[04/04/07 - 09:37 AM]
66th Annual Peabody Awards Winners Announced
TV winners include "Friday Night Lights," "The Office," "Ugly Betty," "Brotherhood" and "Elizabeth I."

[via press release from University of Georgia]

66th Annual Peabody Awards Winners Announced

Bob Costas to host Awards Ceremony on June 4 at New York City`s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

ATHENS, Georgia � Thirty-five recipients of the 66th Annual Peabody Awards were announced today by the University of Georgia`s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The winners, chosen by the Peabody board as the best in electronic media for 2006, were named in a ceremony in the Peabody Gallery on the University of Georgia Campus. The latest Peabody recipients reflect the ever- broadening definition of electronic media and the international scope of the competition.

"This year the Peabody Board reviewed an amazing array of outstanding material," said Horace Newcomb, director of the Peabody Awards. "The result is that our work becomes more difficult � and more rewarding � as creators and producers of electronic media develop more and more powerful, important, and engaging work."

The awards will be presented June 4 at a luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Celebrated sportscaster Bob Costas, host of HBO`s "Costas Now," will be the master of ceremonies.

An array of worthy documentaries was again diverse and impressive. In "Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film," presented by "American Masters," Ric Burns demonstrated how Warhol`s art, life and notoriety influenced the culture of his times. With amazing cinematography and a fittingly grand musical score, the BBC-National Geographic nature film "Galapagos: Born of Fire" revealed new wonders on and around the islands that inspired Darwin. "Why We Fight," broadcast by CBC, one of a dozen international partners in the production, examined 60 years of American involvements abroad in the context of President Dwight Eisenhower`s famous warning about the "military-industrial complex." "The Education of Ms. Grove," a special segment of "Dateline NBC," shadowed a young, idealistic first-year middle-school teacher in Atlanta as she learned some crucial lessons herself. No documentary was more original than "Braindamadj`d�Take II," Canadian television producer Paul Nadler`s boldly stylized account of his own remarkable recovery from a serious brain injury.

Entertainment series selected included NBC`s "Friday Night Lights," a richly textured serial in which a football-obsessed, Texas town becomes a microcosm of America, and "Brotherhood," Showtime`s riveting drama about two Irish-American brothers in Providence, R.I., and their morally comprised pursuits of the American dream. Peabodys also went to ABC`s "Ugly Betty," a telenovela makeover that explores clashing concepts of beauty, class, race and footwear with intelligence, warmth and wit; NBC`s "The Office," a British comedy of workplace manners that has been transferred with pitch-perfect brilliance to Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA; and "Scrubs," a unstintingly creative, sixth-season NBC comedy that never loses its respect for humanity despite a narrative style akin to Looney Tunes.

"Return of the King," an especially provocative installment of the prickly animated series "Boondocks," was the first program televised by Cartoon Network to win a Peabody. The episode imagined a reawakened Martin Luther King`s reaction to contemporary phenomena from gangsta rap to the war on terror. Three other basic cable channels televised Peabody-winning programs for the first time. Awards went to "Good Eats," a deliriously inventive series for Food Network in which Alton Brown educates viewers about food, science, history and culture. "Beyond Borders: Personal Stories from a Small Planet" is a series of short films presented on the Independent Film Channel. These films demonstrate that young people around the world had stories to tell and that, given equipment and a little training, could tell them powerfully. "For My Country? Latinos in the Military," an even-handed exploration of how Latinos have come to be disproportionately represented in the armed services, is the first Peabody to be presented to mun2, a Telemundo subsidiary aimed at younger viewers.

Also cited for excellence was the BBC, BBC America, Talkback production "Gideon`s Daughter," a complex, delicately knitted study of a father-daughter relationship, grief, and the cult of celebrity, all against the backdrop of Princess Diana`s death.

Cable network HBO received Peabody Awards for a varied range of productions. Spike Lee`s elegiac documentary about New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, "When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," was recognized by the Peabody board. So, too, was HBO Family`s "The Music In Me," an irresistible showcase for superb young performers playing everything from classical cello to zydeco accordion. HBO Sports` "Billy Jean King: Portrait of a Pioneer" explored the tennis great`s impact on politics and culture as well as women`s athletics. The cable channel also was recognized for "Elizabeth I," a richly detailed biographical movie in which Helen Mirren`s performance was a royal splendor in itself; and "Baghdad ER," a powerful documentary testifying to the extraordinary dedication of medical personnel confronting the overwhelming carnage of war.

ABC News devoted an hour of prime time to "Out of Control: AIDS in Black America," a devastating report about how African-Americans, who make up 13 percent of the nation`s population, now account for more than 50 percent of new cases of HIV infection. ABC News also was cited for "Brian Ross Investigates: Conduct Unbecoming," broadcast reports and blog postings by Ross that broke the story of Rep. Mark Foley`s sexually explicit emails to young Congressional pages and speeded Foley`s resignation. CBS` "60 Minutes" won for "The Duke Rape Case," an Ed Bradley-led investigation of rape allegations against Duke University lacrosse players that stood widespread assumptions � and the prosecution`s case � on their heads.

Local TV stations captured four 2006 Peabodys. WTNH-TV in New Haven, Conn., was cited for "Defective Parts on Blackhawk Helicopters." This investigation of quality-control problems at a nearby Sikorsky Aircraft plant resulted in corrective action and a corporate shakeup. Another military-equipment issue, inadequate protective padding in U.S. Marine helmets, was the subject of an ambitious, Peabody-worthy investigation, "Command Mistake," by Indianapolis` WISH-TV. A second Indianapolis station, WTHR-TV, was cited for two pieces, "Prescription Privacy" and "Cause for Alarm," that demonstrated the importance and different possibilities of local TV news investigations. KMOV-TV in St. Louis garnered a Peabody for "Left Behind: The Failure of East St. Louis Schools," a series of 21 reports that found the school system had violated national and federal special-education requirements and uncovered widespread political and nepotistic hiring by the school board.

A rare Institutional Award went to StoryCorps, a deceptively simple, invaluable project that encourages people to step into StoryCorps recording booths to tape oral histories, from personal matters to their experience of public events. Edited versions are regularly broadcast on National Public Radio (NPR), while the full recordings, thousands of hours` worth, are archived at in the Library of Congress.

NPR also was recognized for "Mental Anguish and the Military," a hard look at post-traumatic stress disorder, notable for its candid, sometimes shocking interviews with Iraq War veterans at Ft. Carson, Colo. Public Radio International was cited for "Crossing East: Our History, Our Stories, Our America," an eight-part series about Asian-American history that drew on more than 500 hours of interviews conducted for the project. "Crossing Borders," broadcast by Arizona Public Radio, gave listeners a multi-textured account of illegal immigration that included vivid, you-are-there audio from the Mexican desert." Habeas Schmabeas," an installment of WBEZ Chicago Public Radio`s "This American Life," won for a look at the endangerment of a fundamental American legal right. It included Kafka-esque stories of two former terrorism suspects who were imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay.

A Peabody went to "The Three Amigos HIV/AIDS Prevention Programme," a series of cautionary spots starring a trio of animated condoms. This whimsical public-service campaign with deadly serious intentions is available for telecast in 41 different languages.

Peabody Awards also went to two impressive Websites. "Being a Black Man," featured on washingtonpost.com, allows visitors to see, hear and respond to a huge range of history and personal experiences that defied stereotypes and statistics. FourDocs (www.channel4.com/fourdocs), a site created and curated by Magic Lantern Productions and Great Britain`s Channel 4, offers visitors the history and how-to of nonfiction filmmaking while providing a showcase for an array of original documentaries under four minutes in length.

"With all these awards," Newcomb said, "the aim of the Peabody Awards is to demonstrate the excellence possible in these media. We hold up our selections as examples of what can and should be done in the worlds of journalism, entertainment, documentary, education, and public service."

The Peabody Board is a 16-member group, comprised of television critics, broadcast and cable industry executives and experts in culture and the arts, that judges the entries. Selection is made by the board following review by special screening committees of University of Georgia faculty, students and staff.

The Peabody Awards, the oldest honor in electronic media, do not recognize categories nor is there a set number of awards given each year. Today the Peabody recognizes distinguished achievement and meritorious public service by stations, networks, producing organizations and individuals.

All entries become a permanent part of the Peabody Archive in the University of Georgia Libraries. The collection is one of the nation`s oldest, largest and most respected moving-image archives. For more information about the Peabody Archive or the Peabody Awards, visit www.peabody.uga.edu.

Complete List of 2006 Peabody Award Winners

Mental Anguish and the Military National Public Radio

Using candid, sometimes startling interviews, NPR investigates how Iraq War veterans coping with post-traumatic stress disorder are treated, socially as well as medically, at one U.S. military base.Produced by National Public Radio

Crossing East: Our History, Our Stories, Our America Public Radio International

In the first radio series to explore Asian-American history in depth, eight, 54-minute installments drew on sources that included more than 500 hours of oral history interviews conducted for the project. Produced by MediaRites Productions

Crossing Borders Arizona Public Radio and some 230 public-radio stations

The nighttime desert seems to have a voice of its own in this vivid audio chronicle of illegal immigrants from Mexico, what dangers their journeys can entail, and why they still take the risk. Produced by HearingVoices.com

This American Life: Habeas Schmabeas WBEZ, Chicago, and some 500 public-radio stations

This report, about the denial of habeas corpus to terrorism suspects, focuses on the stories of two former Guantanamo Bay prisoners and explains why the right is so fundamental in American law. Produced by WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

StoryCorps National Public Radio

This ambitious, nationwide project gathers oral histories that will ultimately be archived at the Library of Congress. It also provides NPR`s "Morning Edition" with a stream of moving first-person accounts by Americans ranging from Civil Rights veterans to Hurricane Katrina survivors to Alzheimer`s victims. Produced by StoryCorps

Defective Parts on Blackhawk Helicopters WTNH-TV, New Haven, CT

WTNH reporters` investigation of quality-control issues at an important local employer, Sikorsky Aircraft, prompted corrective action and a corporate shakeup. Produced by WTNH-TV

Left Behind: The Failure of East St. Louis Schools KMOV-TV, St. Louis, MO

In 21 reports broadcast over a seven month period, KMOV exposed the school district`s violation of state and federal rules regarding special education and uncovered the school board`s awarding of more than 100 political or nepotistic jobs. Produced by KMOV-TV

The Education of Ms. Groves NBC

Inspiring but not schmaltzy, this program tracks the learning curve of a wide-eyed, first-year middle-school teacher in Atlanta who discovers her job demands skills and resources as well as idealism. Produced by Dateline NBC

60 Minutes: The Duke Rape Case CBS

A "60 Minutes" team led by correspondent Ed Bradley delved into the allegations of rape against Duke University lacrosse players and stopped a prosecutorial rush to judgment in its tracks. Produced by CBS News.

Prescription Privacy/Cause for Alarm WTHR-TV, Indianapolis, IN

A pair of reports � one on inadequate tornado-warning sirens, the other on drug stores` willy-nilly disposal of clients` personal data were enterprising investigations, calls for action � and great local television. Produced by WTHR-TV

ABC News Brian Ross Investigates: Conduct Unbecoming ABC

Brian Ross` broadcasts and web postings about Rep. Mark Foley`s sexually explicit emails to young Congressional pages triggered new revelations, speeded Foley`s resignation and may have affected the outcome of the November elections. Produced by ABC World News Tonight, ABC News Nightline, ABC News.com "The Blotter"

Command Mistake WISH-TV, Indianapolis, IN

In a local-station investigation that spread to three continents, WISH demonstrated that U.S. Marines are sustaining head injuries that can kill or cost millions to rehab � merely for lack of helmet padding that costs $30. Produced by WISH-TV

Galapagos: Born of Fire BBC Two

The Galapagos islands, a fascinating microcosm of Earth, inspired this melding of cinematography and musical score cited by Peabody board members as "stunning," "amazing" and "astonishing." Produced by BBC, co-produced by National Geographic, BBC Worldwide

American Masters: Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film PBS

Ric Burns`s documentary places Warhol at the center of the late 20th century art world and shows how his work, notoriety and life embodied and influenced the culture of his time. Produced by Steeplechase Films Inc., High Line Productions, Daniel Wolf Inc., Thirteen/WNET

For My Country? Latinos in the Military mun2

This probing but even-handed documentary examines the social, cultural and economic realities that lead a demographically disproportionate number of young Latinos to enlist in the military and questions whether they are being targeted by recruiters. Produced by mun2

Baghdad ER Home Box Office

Filmed at the 86th Combat Support Hospital and presented without commentary or narration, this documentary is a horrifying and humbling testament to the dedication of medical personnel confronting the overwhelming brutality of war. Produced by Home Box Office, Downtown Community Television

Braindamadj`d�Take II CBC

A television producer who suffered a brain injury confounds a dire prognosis. He not only makes a significant recovery but creates a wildly inventive film about his experience. Produced by Apartment 11 Productions, CBC Newsworld, Canadian Television Fund, RDI, Knowledge Network

When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts Home Box Office

Spike Lee`s examination of Hurricane Katrina`s devastation and the government`s neglect of New Orleans in the storm`s aftermath is an epic chronicle of destruction and broken promises, a heartrending document and a profound work of art. Produced by HBO Documentary Films in association with 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks

Out of Control: AIDS in Black America ABC

In a prime-time news hour, ABC explored the reasons for and consequences of a shockingly underreported fact � that blacks, who make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, now account for more than 50 percent of new cases of HIV infection. Produced by PJ Productions, ABC News

Why We Fight CBC

Masterful simply as filmmaking, disturbing as connect-the-dot reportage, this documentary links President Eisenhower`s famous warning about the "military-industrial complex" to six ensuing decades of American interventions abroad, to terrorism and to the war in Iraq. Produced by Charlotte Street Films LTD, CBC TV (Canada), BBC TV (United Kingdom), ARTE GEIE TV (France/Germany), TV2 TV (Denmark), YLE TV2 TV (Finland), WDR TV (Germany), VRT TV (Belgium), SVT TV (Sweden), VPRO TV (Netherlands), NRK TV (Norway), ETV TV (Estonia), European Union Media Plus Program, TVE (Spain)

Brotherhood Showtime

Uniformly splendid acting and a strong sense of place characterize this serial drama about two Providence, R.I. brothers, a rising politician and a smalltime gangster, and their morally compromised pursuits of the American dream. Produced by Showtime, Mandalay Television

Billie Jean King: Portrait of a Pioneer Home Box Office

Unusually substantial for a sports biography, the film persuasively confirms the tennis champion`s heroic status in women`s history as well as athletics. Produced by HBO Sports

Elizabeth I Home Box Office

Helen Mirren`s artistry as an actress mesmerizes throughout this beautifully produced movie that focuses on the latter half of Queen Elizabeth I`s reign -- a splendid rendering of historic events and intimate details. Produced by Company Pictures and Channel 4 in association with HBO Films

Boondocks: Return of the King Cartoon Network

An especially daring episode of the animated series based on Aaron McGruder`s syndicated comic strip imagines Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reviving from a 32-year "coma" and outraging Americans of all colors and creeds by confronting them with truths that he, at least, still holds to be self-evident. Produced by Rebel Base, Sony Pictures Television

Scrubs NBC

A sweet-and-pungent "Wizard of Oz" parody was just one testimonial to the continuing creative vigor, six seasons into its run, of Bill Lawrence`s hellzapoppin` comedy about the staff of a Los Angeles hospital. Produced by Touchstone Television

Ugly Betty ABC

Inspired by an internationally popular telenovela, this Americanized version defies category. It`s part comedy, part drama, part soap opera, part fashion-industry satire � but is unmistakably graced with wry intelligence and heart. Produced by Touchstone Television

Gideon`s Daughter BBC America

This delicate character drama uses a complex father-daughter relationship to explore grief and the cult of celebrity against the backdrop of a nation mourning Princess Diana`s death. Produced by BBC, BBC America, Talkback

The Office NBC

This American adaptation of the Peabody-winning British hit of the same title -- a comedy of workplace manners and politics presented in faux documentary form -- has firmly established its own precise voice and studied brilliance. Produced by Reveille Studios in association with NBC Universal Television Studios

Friday Night Lights NBC

No dramatic series, broadcast or cable, is more grounded in contemporary American reality than this clear eyed serial about the hopes, dreams, livelihoods and egos intertwined with the fate of high-school football in a Texas town. Produced by NBC Universal Television Studio in association with Imagine Entertainment and Film 44

Good Eats Food Network

Rarely has science been taught on TV in such an entertaining � and appetizing � manner as it is in Alton Brown`s goofy, tirelessly inventive series. Produced by Be Square Productions Inc.

The Music In Me Home Box Office

What better way to inspire the study of music than with this irresistible collection of artfully photographed vignettes of young musicians, ages 7 to 11, playing everything from classical cello to zydeco accordion. Produced by HBO Family

Beyond Borders: Personal Stories from a Small Planet Independent Film Channel (Independents Shorts Showcases I & II) and IFCTV.org

Written, shot and edited by young filmmakers, ages 13-19, the nine short films in this series introduce budding artists who convey unique visions of what it`s like to grow up in different lands, under different social and economic conditions. Produced by Listen Up! Youth Media Network (New York, NY) with Polimorfo (Bogota Colombia), iEarn Sierra Leone (Freetown, Sierra Leone), Evanston Township High School (Evanston, IL), La Camioneta (Guatemala City, Guatemala), Sawtona (Amman, Jordan), Frame By Frame Fierce (New York, NY), Light House (Charlottesville, VA), Spy Hop Productions (Salt Lake City, UT), Our Voice (Kiev, Ukraine)

The Three Amigos HIV/AIDS Prevention Programme SABC (South Africa), OMNI (Canada), SBS 6 (Holland), TVM (Mozambique) & many others

A trio of anthropomorphic, cartoon condoms star in this hilariously memorable HIV/AIDS-prevention campaign that has been made available in 41 different languages. Produced by Chocolate Moose Media Inc., Quintet Productions

Being A Black Man http://www.washingtonpost.com

This revelatory website created by Washington Post staff defied stereotypes and went far beyond dire statistics and inspiring testimonials, allowing visitors to see, hear and respond to a huge range of history and personal experience. Produced by washingtonpost.com, The Washington Post

FourDocs http://www.channel4.com/fourdocs

This curated, ever-changing trove of independent documentaries under four minutes in length also teaches the history and how-to of nonfiction filmmaking and creates a community site for filmmaker-citizens. Produced by Magic Lantern Productions, Channel 4

  [april 2007]  


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