Peabody Digital Network
Quick Takes address social issues of the day through reportage and backstage interviews with creators of Peabody Award-winning programs.
“Pandora’s Box has been opened,” explains Alex Gibney. Here’s a quick take on how the filmmaker deconstructs the real threat of cyber warfare in 2016 Peabody Award winner Zero Days.
Quick Takes - 13th
“We put people away at a higher rate than any other country in the world,” explains filmmaker Ava DuVernay. Her 2016 Peabody Award-winning documentary 13th explores the history of incarceration in the U.S., including the criminalization of black males and police brutality.
Peabody Conversations is a digital series that draws from the interviews conducted during the Peabody Awards ceremony.
Fred Rogers “absolutely respected the children he was trying to talk to,” says Paul Siefken, president/CEO of the Fred Rogers Company. The company received a 2017 Institutional Peabody Award for continuing that legacy by “producing high-quality, thoughtful educational television that cares not only about the children who watch it, but the adults they will become.”
“We’re trying to make something that sticks in people’s minds,” Bruce Miller, creator and executive producer of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” says in this Peabody Conversation. The dystopian drama was honored with a 2017 Peabody Award for its beautiful, albeit harrowing, adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s vision of a fascist, misogynist future.
“I loved the idea of doing television in front of an audience,” Carol Burnett recalls in this Peabody Conversation, recorded after the TV icon accepted a Peabody Career Achievement Award presented by Mercedes-Benz in May.
David Letterman describes what he feels is “the worst feeling in the world.” He also explains how you can know if you’re funny, and speaks candidly about his career as a late night host.
“Life is a struggle, and when a show goes right at the heart of it, that’s what people gravitate towards,” says Justin Theroux, a cast member of 2015 Peabody-winner The Leftovers. The drama, set several years after the mysterious disappearance of 2 percent of the world’s population, is an inspiring, unpredictable tale about loss, grief and faith.
“This is more than a legalization struggle,” Angy Rivera says of the plight of the more than 11 million undocumented people in America today. “But a psychological war that measures character and patience.” The documentary Don’t Tell Anyone (No Le Digas a Nadie) follows Rivera’s daily journey out of an environment steeped in fear to becoming an activist for young people like herself. Director/editor/producer Mikaela Shwer’s richly textured portrait evokes millions of similar stories across the country.
“Guess what? Your cell phone can’t always find you in an emergency when you call 911,” is what prompted WXIA’s Brendan Keefe to dig deeper into 911 response times after the tragic death of a suburban Atlanta woman. His investigative report 911: Lost on the Line led to local and national changes that can potentially save lives.
“It resonates on many emotional and intellectual levels,” producer John Battsek says of the lessons in the documentary Listen To Me Marlon. He and fellow producer RJ Cutler discuss the great gift of 300 hours of audiotape the late actor Marlon Brando left behind, which the film matches to a computer-generated hologram bust, bringing the reclusive actor’s thoughts to life.
Deutschland ‘83 takes viewers on a nostalgic trip to the Cold War by tracking a young East German undercover agent recruited to spy on the West German military. “A lot of what happened in the ‘80s can be seen happening today,” says Lisa Honig, EVP of Fremantle Media, producer of the first German-language series to run in the U.S. The political thriller revisits a non-so-distant conflict with “rapid pacing, retro style and agile score.”
“There’s this very pernicious silencing of the press that happens around the Church of Scientology, and a lot of people are afraid to speak,” says Kristen Vaurio, producer of Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. Based on Lawrence Wright’s book, the 2015 Peabody winning documentary “takes a look at the dangers of blind faith and where that can take people,” according to writer/director Alex Gibney.
“The world shouldn’t forget Afghanistan,” warns Najibullah Quraishi of the potential for the country to become a safe haven for ISIS. The veteran Afghani journalist and FRONTLINE correspondent won a 2015 Peabody for his enterprise reporting in the documentary ISIS in Afghanistan. Quraishi and his team took many risks venturing into the heart of ISIS to uncover its power and appeal.
“The extent to which humans can exact this kind of callous violence on such magnificent animals is mind-numbing,” Bryant Gumbel says of “The Killing Fields,” which documents the decimation of the elephant population in East Africa. The program expands the boundaries of sports reporting by exploring the economic, social and cultural consequences of big game hunting.
How should society address hate crimes like rape? By educating children’s hearts, not only their minds, according to Leslee Udwin, director of the Peabody Award-winning documentary India’s Daughter. The film chronicles the infamous gang rape and murder of a young woman in Delhi in 2012, and the protest movement it inspired. In April 2015, Udwin founded ThinkEqual, her solution to sexual assault and rape culture.
Executive producer Lindy Cameron, director Donald Coutts, lead writer Sergio Casci and star Cherry Campbell discuss the high stakes involved in adapting Katie Morag from Mairi Hedderwick’s series of books. This interview was recorded backstage at the 75th Annual Peabody Awards immediately after they had accepted their award.
Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang discuss how personal experiences create the humor within their show Master of None. This interview was recorded immediately after they received their award onstage at the 75th Peabody Awards ceremony.
Jill Soloway discusses the issues and family struggles that are brought to life in Transparent. This interview was recorded backstage at the Peabody Awards ceremony after she had accepted the award on-stage.
Stanley Nelson discusses his body of work, recognized with a 2015 individual Peabody Award. He has previously been honored with 3 Peabody Awards, for “The Murder of Emmett Till,” “Freedom Riders” and “Freedom Summer.”
Malcolm Brabant, Justin Kenny and Sara Just discuss PBS Newshour’s special coverage of the on-going refugee crisis that was the focus of the 2015 Peabody Award-winning program “Desperate Journey.”
Showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, executive producer Jeph Loeb and stars Krysten Ritter and Carrie Anne Moss discuss winning a Peabody for season one of Marvel’s Jessica Jones.
Director Andrew Jarecki and producer Marc Smerling detail the investigative process they undertook in creating the Peabody Award-winning documentary “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” for HBO Documentary Films.
“Night Will Fall” weaves together original footage of the atrocities of Nazi concentration camps from a 1945 documentary by Alfred Hitchcock and Sidney Bernstein that was shelved for political reasons and resuscitated nearly 70 years later.
WTAE-TV Pittsburgh’s news director Justin Antoniotti and reporter Paul Van Osdol discuss Burning Questions, their Peabody Award-winning coverage of emergency response times from fire departments throughout Western Pennsylvania.
Co-creators Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, along with star Shiri Appleby, discuss the premise and conception of the dark Lifetime dramedy UnREAL.
Writer, director, and cinematographer Cary Fukunaga discusses winning a Peabody Award for Beasts of No Nation while backstage at the 75th annual ceremony.
Sam Esmail, Christian Slater, Rami Malek, and Chad Hamilton met backstage at the 75th annual Peabody Awards ceremony to discuss the first season of MR. ROBOT.
“We like to laugh,” says Pendleton Ward, creator of Adventure Time. “We try to dig deep; heartbreaking humanity makes us laugh, right? That’s how we’re free.” Check out the conversation with Ward and Adam Muto, co-executive producer, after their acceptance for 2014 Peabody Award.
Peabody Spotlight is a digital series that draws from the vast Peabody Archive, one of the largest repositories of audiovisual materials in the United States. Peabody Spotlight focuses on significant societal issues as represented through the storytelling of Peabody Award winners and finalists, as well as more than 75 years of broadcasting’s best programming.
Narrated by Charlayne Hunter-Gault, this Peabody Spotlight reveals dark truths while maintaining hope for change. The Peabody Media Center recently tracked stories about sexual assault and rape that expose a culture of complicity evident even before the rise of the #MeToo movement.
Peabody Archive materials illustrate that the conversation about race in Baltimore began long before the death of a young man, Freddie Gray, in police custody. This Peabody Spotlight demonstrates how the city’s conversation about race has evolved over the years, and reveals that poverty, class and lack of investment in infrastructure have long been key factors in the city’s struggles.
Peabody Spotlight - Black Power & Creative Expression
The explosive acts of racially motivated violence in the 1960s gave birth to more than just enmity between races and a national crisis—it fueled the creative passion of artists like Nina Simone, Gordon Parks, and James Brown. This installment of Peabody Spotlight revisits their work and its impact on the civil rights and Black Power movements of the time.
Peabody Spotlight - Storytellers: Black History
The United States would be a very different country if not for African-Americans, who played a central role in shaping its culture—from popular music to food—and continue to define it. This Peabody Spotlight takes a look at storytelling by filmmakers such as Henry Louis Gates Jr., whose work has helped bring the history of African-Americans to light.
Stories That Matter
Stories that Matter is a podcast that draws from the interviews conducted during the Peabody Awards ceremony, special Peabody events, and other conversations with Peabody honorees.
Creator of The Sopranos David Chase spoke with us for an hour about what it took to make one of the most revered TV shows of all time. Chase reflects on The Sopranos 15 years after it premiered in 1999 and sparked a renaissance in TV programming.
Creator of the Peabody Award-winning The Bernie Mac Show Larry Wilmore spoke with us about his history of writing for variety and sitcom programs, and the influences that went into his work.
Anthony Bourdain, host of the Peabody Award-winning program Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown on CNN, spoke with us about how creating his shows and finding interesting stories has challenged him professionally, as well as personally.
Sarah Koenig, host of Serial, and Julie Snyder, executive producer, tell about why they were hooked by a story of a man imprisoned for murder and the unexpected level of attention they received for telling that story.
A discussion with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich of WYNC’s Radio Lab, which won its second Peabody for the 2014 episode “60 words,” an exploration of how the “authorization to use military force” went into effect in the days after 9/11.