to... read more

  • Klimbo: Le Lion et la Souris (The Lion and the Mouse)
    Klimbo: Le Lion et la Souris (The Lion and the Mouse)

    Lucky are the many children around the world who have listened to and enjoyed the story of The Lion and the Mouse. Luckier still are those Canadian children who have been privileged to see Le Lion et la Souris, produced as a program in the Klimbo series by the Societe Radio-Canada in Montreal. Able directed by Guy Comeau and featuring an excellent script adapted by Marie-France Hebert from the classic story, this fine production featured Kliment Denchev, Suzanna Garceau and Jean-Pierre Chartrand. It provides not only an excellent object lesson for children, (and adults), but it is fun to watch.... read more

  • Newsfile: A Bankrupt Court
    Newsfile: A Bankrupt Court

    A Peabody Award goes to WJR-Radio, Detroit, Michigan for Newsfile: A Bankrupt Court. Twenty-three short reports probed the working of the U.S. District Bankruptcy Court in a dogged and determined effort to uncover and broadcast examples of mismanagement in the court and improper relationships which were maintained between attorneys, court personnel and judges. The dispassionate presentation of the investigative work was devastating in its impact. Here was solid, painstaking reporting of a quality rarely seen in broadcasting. The series resulted in significant reforms in the Bankruptcy Court System in Detroit. Official action was instigated against the judge, the Chief Clerk... read more

  • Now That We’ve Got Your Interest
    Now That We’ve Got Your Interest

    Now That We’ve Got Your Interest proves that a year’s-end news review does not have to be dull and ponderous. The sparkling wit, the originality and the all-round effectiveness of this excellent program quickly caught the interest of the Peabody Board. Author and feature performer in this irreverent and humorous look at the news of 1981 is John Goldsmith of WDVM-TV, Washington, DC. Mr. Goldsmith keeps his off-the-wall sense of humor well within the bounds of good taste. He mixes genuine tugs at the heart strings with pokes at the funny bone. He adds a batch of Hollywood showmanship. The... read more

  • Our Forgotten Warriors: Vietnam Veterans Face the Challenges of the ‘80s
    Our Forgotten Warriors: Vietnam Veterans Face the Challenges of the ‘80s

    Radio station WQDR-FM in Raleigh, North Carolina, earns a Peabody Award for Our Forgotten Warriors: Vietnam Veterans Face the Challenges of the 80s. These short reports were aired several times daily. Well researched vignettes brought out little known facts about problems faced by Vietnam veterans, both men and women, and then constructively offered concrete suggestions for the future as to what needs to be done. Our Forgotten Warriors coincided with renewed concern over the draft and the proximity of Veteran’s Day. The impact of such public service was rewarding both to the station and to those in the audience. It... read more

  • Personal Award: Bill Leonard
    Personal Award: Bill Leonard

    An individual Peabody Award goes to Bill Leonard of CBS News in recognition of the outstanding role he has played in developing the strong CBS News organization. CBS News is respected by all branches of the news gathering fraternity for its excellence, its accuracy, and its integrity. Bill Leonard, as the man behind the scenes, has personally maintained high standards of excellence, accuracy, and integrity throughout his most distinguished career. The Peabody Board wishes to make special mention of some of the fine accomplishments of CBS News this year: an arresting, five-hour prime-time Defense of America, the effective Sunday Morning... read more

  • Personal Award: Danny Kaye for “An Evening With Danny Kaye and the New York Philharmonic; Zubin Metha, Music Director” and “Skokie”
    Personal Award: Danny Kaye for “An Evening With Danny Kaye and the New York Philharmonic; Zubin Metha, Music Director” and “Skokie”

    The very mention of the name Danny Kaye evokes smiles. He is internationally recognized for his humor and comedy. This Peabody Award recognizes Danny Kaye not only for being an outstanding comedian but for being a superb actor. His versatility is evident this year in two major television productions: An Evening With Danny Kaye and the New York Philharmonic (produced for PBS by the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Zubin Mehta, musical director), and Skokie (a CBS-TV special produced by Titus Productions). As guest conductor of the New York Philharmonic, Kaye kept a white-tie audience in stitches with his... read more

  • Project: China
    Project: China

    A Peabody Award is presented to KJRH-TV, Tulsa, Oklahoma, for Project: China. Six Tulsa high school students went on an eight-week field trip to Xiamen, China, located just a stone’s throw from Taiwan. They studied the Chinese language at Xiamen University, the first Americans ever invited there. KJRH-TV’s expert camera crew went with them to capture the feeling, the impressions and the thoughts of these students. This adventure into international understanding provides captivating television. The narrator never takes the story away from the teenagers. He simply interprets the settings, the moods, and the information as seen through the eyes of... read more

  • She’s Nobody’s Baby: The History of American Women in the 20th Century
    She’s Nobody’s Baby: The History of American Women in the 20th Century

    This award constitutes a significant first in the history of the Peabody Awards. Recognizing the changing pattern of distribution of aural and visual images into American homes, the Peabody Board has chosen to recognize first the significant contributions of Home Box Office and Ms. Magazine for She’s Nobody’s Baby: The History of American Women in the 20th Century. Cable has had a significant impact on American life and Home Box Office has had a significant impact upon cable. In the opinion of the Peabody Board this program, narrated by Alan Alda and Marlo Thomas, used newsreel footage, cartoons and music... read more

  • The Day After Trinity: J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic Bomb
    The Day After Trinity: J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic Bomb

    This hard-hitting program, produced by KTEH, exhibits the exceptional talents of John Else, who served not only as producer and director, but also, along with David and Janet Peoples, wrote the script. It tells the story of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, a student of poetry, a linguist of six tongues, a searcher for spiritual ideals, and father of the atomic bomb. The program contains extraordinary new archive footage and it brings together many candid recollections of Oppenheimer’s friends, thus constituting a valuable historical document. The result was a moving drama of moral and historical forces at work, and a program... read more

  • The Odyssey of Homer
    The Odyssey of Homer

    National Radio Theatre of Chicago merits a Peabody Award for The Odyssey of Homer. Eight one-hour episodes of a true classic were brought to life in an exciting way by professional actors using a new translation of Homer. While retaining the beauty and style of the original, this new version proved most appropriate for radio. The results were monumental. Seldom has a classic been produced with such loving care and understanding. To aid in the understanding of, and the appreciation for the classic legend, leading scholars explained an aspect of Homeric style or ancient culture at the beginning of each... read more

  • The Private History of a Campaign That Failed
    The Private History of a Campaign That Failed

    A Peabody Award is presented to the Nebraska Educational Network and to the Great Amwell Company for The Private History of a Campaign That Failed. Producer William Perry Marshall took an instance from Mark Twain’s brief stint in the Confederate militia at the beginning of the Civil War, and Philip Wiseman, Jr., created a dynamic script. To this a thoroughly professional cast was added. Special music was created by William Perry and performed by Leonard Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony. The result was a gigantic undertaking crowned with great success. The gripping story ends with Mark Twain’s celebrated essay,... read more

  • The Red Army
    The Red Army

    As one program in the superb series World, The Red Army demonstrates that a cooperative effort between two respected television operations can bring out the best in both. WGBH in Boston, one of the nation’s truly outstanding television operations, sought out Granada-TV in Great Britain to co-produce this incisive analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the military forces of the Soviet Union. Executive producer David Fanning, himself no stranger at Peabody Awards ceremonies, worked closely with co-producers Brian Blake and Andrew Cockburn, (who wrote the excellent script), to produce an exceptionally engaging program. It showed that the armed forces... read more

  • The Todds’ Teddy Bears Picnic
    The Todds’ Teddy Bears Picnic

    Timothy and Susan Todd of Middlebury, Vermont, receive a Peabody Award for The Todds’ Teddy Bears Picnic. The Todds blend classic stories and poems, contemporary verse and writings with music of all types into a program for children that is fun. This skillful mixture of voice and music has been aired on National Public Radio. The Todds understand how to hold a child’s interest while presenting poetry and stories that are both meaningful and educational. Time is well utilized when listening to The Todds’ Teddy Bears Picnic. A Peabody Award salutes this unusual and outstanding program for children.... read more

  • The Wave
    The Wave

    The ABC Theatre for Young Americans presented this truly outstanding program,which has provided a valuable lesson for young and old alike. The Wave, produced by T.A.T. Communications, was based on a true story of an experiment conducted in a California classroom. The Wave demonstrates a remarkable variety of truths, but none more important than it recognizes the ease with which cruelties can be perpetrated in the name of the state, supposedly in response to the passion of the masses for what they believe to be an ideal. The Wave was produced from Johnny Dawkins’ excellent script by Fern Field and... read more