Announcing 76th Annual Peabody Awards Finalists
Written by Margaret Blanchard
The Peabody Awards Board of Jurors have selected 60 finalists that represent the most compelling and empowering stories released in electronic media during 2016. As part of a new distinction introduced last year, jurors chose 60 finalists out of 1,200 entries from television, radio and the web. The Peabody Awards are based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.
Over the next several weeks, the winning Peabody 30 programs will be revealed in a succession of announcements by category: Individual/Institutional on April 12; Documentary on April 18; Entertainment on April 20; and News/Radio/Public Service/Web/Education programming on April 25.
Peabody Award winners and finalists will be celebrated at a gala event on Saturday, May 20 at Cipriani in New York. The event will be taped for a television special to air on both PBS and FUSION networks on Friday, June 2 (9 p.m. ET/PT). Rashida Jones, a previous Peabody Award winner for “Parks and Recreation” and current star of “Angie Tribeca,” will serve as host.
Entertainment Weekly has been named official media partner for the 76th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony and a contributing sponsor of the FUSION After Party. The deal includes exclusive content in the print magazine and on EW.com. Supporting sponsors of the 76th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony include the Emerson Collective, an organization focused on education, immigration reform, the environment and other social justice initiatives, and The Coca-Cola Co.
The 60 Peabody Awards Finalists, listed by category and in alpha order (network/platform in parentheses) are:
“Ask the StoryBots” JibJab Bros. Studios (Netflix)
An animated television series based on the StoryBots educational apps and videos.
“Tumble Leaf” Amazon Studios and Bix Pix Entertainment (Amazon)
Nature-filled adventures of a delightfully curious blue fox and his best friend, a caterpillar.
“A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness” HBO Documentary Films and SOC Films (HBO)
The chronicle of one young Pakistani woman who lives to tell of her attempted honor killing by her own family.
“Audrie & Daisy” AfterImage Public Media in association with Actual Films (Netflix)
Real-life stories examining the ripple effect of sexual crimes against two teen girls within the new world of social media bullying.
“4.1 Miles” The New York Times Op-Docs (NYTimes.com)
A coast guard captain on a small Greek island is suddenly charged with saving thousands of refugees from drowning at sea.
“FRONTLINE: Chasing Heroin” FRONTLINE (PBS/WGBH)
A look at America’s opioid crisis, how the epidemic came to be, and why the public health system has failed to turn things around.
“FRONTLINE: Confronting ISIS” FRONTLINE (PBS/WGBH)
An examination of the successes, failures and challenges in America’s ongoing war against Islamist extremists.
“FRONTLINE: Exodus” FRONTLINE (PBS/WGBH)
An intimate take on the refugee and migrant crisis.
“Great Performances: Hamilton’s America” A RadicalMedia Production in association with THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET (PBS)
History and the creative process behind Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway phenomenon, “Hamilton.”
“Hip-Hop Evolution” Banger Films (Netflix, HBO Canada)
Series tracing hip hop’s evolution from the 1970s through the 1990s.
“Independent Lens: The Armor of Light” Purple Mickey Productions, in association with Fork Films (PBS)
A conservative, Evangelical minister questions his long-held assumptions about guns and gun ownership.
“Independent Lens: The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” Firelight Films, Inc. and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) (PBS)
A history of The Black Panthers and the socioeconomic and racial justice issues the group tackled.
“Independent Lens: Trapped” Trilogy Films LLC Bigmouth Productions, Cedar Creek Productions and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) (PBS)
A look at the motivation and politics surrounding “TRAP” laws, specifically designed to restrict access to abortion providers.
“Islamic State’s Most Wanted” BBC World Service (BBC News Online)
Four young men take on the Islamic State with risky undercover reporting.
“Last Chance U” A Netflix production in association with Conde Nast Entertainment, Endgame Entertainment and One Potato Productions (Netflix)
Character-driven, behind-the-scenes look at the world of college football.
“Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing” HBO Documentary Films and Break Thru Films in association with The Boston Globe (HBO)
A recounting of the Boston Marathon terrorist attacks through the experiences of individuals whose lives were forever changed on April 15, 2013.
“MAVIS!” Film First and HBO Documentary Films (HBO)
A celebration of the gospel and soul music legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples.
“O.J.: Made in America” ESPN Films and Laylow Films (ESPN)
A biography of O.J. Simpson and a definitive story of 20th century America.
“POV: Hooligan Sparrow” POV | American Documentary (PBS)
A small group of women’s rights activists stand together to protest sexual assault in schools in Hainan, China.
“POV: The Look of Silence” POV | American Documentary (PBS)
The story of an Indonesian man confronting his brother’s killers and demanding they accept responsibility for their crimes.
“POV: The Return” POV | American Documentary (PBS)
An examination of California prisoners suddenly freed and their adjustment to life on the outside.
“POV: What Tomorrow Brings” POV | American Documentary (PBS)
A film about girls coming of age and struggling to find their way in a violent, uncertain Afghanistan.
“Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four” Deborah S. Esquenazi Productions, LLC (Investigation Discovery)
An excavation of the persecution of four Latina lesbians wrongfully convicted of gang-rape.
“The Forger” The New York Times (Video)
The story of Adolfo Kaminsky, who helped save thousands of lives by making false passports and other documents for children to flee the Nazis.
“The Secret Life of Muslims” Seftel Productions (Vox, The USA Today Network, PRI’s The World, CBS Sunday Morning)
A series of short films featuring a diverse set of American Muslims speaking from their own respective experiences.
“13th” Forward Movement LLC and Kandoo Films (Netflix)
An exploration of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and its relation to the criminalization and imprisonment of African-Americans.
“Zero Days” Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media, in association with Showtime Documentary Films, Global Produce/Jigsaw Productions (Showtime)
An exploration of cyber warfare and its potential impact on global peace.
“American Crime” ABC Studios (ABC)
Issues of sexual orientation and socioeconomic disparity come to a roil when lurid photos of a high school boy are posted on social media after a party.
“Atlanta” FX Productions (FX Networks)
Two cousins work through the Atlanta music scene in order to better their lives and the lives of their families.
“Better Things” FX Productions (FX Networks)
The life of a single, working mom and actor raising three daughters in Los Angeles.
“Cleverman” Goalpost Pictures and Pukeko Pictures for ABC-TV Australia in co-production with SundanceTV and Red Arrow International, with the assistance of Screen Australia, Screen NSW and The New Zealand Screen Production Grant (SundanceTV)
A young man in denial of his culture and estranged from his family becomes an unexpected hero with the power to unite two disparate worlds.
“Happy Valley” Red Production Company and BBC (BBC One, Netflix)
Yorkshire police sergeant Catherine Cawood pursues the man who assaulted her late daughter.
“Horace and Pete” Pig Newton, Inc. (louisck.net)
A story of a family and the struggles and laughs that go into running a bar for generations.
“Lemonade” HBO Entertainment in association with Parkwood Entertainment (HBO)
A visual album about a journey in personal healing as well as a collective purge.
“Marvel’s Luke Cage” Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix (Netflix)
A sabotaged experiment leaves Luke Cage with super strength and unbreakable skin in modern-day Harlem.
“National Treasure” The Forge (Channel 4, Hulu)
A look at the disturbing prevalence of sexual abuse at the hands of privileged public figures told from multiple perspectives.
“Stranger Things” 21 Laps for Netflix (Netflix)
The search for a young boy who seemingly vanishes into thin air in Hawkins, Indiana in the 1980s.
“This Is Us” Rhode Island Ave. Productions, Zaftig Films, 20th Century Fox Television (NBC)
A modern dramedy that challenges everyday presumptions and stereotypes.
“The Night Of” HBO Entertainment in association with BBC, Bad Wolf Productions and Film Rites (HBO)
Series that delves into the intricacies of a murder case in New York City and what happens to suspects before they are ever found guilty or innocent.
“VEEP” HBO Entertainment (HBO)
An alternative, intelligent and funny interpretation of the business of government.
“Arrested at School: Criminalizing Classroom Misbehavior” KNTV Bay Area (NBC)
Investigation into how certain school districts misuse law enforcement to discipline students.
“Battle for Mosul” (CNN)
Experienced field teams embedded with military units bring insight and depth from the frontline.
“Big Buses, Bigger Problems: Investigating DCS” KXAS-TV Dallas-Fort Worth (NBC)
Investigation uncovered serious safety concerns inside Dallas County Schools (DCS).
“CBS News 60 Minutes: The White Helmets” (CBS)
A report on Syria’s volunteer search and rescue teams pulling life out of bombed out buildings.
“Charity Caught on Camera” WTHR-TV Indianapolis (NBC)
Undercover investigation exposed stunning mismanagement at an Indiana charity.
“Dangerous Exposure” WTHR-TV Indianapolis (NBC)
Major findings include contaminated water wells, asbestos blowing into the air and toxic chemicals inching towards a city’s water supply.
“Heart of an Epidemic, West Virginia’s Opioid Addiction” The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley (CBS)
A drilling down into the layers of opioid addiction and its effect on one state.
“ISIS in Iraq and Syria” (CNN)
Reports from the frontlines offer insight into the terror group, its tactics, and the lingering costs of the ISIS occupation in both countries.
“Student Debt” HBO Entertainment in association with Vice and Bill Maher Productions (HBO)
Student loan coverage revealed conflict of interests and systematic wrongdoing.
“Undercover in Syria” (CNN)
Reporters go deep undercover to see the impact of Russia’s involvement in the Syrian civil war.
”#MoreThanMean-Women in Sports ‘Face’ Harassment” Just Not Sports & One Tree Forest Films (YouTube/Twitter/Facebook)
A short video about the harassment of women in sports puts a face on the issue.
“100 Women” BBC World Service (BBC World Network)
Multimedia, multilingual content aims to shine a light on challenges that face many women around the globe.
“A Life Sentence: Victims, Offenders, Justice, and My Mother” Transom.org
One woman’s exploration of a violent crime that resonated throughout political and correctional systems.
“Homecoming” Gimlet Media
A story centered around a caseworker at an experimental facility, her ambitious supervisor, and a soldier eager to rejoin civilian life.
“How to Be a Girl” Marlo Mack, in partnership with KUOW Seattle
An attempt to make sense of the unanticipated parenting challenge of raising a transgender child.
“In The Dark” APM Reports
An investigation into the investigation of a kidnapping victim reveals a larger story about a systemic failure of law enforcement agencies nationwide.
“The Heart: Silent Evidence Series” The Heart
A journalist and documentarian grapples with being sexually abused and chooses to break her silence.
“This American Life: Anatomy of Doubt” This American Life, PBC in collaboration with The Marshall Project and ProPublica (Multiple stations/platforms)
A story that deconstructs skepticism in a rape victim’s case and how it spread.
“The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel” Mars Patel LLC (Panoply)
A serialized, scripted podcast designed for ages 8-12, performed by middle grade children.
“Unprisoned” WWNO and AIR
Based in New Orleans, stories behind families, communities and notions of justice in the age of mass incarceration.
“Wells Fargo Hurts Whistleblowers” (NPR)
On the heels of one of the biggest banking scandals in U.S. history, former Wells Fargo workers describe a boiler-room sales culture that pervaded bank branches across the country.
“Hell and High Water” ProPublica and The Texas Tribune
A combination of science journalism, on-the-ground reporting and cutting-edge technology.
About Peabody Awards
The Peabody Awards honor the most powerful, enlightening and invigorating stories in television, radio and digital media. Each year, Peabody Awards are bestowed upon a curated collection of 30 stories that capture society’s most important issues—known as the Peabody 30. Honorees must be unanimously chosen by the Peabody Board of Jurors, a diverse assembly of industry professionals, media scholars, critics, and journalists who each bring a unique perspective of what constitutes a story that matters. From major Hollywood productions to local journalism, the network of Peabody Awards winners is a definitive collection of society’s most important stories and storytellers, including winners that have ranged from Edward R. Murrow, Carol Burnett, and David Letterman to “The Sopranos,” “Sesame Street,” “Breaking Bad,” and “Serial.” The Peabody Awards were founded in 1940 at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia and are still based in Athens today.