The Peabody Awards

The Peabody Awards


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  • Black Radio: Telling It Like It Was
    Black Radio: Telling It Like It Was

    Hosted by Lou Rawls, this 13-part documentary on radio’s role in the evolution of America’s black communities is a forceful reminder of the many contributions made by African-Americans to the history of broadcasting. Through interviews with radio veterans and the presentation of rare recordings of historical programming, listeners hear the powerful, captivating stories of individuals who experienced this important and often neglected area of American cultural and media history. Executive producers Wes Horner and Jacquie Gales Webb, along with producers Sonja Williams and Lex Gillespie, and production manager John Tyler, painstakingly gathered, recorded and re-recorded the oral histories and archival... read more

  • Edith Ann’s Christmas
    Edith Ann’s Christmas

    While it might appear on the surface that this Yule-tide tale strays from the mainstream, it presents positive and especially timely messages of caring and forgiveness. Irreverent and often outrageous, Edith Ann’s Christmas (Just Say Noel) offers an alternative perspective to the emotional landscape usually available in popular entertainment to children and adults. The show revolves around a dysfunctional family, with the main character, Edith Ann, portrayed by the multi-talented Lily Tomlin, (also co-executive producer). In the innovative story, Edith Ann’s rebellious sister Irene defies her parents and then decides to run away. Edith Ann, like her parents, feels guilty... read more

  • FRONTLINE: The Choice 96
    FRONTLINE: The Choice 96

    FRONTLINE opened its fifteenth season on PBS in the fall of 1996 with this biographical comparison of the two major-party presidential candidates. Interweaving their dual public careers and private lives, the two-hour narrative illuminated each candidate’s record and character to help voters understand what kind of president each might be in the next four years. Producer/writer Helen Whitney, writer Jane Barnes, and consultants Richard Ben Cramer and David Maraniss revealed how Bill Clinton’s and Bob Dole’s personal histories shaped their approaches to government and leadership. They chronicled the candidates’ backgrounds in a unique thematic fashion, by focusing on how they... read more

  • FRONTLINE: The Gate of Heavenly Peace
    FRONTLINE: The Gate of Heavenly Peace

    The early months of 1989 will forever be remembered as the “Beijing Spring,” a hope-filled, tension-charged time when students and workers occupied Tiananmen Square. The world watched China struggle with changes demanded in the name of democracy during these pivotal months. But the Chinese government actions on June 4, 1989, transmitted internationally on television, ended, at least for a time, China’s embrace of democratic principles. Over the ensuing six years, producers Carma Hinton and Richard Gordon devoted themselves to meticulous background research into similar student and labor movements in China. They identified, located and interviewed students and workers involved in... read more

  • How Do You Spell God?
    How Do You Spell God?

    Perhaps in no other area are the views of children more telling and profound than the realm of religion. Through thought-provoking interviews with children from a wide range of cultural backgrounds and rich animated adaptations of parables and poems about the meaning of life from ancient scripture and more modern sources (including Maya Angelou, A.A. Milne, and Isaac Bashevis Singer), Home Box Office reveals the common core of all belief. While their parents perpetuate age-old conflicts through religious intolerance and racial hatred, these simple stories and shared sentiments remind children that no matter who we are and where we come... read more

  • Institutional Award: KOMO-TV for Excellence in local television programming as represented by “War on Children,” “Earth Agenda: Power of Bears,” “The Return of the Eagle,” and “Lolita: Spirit in the Water”
    Institutional Award: KOMO-TV for Excellence in local television programming as represented by “War on Children,” “Earth Agenda: Power of Bears,” “The Return of the Eagle,” and “Lolita: Spirit in the Water”

    One goal of the Peabody Awards is to identify and recognize excellence in local television. Local service remains a fundamental and critical element of our system of broadcasting. Unfortunately, original local programming often seems to be a species as endangered as any explored by KOMO-TV in its outstanding Earth Agenda series. As demonstrated by these Peabody Award-winning programs, management of KOMO-TV is dedicated to local programming and has provided an atmosphere which fosters creativity and originality. The result is the kind of superior work evidenced by War on Children and Earth Agenda. The first program, a one-hour documentary, chronicles the... read more

  • Journey of the African-American Athlete
    Journey of the African-American Athlete

    As we celebrate the golden anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s arrival to the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the ascendancy of Masters champion Tiger Woods, Home Box Office reminds us of the multitude of struggles and small but significant triumphs made by black athletes through the years in this impressive two-hour television documentary. Executive producer Ross Greenburg, senior producer Rick Bernstein, and a superb production team, including consultant and writer William C. Rhoden and producers Leslie D. Farrell, Paul H. Hutchinson, and Kendall Reid, exquisitely combine rare footage of historic figures with informative interviews with their contemporaries and those who followed, to document... read more

  • Kinetic City Super Crew
    Kinetic City Super Crew

    This thoroughly entertaining children’s radio program presents exciting radio dramas which teach teamwork, problem-solving techniques and basic scientific principles. With nearly 100 episodes produced to date, and a weekly audience estimated at two million listeners, the Super Crew is making an important and much-needed contribution to science education in the United States. Credit is due to an imaginative production team, including executive producer Robert Hirshon, producers Joseph Shepherd and Anna Ewald, and director Susan Keady. They and their exceptional performers (Damion Conner, Reggie Harris, Melody Johnson, Elana Eisen-Markowitz, Monique McClung, Alvin Perry, Jennifer Roberts, and Paul Simon) bring science to... read more

  • Law & Order
    Law & Order

    Now the longest-running dramatic series on network television, Law & Order has maintained a tradition of excellence for more than seven seasons. Faithful to its narrative structure—in which the first half-hour depicts the apprehension of law-breakers by police detectives, and the second half shifts focus to the criminal courts for prosecution - - the program is especially adroit at capturing the brutal reality of crime and law enforcement in New York. The creative forces behind the production are creator and executive producer Dick Wolf, executive producers Ed Sherin and Rene Balcer, producer Jeffrey Hayes, and numerous gifted writers. The show... read more

  • Mobile Masterpiece Theatre’s “House of Cards,” “To Play the King,” and “The Final Cut”
    Mobile Masterpiece Theatre’s “House of Cards,” “To Play the King,” and “The Final Cut”

    This superb trilogy tracks the career of scheming, conniving Prime Minister Francis Urquhart, masterfully played by Ian Richardson, as he nefariously seeks to secure his place in history. Together, executive producer Michael Wearing (for the BBC), series executive producer Rebecca Eaton (for Mobile Masterpiece Theater), producer Ken Riddington, director Mike Vardy, and screenwriter Andrew Davies tell a tale of skullduggery and dirty tricks, as the ruthless Urquhart plots to become the greatest Prime Minister since Winston Churchill. His wife, Elizabeth, cannily played by Diane Fletcher, paves way with her Lady Macbeth-like machinations, while Machiavellian politicians on both sides of the... read more

  • Newsnight-Afghanistan

    This series of three exclusive reports by BBC foreign affairs editor John Simpson represents the kind of heroic battlefield reporting which has been recognized by the Peabody Board throughout the years. At great personal risk, amid the chaos which continues to plague Afghanistan, Mr. Simpson and his producer, Tom Giles, presented a compelling and complete view of the ongoing civil way. Especially informative were interviews with the leadership of the Taliban, the Sunni movement which has transformed the political and military landscape of Afghanistan. In addition, Newsnight extended its coverage from the besieged city of Kabul into the Helmand Valley,... read more

  • NYPD Blue
    NYPD Blue

    The police drama has long been a staple of prime time television entertainment. At its worst, the form gives rise to stinging and often deserved criticism for its presentations of graphic violence, racial and ethnic stereotyping, and rampant sensationalism. But, as is the case with NYPD Blue, at its best the genre can provide gritty and realistic insight into the dilemmas and tragedies which daily confront those who spend their lives in law enforcement. Co-creators Steven Bochco and David Milch, along with executive producers Mark Tinker and Michael Robin, and an unmatched cast led by Dennis Franz, Jimmy Smits, James... read more

  • Odyssey of Life
    Odyssey of Life

    Showcasing the work of renowned microphotographer Lennart Nilsson, the three-part Odyssey of Life picks up where his 1983 Peabody Award-winning Miracle of Life left off, and also reveals how Nilsson achieves some of his breathtaking footage. Odyssey of Life opens with The Ultimate Journey, which shows how millions of years of evolutionary history are reflected in life before birth in species as diverse as humans, chickens, and fish. The Unknown World spotlights, often in chilling detail, the menagerie of mites, bacteria, and other micro-organisms that colonize our homes and bodies. The Photographer’s Secrets reveals the technological and personal skills necessary... read more

  • One to One: Mentoring
    One to One: Mentoring

    This year-long public service project designed to communicate the critical importance of mentoring young people was brilliantly conceived, skillfully executed, and most important, ultimately successful. So much so, that what began as a local campaign eventually reached national scope. With this Peabody recognition, it is hoped its success will be a model for future community projects. The campaign was led by the exceptional efforts of Debra L. Berg, director of community relations. Under her leadership, and with the dedicated assistance of producers Lori Fink, Scott Wooldridge, Paula Engelking, and Garvin Snell, and most of the station’s photographers, editors, reporters, and... read more

  • Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills
    Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills

    In 1993, the mutilated bodies of three eight-year-old boys were discovered in a shallow creek along Interstate 40 in West Memphis, Arkansas. An outraged and horrified community demanded justice. One month later, the police delivered: three local teenagers were arrested and accused of sacrificing the boys as part of a Satanic ritual. Yet, as co-producers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky reveal in this brilliant cinema verite film for Home Box Office, things may not be as simple as they might appear. Through painstaking background research and reporting, unprecedented access to relatives and friends of both the victims and the defendants,... read more

  • Passport to Kill
    Passport to Kill

    For more than a decade, law enforcement officials have faced the problem of extraditing criminals, including a number of admitted murderers, from the Dominican Republic to stand trial in New York for their alleged crimes. According to reporter and producer Ti-Hua Chang, who conducted an extensive, exhaustive and exclusive investigation into the situation, as many as 200 Dominicans may have fled justice after committing murders in New York. As Mr. Chang reveals in hard-hitting detail, blame can be placed both here and abroad. American officials often sidestep the issue by stating that an old treaty forbids criminals to be extradited... read more

  • People’s Century
    People’s Century

    As the millennium approaches, the Peabody Board anticipates numerous programs examining the major events, achievements, and tragedies of the 20th century. This landmark series by the BBC and WGBH-TV has set the highest standard for others to emulate. Executive producers Peter Pagnamenta for the BBC, and Zvi Dor-Ner for WGBH, have assembled outstanding production teams on both sides of the Atlantic and have come up with a unique approach to the telling of the story of our years. They have chosen to rely on the first-hand, eyewitness testimonies of the people who lived through the wars, social movements, and cultural... read more

  • Personal Award: Bud Greenspan
    Personal Award: Bud Greenspan

    One of the more memorable quotes from this year’s Peabody Awards deliberations was made in reference to Bud Greenspan. In the words of one member of the Peabody Board, “Bud Greenspan is his own genre.” An exceptional gift for personal storytelling, a matchless eye for camera angle and location, and above all, a complete and total commitment to truth mark the work of Bud Greenspan. Personal Peabody Awards are meant for individuals whose singular achievements or body of work embody the ideals and aspirations of the best in broadcasting and cable. Those qualities epitomize Mr. Greenspan. Among our 1996 entries... read more

  • Personal Award: Peter Gzowski
    Personal Award: Peter Gzowski

    For 15 years, Peter Gzowski has hosted CBC Radio’s program Morningside, heard weekday mornings, coast to coast, from 9 until noon. This engaging, often inspirational feast of conversation, debate, personal essays, music and drama presents its listeners with a valued and treasured daily exploration of the range of human endeavor. The Peabody Board recognized Morningside with an award in 1982. This year, as he moves into retirement, the Peabody Board makes a personal award to Peter Gzowski. As host of Morningside, Mr. Gzowski has presided over, in his words, “a sort of village bulletin board for the nation.” He has... read more

  • Pride and Prejudice
    Pride and Prejudice

    With Pride and Prejudice, the BBC and A&E Television Networks have joined forces to create a splendid and lavish adaptation of Jane Austen’s timeless novel. This fully realized rendering faithfully follows the unpredictable course laid out in the book’s opening manifesto: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of good fortune must be in want of a wife.” With those words, Austen began the story of the five Bennet daughters and their search for wealthy husbands. Executive producer for the BBC, Michael Wearing, A&E executive-in-charge, Delia Fine, producer Sue Birtwistle, director Simon Langton, and an... read more

  • Remorse: The 14 Stories of Eric Morse
    Remorse: The 14 Stories of Eric Morse

    This gripping and compelling program probed the death of Eric Morse, a five-year-old boy thrown from the 14th-floor window of a Chicago housing project in October 1994 by two other boys, themselves just 10 and 11 years old. Apparently, Eric’s capital crime was refusing to steal candy for the older boys. While mainstream media catapulted the story into national prominence, even garnering the attention of the President, it took two young reporters, residents of the same housing development in which the crime took place, to capture the true meaning and lasting impact of this tragedy. LeAlan Jones and Lloyd Newman,... read more

  • Survivors of the Holocaust
    Survivors of the Holocaust

    In making this award, the Peabody Board is recognizing the important work of two separate organizations and individuals. First, we pay tribute to the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation and Turner Original Production, for creating a powerful documentary that blends vivid personal testimonies of Holocaust survivors with their family artifacts, period archival footage, original music, and other elements, to demonstrate both the heroism and the richness of Jewish life in Europe before, during, and subsequent to the horror of Nazi genocide. Especially deserving of merit are producers June Beallor and James Moll, director/editor Allan Holzman, and composer/conductor Meir... read more

  • The American Experience: The Battle Over Citizen Kane
    The American Experience: The Battle Over Citizen Kane

    This brilliant and beautiful documentary recounts the clash of two titans of the first half of this century: newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst and “enfant terrible” Orson Welles. World-famous at age 24, theatrical and radio prodigy Wells, for his first foray into filmmaking, took aim at Hearst, then one of the most powerful men in America. The result was Citizen Kane, now revered as a cinematic masterpiece. However, at the time of its release, an incensed Hearst launched a ruthless campaign to destroy both the film and the filmmaker, and the ensuing imbroglio nearly ruined both men’s lives. According to... read more

  • The Celluloid Closet
    The Celluloid Closet

    This important film about the depiction of homosexuality in movies took almost 15 years to make. The project began when author and film historian Vito Russo began talking with filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman about making a film version of his 1981 book. At the time, Mr. Russo was national publicist for Mr. Epstein’s Peabody Award-winning film The Times of Harvey Milk. Though The Celluloid Closet, was intended to be one of Mr. Epstein and Mr. Friedman’s first films for their new company, the filmmakers instead turned their attention to the tragedy of AIDS, to produce Common Threads: Stories... read more

  • The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century
    The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century

    The war to end all wars—the war to make the world safe for democracy—“The Great War,” as its contemporaries knew it, began when Europe erupted in flames in August 1914. By its end in November 1918, millions were dead, and the world was forever changed. The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century relies on a wealth of original and vintage film, rare photos, letters, and diaries, to create a haunting, stunning, and absorbing series. Historian Jay Winter and executive producer Blaine Baggett were assisted by a superb group of producers, writers, and directors, including Carl Byker (series... read more

  • The Simpsons
    The Simpsons

    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... read more

  • The X-Files
    The X-Files

    With The X-Files, creator and executive producer Chris Carter, co-executive producers Howard Gordon and R.W. Goodwin, and a multi-talented team of producers, writers, and actors have developed a unique television drama. In combining currents in contemporary science with the best elements of science fiction, The X-Files creates its own universe, where normal and paranormal can co-exist, although not always very peacefully. One great achievement of the series is its ability to convey ideas that are both entertaining and thought-provoking, the kind of television that stimulates conversation the next day at the family table or around the office water cooler. The... read more

  • This American Life
    This American Life

    This American Life captures contemporary culture in fresh and inventive ways that mirror the diversity and eccentricities of its subjects. Each week, the program presents an hour of stories that range from the amusing (such as a profile of a professional Tom Jones impersonator), to the whimsical (the feeling of worshiping someone from afar), to the significant (such as the cruelty which marks too many childhoods). Host and producer Ira Glass, along with producers Peter Clowney, Alix Spiegel, Nancy Updike, and Dolores Wilber, among other, juxtapose fictional and nonfictional elements to create a captivating collage which takes full advantage of... read more

  • Vote For Me: Politics In America
    Vote For Me: Politics In America

    From the smallest local precincts to the White House, Vote for Me: Politics in America explores what it really takes to run for public office in the United States and ends up being a warm, understanding, and surprisingly uplifting view of American democracy. Poignant, provocative, and often hilarious, Vote for Me chronicles the political scene around the nation, including veteran insiders of the Chicago machine, consultants creating negative ads in Alabama, and legislators’ arm-twisting on the floor of the Texas Statehouse. Especially insightful is the saga of Maggie Lauterer, folksinger - turned TV reporter - turned congressional candidate, as she... read more

  • Who’s Guarding the Guardians?
    Who’s Guarding the Guardians?

    Enterprising reporting by Brian Leary highlights this three-part news investigation, which exposes the lack of accountability in the Massachusetts Probate Court. For more than two months, report and producer Mr. Leafy, assisted by photographer Steve Colvin and editor Ray Smith, tracked and documented the actions of unscrupulous court-appointed lawyers who charge exorbitant hourly fees while supposedly serving as guardians of the estates of mentally ill citizens. Interviews with one probate lawyer—who is somewhat embarrassed but not at all contrite or conciliatory—were especially enlightening. Mr. Leary also examined a state project that separated hundreds of mentally retarded wards from tens of... read more

  • Wise Up
    Wise Up

    This fast-paced, 30-minute weekly children’s program eschews traditional formats. In so doing, it offers unique insight into the interests and aspirations of its audience members. Each week, this magazine series—aimed for children between the ages of 10 and 15—introduces a new team of young people who act as hosts, reporters, and confidants; there are no adult presenters or reporters. The revolving cast of contributors maintains a central focus, which is a better understanding by children and teenagers of the important issues faced by their generation (and their parents). A critical element of the program is its opportunity for youth to... read more