The Peabody Awards

The Peabody Awards


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  • 60 Minutes: Lenell Geter’s in Jail
    60 Minutes: Lenell Geter’s in Jail

    In 1982, Lenell Geter, a black engineer, was convicted for the armed robbery of a fast-food restaurant near Dallas, Texas, and sentenced to life imprisonment. This occurred despite conflicts in eyewitness testimony, co-workers’ claims that he was at work at the time of the robbery, and his lack of a prior criminal record. Devoting half of its broadcast to the case, the 60 Minutes team, including executive producer Don Hewitt, producer Suzanne St. Pierre, and correspondent Morley Safer,... read more

  • Asylum in the Streets
    Asylum in the Streets

    A generation ago, Edward R. Murrow set the standard for television documentaries: well-researched, deeply personalized reports which struck a responsive chord in the hearts of a normally apathetic viewing public. Following in the tradition of Ed Murrow, WNBC-TV’s Asylum In The Streets looked at the human cost of expediency, in this case the policy of de-institutionalization which has turned thousands of homeless, mentally ill people out of state facilities into the city’s streets. By interviewing commissioners, mental health... read more

  • Climate of Death
    Climate of Death

    As Bob Jimenez accepts a Peabody today on behalf of both his station and his colleagues who brought Climate of Death to reality, he does so in the full knowledge that he represents a station which has made an enormous contribution with the airing of this program. Unfortunately not many Americans understand the situation in El Salvador with any degree of clarity. Unfortunately much of what is produced in the name of television fails to add anything to... read more

  • Debbie Pielow: Waiting for a Heart That Never Came
    Debbie Pielow: Waiting for a Heart That Never Came

    In recent years, organ transplants have become a highly publicized, increasingly common surgical procedure. Too often, the triumph of technology has taken precedence over the human crises involved in transplants-including ethical, moral, financial, and legal concerns. For personalizing these issues in a poignant series of reports focusing on one young woman’s unsuccessful wait for a donor, a Peabody Award to WCCO Radio.... read more

  • Diagnosis: AIDS
    Diagnosis: AIDS

    The outbreak of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) in the United States has received exhaustive coverage in the broadcast media. In the view of the Peabody Board, however, few programs have matched the scope and depth of this KCTS production. Interspersed with the opinions of a range of national figures —including Patrick Buchanan and Rev. Jerry Falwell—the program brought viewers the latest facts about the causes and treatment of this baffling disease. In debunking a variety of persistent... read more

  • Give Me That Bigtime Religion
    Give Me That Bigtime Religion

    For 58 minutes viewers of WBRZ-TV—and later through an adaptation, viewers of PBS—were exposed to an in-depth look at one of this country’s best known television evangelists, Jimmy Swaggart. What they saw may well have been the most comprehensive report on bigtime evangelism ever done by a local televison station. And, what they perceived may well have been colored by their own preconceptions about Jimmy Swaggart. This program is a real credit to the passion for quality that... read more

  • He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin’
    He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin’

    Children and dancing always seem to make an appealing and a winning combination wherever they are found. When a very talented group under-took to weave together the story of how Jacques d’Amboise - principal dancer with the New York City Ballet - taught children to dance in fourteen New York City area schools the result was sheer magic. This exceptional production takes us from the auditions in the fall through the teaching process and then gives us the... read more

  • I-Team: Ambulances
    I-Team: Ambulances

    In recent months, Americans have been exposed to a variety of reports concerning the inadequacy of ambulance services in many areas of the country. In early 1983 WCCO-TV used its I-Team, headed by producer John Lindsay, with reporter Don Shelby, and photographer/editor Peter Molenda, to set up a complex monitoring system. The system was designed to document less-than-satisfactory performances by certain ambulance services. One result was a sweeping investigation by supervising authorities followed by the revocation of the... read more

  • Institutional Award: Cable News Network (CNN) for Significant News and Information Programming
    Institutional Award: Cable News Network (CNN) for Significant News and Information Programming

    In the view of the Peabody Board, CNN has become an integral part of the lives of millions of Americans by providing significant, reliable, up-to-the-minute news coverage on a 24-hour basis. The true value of CNN has been in its extended coverage of breaking stories, including the attempted assassination of President Reagan; the crash of Air Florida Flight 90; and more recently, the bombing of the American Marine barracks in Beirut. The Board also recognizes that CNN is... read more

  • Institutional Award: The Grand Ole Opry
    Institutional Award: The Grand Ole Opry

    If there are such things as American “institutions” the Grand Ole Opry is certainly one. For 58 years the Opry has filled the airwaves with what was once known as “country music” but now is more often referred to as “the Nashville sound.” Whatever one chooses to call it, the Opry has made an important mark on both music and broadcasting in this country. WSM Radio has earned an historic place in the annals of broadcasting with the... read more

  • Marian McPartland’s “Piano Jazz”
    Marian McPartland’s “Piano Jazz”

    For four years, Marian McPartland has invited the world’s leading jazz pianists, from Eubie Blake to McCoy Tyner, into our homes. Composer, teacher, and a celebrated pianist herself, Ms. McPartland has a flair for interviewing which would be the envy of most professional broadcasters. In a breezy conversational style, her guests freely discuss their craft and career influences. But the heart of the program is the interplay between host and guest at the keyboard, which results in entertaining,... read more

  • Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever
    Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever

    Each year, the Peabody Board reviews a number of awards and anniversary programs submitted in nomination. While they often commemorate significant individuals and events, most of these shows are severely restricted by their format and quickly become tiresome and tedious. A glorious exception to this trend was this year’s Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever which celebrated a quarter-century of the record label that launched the careers of many of our premier artists and performers. Production numbers were distinguished... read more

  • New England Almanac: Portraits in Sound of New England Life and Landscape
    New England Almanac: Portraits in Sound of New England Life and Landscape

    Listeners fortunate enough to tune into the series of sound portraits which Thomas Looker has wrought out of the rich heritage of New England can enjoy what radio does best: painting pictures in the mind. One travels through the woods to grandmother’s house, drops a hook through the ice of Lake Champlain, takes part in the mysterious transformation of the sap of the sugar maple into the wonders of maple syrup, and enjoys the rustle of the fall... read more

  • NOVA: The Miracle of Life
    NOVA: The Miracle of Life

    The continuing excellence of the NOVA series is demonstrated in this fascinating and informative documentary of the human reproductive process. Using revolutionary microphotographic techniques, the viewing audience is witness to the meeting of sperm and egg and the development of the human embryo. In addition to its informational value, the Peabody Board found this program to be an homage to the biological complexity and uniqueness of the human species. A Peabody to WGBH-TV for an exceptionally well-done program.... read more

  • Personal Award: Don McGannon
    Personal Award: Don McGannon

    Anyone who knows Don McGannon knows why the Peabody Board wants to recognize him. There are all sorts of words which could be used to explain to those who don’t know Don: “leader,” “innovator,” “pioneer,” “industry statesman.” The fact of the matter is that words really can’t describe Don McGannon. He brought to the industry so many sterling qualities. He stood tall when standing tall was needed. He provided leadership when leadership was often lacking. He is a... read more

  • Portrait of America
    Portrait of America

    Portrait of America is an ambitious series which attempts to present a rarely seen positive view of our country. Each 60-minute episode concentrates on a single state, allowing executive producer Ira Miskin and producer Marty Killeen the opportunity to discover the diversity of land and people within its borders. In an era characterized by limited-run programs long on action and violence and short on substance, the WTBS commitment to 50 unique programs is truly exemplary. The Peabody Board... read more

  • Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number
    Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number

    A dramatic re-creation of the imprisonment and ultimate release of journalist Jacobo Timerman in Argentina, this made-for-television film is worthy of Peabody recognition for many reasons. First, it is a stunning technical achievement. Its location and interior cinematography have a lustre rarely seen in non-theatrical releases. The performances, most notably Roy Scheider in the lead and Liv Ullmann as Mrs. Timerman, are exceptional. The lighting, editing, and costuming are equally superb. More important is the film’s treatment of... read more

  • Romeo and Juliet on Ice
    Romeo and Juliet on Ice

    The CBS Festival of Lively Arts for Young People is a series which reflects credit not only upon CBS Entertainment but upon the hundreds who make this series a reality. With the kind of reputation the series has achieved it is no wonder that the Peabody Board wanted to take a close look at Romeo and Juliet on Ice. What they found was a production that was innovative, was beautifully produced, and was certain to get children interested... read more

  • Studebaker: Less Than They Promised
    Studebaker: Less Than They Promised

    “Interesting, nostalgic and very entertaining.” “Well written and produced!” “Fast paced. A lot of information candy-coated with entertainment. Gets the viewer’s interest and holds it.” “When the hour is over the viewer won’t feel he has wasted his time.” These are some of the faculty pre-screening committees’ comments to the Peabody Board after the committee members had viewed Studebaker: Less Than They Promised. The Peabody Board looked, and looked, and looked. And, they agreed with these comments and... read more

  • The Great Space Coaster
    The Great Space Coaster

    One of the more interesting things that the Peabody Board does during its meetings is to have a look at what is going on in the world of television programs produced for children. This year the Board was captivated by The Great Space Coaster, a mixture of animation, puppets, live action, music, and guest stars that combines to make an appealing and instructive program. Each segment looks at problems which children may encounter and the role-players seek to... read more

  • The Jeffersonian World of Dumas Malone
    The Jeffersonian World of Dumas Malone

    On July 4, 1983, listeners to WMAL in Washington enjoyed a unique experience. Senior correspondent Ed Meyer visited Dumas Malone, biographer-in-residence at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Dr. Malone is, by any standard, the leading expert on the life and times of Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Meyer’s fascinating broadcast of his inquiry into Jefferson’s politics and personality celebrated Independence Day better than a hundred high-masted schooners or a thousand firecrackers. Now in his 90s, Dumas Malone brought Jefferson... read more

  • The Making of a Continent
    The Making of a Continent

    This production of WTTW/Chicago and the BBC combines the best elements of both outstanding broadcasting organizations. The stamp of the BBC is evident in the stellar work of its natural history unit. The location photography and animated graphics are of the highest calibre. The program derives its American flavor from narrator Marty Robinson. Through writer Ron Redfern’s words, the narrative stresses how the geologic forces that shaped the West have altered and continue to affect American history. In... read more

  • The Merry Widow
    The Merry Widow

    On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of choreographer Ruth Page’s first dance version of The Merry Widow, WTTW arranged for a major staging of the ballet in their Chicago studios. Featuring noted dancers from the New York City Ballet and the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the program is a glowing tribute to Ms. Page, who served as the program’s host and narrator. This production is distinguished by its excellent performances brought effectively to the home... read more

  • The Plane That Fell From the Sky
    The Plane That Fell From the Sky

    On April 4, 1979, TWA Flight 841 came within seconds of crashing following a mysterious nosedive. In an exceptional television documentary, CBS News recounted the events of the flight, the official investigation, and the ongoing controversy over where responsibility lay for what took place. Producers Paul and Holly Fine painstakingly reconstructed the flight, reuniting many members of the crew and most of the passengers for a frighteningly realistic re-creation of their shared nightmare. Distinguished by its fairness, thorough... read more

  • The Woman Who Willed a Miracle
    The Woman Who Willed a Miracle

    Part of the ABC Afterschool Specials series, The Woman Who Willed A Miracle is a powerful drama for adults as well as for children. The film centers on May and Joe Lemke, whose faith, commitment, and dedication transformed a severely retarded foster child into a musical prodigy. Cloris Leachman is superb in the title role, once again demonstrating her considerable dramatic range. Of particular distinction to the Peabody Board is the film’s effectiveness in communicating to young audiences... read more

  • Times Beach: Born 1925, Died 1983
    Times Beach: Born 1925, Died 1983

    There are few Missourians who noted the beginning of Times Beach, Missouri, in 1925. However, most will not forget its end in 1983. KMOX Radio brought the diverse talents of an excellent team together and gave its listeners a penetrating analysis of what the widespread use of the toxic chemical dioxin had done in Missouri. This year’s long effort culminated in seeking answers to the larger questions that chemical wastes pose for society. The documentary series was of... read more

  • Victims

    It has often been said that “results are what count.” WRAL has been able to see the results of an 80-part series occupying more than 50 broadcast hours. Produced by the outstanding news staffs of WRAL and the North Carolina News Network, the series focused on persons who have been victimized by crime, by circumstance, or by life itself. Victims of racial discrimination, of sex discrimination, of child abuse, of criminal acts, of divorce, illness or even war—all... read more

  • Vietnam: A Television History
    Vietnam: A Television History

    Over the years, the Peabody Board has viewed countless programs documenting the impact of the Vietnam conflict on our national life. None can match the scope, intensity, and originality of this extraordinary achievement. This 13-part series is the definitive visual record of the war in Vietnam. It is marked by unmatched archival research, extended interviews with political and military leaders, and uncompromising commitment to objectivity. To WGBH-TV, Central Independent Televison, and Antenne-2, a Peabody for a program of... read more

  • What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?
    What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?

    It is rare, indeed, not to learn something from just about anything Charles Schulz had a part in creating. Charlie Brown just simply has that certain something that not only entertains but almost always imparts a message of very real importance. What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown? is no exception. The Peanuts are tourists winding their way through France. They get entangled in all sorts of things. But, most importantly, they find themselves caught up in the memory... read more