The Peabody Awards has named 30 programs as the most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting and digital media during 2019.
Here is the complete list of winners in the Entertainment category, which include programs of genre interest Chernobyl, Stranger Things and Watchmen. .
- “Chernobyl” HBO Miniseries and SKY in association with Sister, The Mighty Mint, and Word Games (HBO)
This emotionally searing miniseries about the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster and political aftermath is written, acted, and composed to perfection.
- “David Makes Man” Page Fright and Outlier Productions in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
This visually stunning coming-of-age drama by Tarell Alvin McCraney follows a gifted 14-year-old African American boy (superbly acted by Akili McDowell) growing up in the projects in Florida and haunted by the death of a friend.
- “Dickinson” Apple / wiip / Anonymous Content / Tuning Fork Productions / Sugar 23 Productions (Apple TV+)
While set in the appropriate time, this historical dramedy about famous poet Emily Dickinson is infused and energized by a fresh, contemporary sense and sensibility.
- “Fleabag” All3Media International Limited and Amazon Studios (Prime Video)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge writes and stars in the second season of the hilarious and caring show about a woman struggling with the death of a friend, and attraction to a hot priest.
- “Ramy” Hulu, A24 Television (Hulu)
Ramy Youssef writes and stars in a touching, thoughtful, and very funny sitcom focusing on a first-generation American Muslim and his family in New Jersey.
- “Stranger Things” Monkey Massacre Productions & 21 Laps Entertainment (Netflix)
Season three continues the fun, nostalgic, horror-meets-sci-fi series about a group of adolescents fighting dark forces in their 1980s Indiana town.
- “Succession” HBO Entertainment in association with Project Zeus, Hyperobject Industries, and Gary Sanchez Productions (HBO)
Boasting one of the best ensembles on television, the second season of this satiric comic drama follows the devolution of the fictional Roy media magnate family, and their battles over who will succeed its imperial patriarch.
- “Unbelievable” Timberman-Beverly Productions, Sage Lane Productions, Escapist Fare, Katie Couric Media, and CBS Television Studios for Netflix (Netflix)
The superb dramatization of intersecting, albeit vastly-differently-executed investigations into a serial rapist, features standout performances from Toni Collette, Merritt Weaver, and Kaitlyn Dever.
- “Watchmen” HBO in association with White Rabbit, Paramount, Warner Bros. Television and DC (HBO)
Brilliantly penned by Damon Lindelof, this high concept sci-fi superhero show refashions the famed DC Comics series to tell a story about racism, policing, fear, and more.
- “When They See Us” Participant Media, Tribeca Productions, Harpo Films, Array Filmworks for Netflix (Netflix)
Devastating and commanding, the powerful miniseries from Ava DuVernay about the Central Park Five case and the lives it ruined, offers riveting work from a strong ensemble cast.
The organization also announced FRONTLINE and The Simpsons as recipients of Institutional Awards. This distinctive honor goes to programs that have made a significant impact on media programming and the cultural landscape. Cicely Tyson was named winner of the Peabody Career Achievement Award on Monday.
On December 17, 1989, the clouds parted in the now-iconic opening sequence of “The Simpsons,” inviting the world into the town of Springfield for the first time. Already well known to fans of “The Tracey Ullman Show”—which ran a series of animated shorts by creator Matt Groening starting in 1987—Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie would soon rocket to international fame. “The Simpsons,” with nearly 700 full episodes to date, is now the longest-running scripted prime-time series in American television history, and likely the most globally recognized program in history.
Following a decade of earnest family sitcoms, the brash yellow splash of “The Simpsons” on TV cleared the way for a more satiric-parodic, deeply ironic mode of comedy. From the outset, the program was eager to question and rib not just the medium its viewers grew up on, but the beliefs upon which they were structured. Decades later, the effect of its witty humor and willingness to question authority is evident in similarly important comedies that followed in Homer’s four-toed path.
“The Simpsons” expanded notions of what the sitcom could be. It gifted us a wonderful family caught between the poles of father Homer’s delightful ignorance and daughter Lisa’s endearing brilliance, a family that would fumble, fight, and fail, and yet who loved each other in spite of it all. It boldly and inventively ushered animation back into primetime. And it has found ways to remain funny, fresh, and insightful while trusting and respecting its audience’s intelligence. In one episode, Homer thumps his television angrily, demanding that it “be more funny.” Peabody commends “The Simpsons” writers, animators, and cast for answering Homer’s call for 30 years.
[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for the story.]