The Peabody Awards Board of Jurors has selected 60 nominees that represent the most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting and digital media during 2019.
The nominees were chosen by unanimous vote of 19 jurors from nearly 1,300 entries from television, radio/podcasts and the web in entertainment, news, documentary, children’s and public service programming. The Peabody Awards are based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.
“Peabody is proud to champion this year’s nominees who inspire our connection, provoke our thinking and delight our senses. From the communal strength of black women to the eminence of science to the conviction of those who speak up, these stories and their creators celebrate the diversity of human experience and of our democracy,” said Jeffrey P. Jones, executive director of Peabody. “Amidst the challenges of our present moment, we can find empathy, entertainment and truth in these nominees.”
The nominated programs encompass a wide range of pressing issues, including the criminal justice system, repercussions of the #MeToo movement, and immigrant rights.
Of the 60 nominations, PBS and HBO lead with 11 and seven, respectively, followed by Netflix (five), Amazon (three), and SHOWTIME, CNN, NBC News, and the podcast company Pineapple Street Studios (two each). From the list 30 winners will be named at a later date.
The 60 Peabody Award Nominees, listed by category and in alphabetical order (network/platform in parentheses) are:
Children’s & Youth
“Molly of Denali”
This captivating animated show explores Alaskan Native culture and traditions though the eyes of young Molly.
WGBH Educational Foundation, Atomic Cartoons (PBS Kids)
“Treasure Island 2020”
This wonderfully fun podcast inventively reworks Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic, now with time traveling pirates.
Gen-Z Media (BYUradio)
This moving and impressively comprehensive forensic account from director Rick Rowley examines the killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Chicago police.
SHOWTIME Documentary Films in association with Topic, Impact Partners, and Chicago Media Project (SHOWTIME)
Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s film offers an excellent fly-on-the-wall account of the arrival of the Fuyao factory and its Chinese leadership in Moraine, Ohio, and the clash of cultures at play as American workers seek to adapt to Chinese ownership and its fight against unionization of workers.
Higher Ground Productions and Participant Media for Netflix (Netflix)
Comprised entirely, and masterfully, of archival materials, the film is a riveting as-it-happened presentation of the 1969 NASA mission landing the first men on the moon.
CNN Films (CNN)
Composed as a love letter from co-director Waad al-Kateab to her daughter, and as an explanation of why she and her husband remained in besieged Aleppo to help run a hospital, “For Sama” is a profound, beautiful tale about both the war and the families caught in it.
FRONTLINE, Channel 4 News, ITN Productions, Channel 4 (PBS)
“Independent Lens: HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING”
Intimately exploring the everyday lives of African Americans in rural Alabama through artistically rendered vignettes, director RaMell Ross captures the feel, atmosphere, fiber and culture of a community rarely seen on film.
A production of Idiom Film, LLC and Louverture Films, in association with Field of Vision (PBS)
“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you’re a girl)”
The story of a skateboarding camp and school for girls in Afghanistan, Carol Dysinger’s delightful film empathetically charts the young skaters as they develop courage and allow their personalities to shine.
Grain Media for A&E IndieFilms Network (A&E)
A brave if deeply troubling account from Dan Reed of pop legend Michael Jackson’s relationships with children, told through profiles of James Safechuck and Wade Robson, offering their accounts of being groomed for, suffering under and attempting to recover from alleged abuse.
Amos Pictures and HBO Documentary in association with Channel Four (HBO)
“One Child Nation”
Directors Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang powerfully explore the impact of China’s one child policy on the parents and siblings who lost loved ones, on those who rescued children or performed the abortions, and ultimately on a nation, its culture and its conscience.
Next Generation in co-production with ITVS, WDR/ARTE, Motto Pictures and Pumpernickel Films in association with Chicago Media Project and Chicken & Egg Pictures (Prime Video)
A beautiful portrait from Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside of grandsons taking care of their charming 93-year-old grandmother in Colima, Mexico.
Lifelike Docs, American Documentary | POV (PBS)
“POV: Inventing Tomorrow”
Laura Nix’s inspiring profile of six amazing teenage scientists from around the world preparing for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair by working on solutions to complex environmental issues.
Fishbowl Films, Motto Pictures, 19340 Productions, Shark Island Institute, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, IQ190 Productions, American Documentary | POV (PBS)
“POV: Midnight Traveler”
Filmed on phones by Hassan Fazili, this poignant autobiographical account of his refugee family’s journey from Afghanistan to Hungary is a beautiful testament to parenting through trauma.
Old Chilly Pictures LLC, American Documentary | POV, Independent Television Service (PBS)
“POV: Roll Red Roll”
Harrowing yet powerful retelling by Nancy Schwartzman of the 2012 rape of a teenage girl by members of a beloved high school football team in Steubenville, Ohio, and of many in the town’s refusal to believe.
Sunset Park Pictures, Artemis Rising, Fork Films, Doc Society, Multitude Films, American Documentary | POV (PBS)
“POV: The Distant Barking of Dogs”
This arrestingly beautiful film from Simon Lereng Wilmont follows a year in the life of a boy and his grandmother living on the frontlines of war in Eastern Ukraine.
Final Cut for Real, Mouka Filmi, STORY, Bayerischer Rundfunk, ARTE, American Documentary | POV (PBS)
“POV: The Silence of Others”
Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar’s film offers a stunning reflection on fascism, memory and forgetting by documenting the struggle of victims of Spain’s Gen. Franco to seek legal redress and be remembered by the state, society and world.
Semilla Verde Productions, Lucernam Films, American Documentary | POV, Independent Television Service, Latino Public Broadcasting, El Deseo (PBS)
“Sea of Shadows”
This action-packed documentary examines the illegal trade from Mexican cartels to Chinese traffickers of the rare totoaba fish in the Sea of Cortez, and of the impact on the endangered vaquita porpoise.
Terra Mater Factual Studios in association with Appian Way, Malaika Pictures, The Wild Lens Collective for National Geographic Documentary Films (National Geographic)
“Surviving R. Kelly”
Unflinching, brave and impactful six-part series based on interviews with women who survived alleged sexual abuse from R&B superstar R. Kelly.
Bunim/Murray Productions and Kreativ Inc. for Lifetime (Lifetime)
“The Edge of Democracy”
Telling the epic tragedy of what happened in Brazil, from Lula to Bolsonaro, this film from director Petra Costa commandingly and chillingly shows how precarious a democracy can be.
A Busca Vida Filmes Production in association with Violet Films for Netflix (Netflix)
“True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality”
A superb profile of the remarkable Bryan Stevenson and his work seeking justice for death row inmates amounts to a searing indictment of the U.S. criminal justice system and its history of racism.
HBO Documentary Films and Kunhardt Films (HBO)
An intimate and soulful profile from Christina D. King and Elizabeth Castle of Madonna Thunder Hawk, an American Indian Movement leader, fighting for Native rights.
Co-production of Castle King, LLC and ITVS in association with Vision Maker Media (WORLD Channel)
“Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics And Men”
This four-part account by Sacha Jenkins of rap and hip-hop superstars Wu-Tang Clan skillfully plumbs the depths of their music, lives and commentary.
SHOWTIME Documentary Films presents A Mass Appeal Production in association with Endeavor Content (SHOWTIME)
This emotionally searing miniseries about the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster and political aftermath is written, acted and composed to perfection.
HBO Miniseries and SKY in association with Sister, The Mighty Mint, and Word Games (HBO)
“David Makes Man”
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.
Page Fright and Outlier Productions in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television
(OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)
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.
Apple / wiip / Anonymous Content / Tuning Fork Productions / Sugar 23 Productions (Apple TV+)
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.
All3Media International Limited and Amazon Studios (Prime Video)
A figuratively and literally uplifting animated short about parenting a child who is different from their peers.
Pixar Animation Studios (Disney+)
This adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s novel about the unlikely friendship of an evil and a good angel and the march to the end of the world is gloriously fun and genre-bending.
BBC Worldwide Limited and Amazon Studios (Prime Video)
Gripping and heart-wrenching, the series tells the story of the 2014 “retaliation” kidnapping and murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir and the ensuing investigation.
HBO in association with Keshet Media Group and MoviePlus Productions (HBO)
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.
Hulu, A24 Television (Hulu)
Season three continues the fun, nostalgic, horror-meets-sci-fi series about a group of adolescents fighting dark forces in their 1980s Indiana town.
Monkey Massacre Productions & 21 Laps Entertainment (Netflix)
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.
HBO Entertainment in association with Project Zeus, Hyperobject Industries, and Gary Sanchez Productions (HBO)
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.
Timberman-Beverly Productions, Sage Lane Productions, Escapist Fare, Katie Couric Media, and CBS Television Studios for Netflix (Netflix)
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.
HBO in association with White Rabbit, Paramount, Warner Bros. Television and DC (HBO)
“When They See Us”
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.
Participant Media, Tribeca Productions, Harpo Films, Array Filmworks for Netflix (Netflix)
“A Different Kind of Force: Policing Mental Illness”
A poignant examination of how law enforcement officers tackle the challenge of policing people with mental illness that sagely approaches the complex topic from various standpoints.
Richard Engel reports on the U.S. decision to abandon their allies the Kurds, combining unflinching frontline coverage and thoughtful forensic analysis. NBC News, Engel Unit
“Capitol Hill Controversy”
A dogged, revelatory and continuing investigation of highly toxic culture at the Tennessee state house.
NewsChannel 5 Investigates (WTVF-TV)
“Coal’s Deadly Dust”
Powerful, up-close investigation of the rise of black lung disease among coal miners and the lack of effective response.
FRONTLINE, NPR (PBS)
“Flint’s Deadly Water”
An impressively comprehensive report on Flint, Michigan, focusing on the less-reported presence of Legionnaires’ disease in the water.
FRONTLINE with Five O’Clock Films (PBS/WGBH)
A bold and revelatory report into the Hong Kong police force’s treatment of anti-extradition bill protesters.
PCCW NowTV (Now News)
“Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: Raced to Death—The Plight of the American Thoroughbred”
Hard-hitting and important account of the high incidence of racehorse deaths and their poor treatment in the United States.
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (HBO)
“The Hidden Workforce: Undocumented in America”
The special report on undocumented labor across rural America humanizes those who live in the shadows yet contribute to their communities as neighbors and laborers. (CNN)
This Dallas-Fort Worth report explores the previously untold story of Texas-born children deported to Mexico who are unable to get paperwork allowing them to register for government services such as schooling due to Texan red tape.
NBC5/KXAS-TV & Telemundo 39 (NBC5/KXAS-TV)
A moving investigation of Chicago police raiding the wrong houses that chillingly recounts the traumatization of many children amidst botched raids. (WBBM-TV)
This standout series on criminal justice reform crosses the country to document the impact of local jails on people and communities.
Lantigua Williams & Co.
“Dolly Parton’s America”
Exploring how and why everyone loves Dolly Parton, the show’s host, Jad Abumrad, and producer, Shima Oliaee, offer superb pop cultural, political and artistic analysis that is as engaging as it is insightful.
Osm Audio and WNYC Studios (WNYC)
Carvell Wallace seeks the soul, magic and ministry of Fred Rogers in a multipart podcast that asks a key, if under-asked, question for our day: How can we be good people?
Co-produced by iHeartMedia and Fatherly in partnership with Transmitter Media (iHeartMedia)
“Gangster Capitalism: The College Admissions Scandal”
The first season of the podcast mixes sterling and deep journalistic investigation with thoughtful framing analysis to explore 2019’s college admissions scandal involving celebrities and Fortune 500 CEOs alike.
C13Originals, a division of Cadence 13 (C13Originals)
“Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul”
CeCe Winans hosts an engaging three-part documentary series celebrating and uncovering the influence of African American gospel music on early rock-and-roll and soul music. (WXPN)
“Have You Heard George’s Podcast?”
George the Poet’s richly evocative, sharply analytical, gorgeously composed, and utterly genre-defying podcast recounts and explores the black experience in Britain and beyond.
BBC Sounds/George the Poet Ltd. (BBC Sounds)
“Headlong: Running From COPS”
Dan Taberski’s podcast explores the ethics, impact and problems of the long-running reality show “COPS,” offering as much fun as substance and analysis.
Pineapple Street Studios, Topic Studios (Stitcher)
“In The Dark: The Path Home”
In the second season of this story, Madeleine Baran and Samara Freemark once again set the benchmark for what truly superb true crime podcasts can and should be, digging into the troubling case of Curtis Flowers and uncovering a weak case bolstered by a pattern of discriminatory jury selection.
American Public Media (APM Reports)
Timely and damning, this investigation into the Trump administration’s rejection and censorship of the science of climate change focuses on suppression of research by the National Park Service’s scientists.
Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX (Public radio, Reveal)
StoryCorps marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising by collecting and sharing a wide-ranging selection of often beautifully told stories from LGBTQ elders. (StoryCorps)
“The Catch and Kill Podcast with Ronan Farrow”
Ronan Farrow immerses listeners in the story about bringing Harvey Weinstein to justice.
Pineapple Street Studios, Glass Cannon Inc. (Pineapple Street Studios)
This five-part series examines the battle for the future of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and opens up into a superb account of environmental activism, Alaskan Native rights, and the politics of oil and gas exploration.
Auricle Productions, Montana Public Radio, Pulitzer Center (Montana Public Radio)
A troubling account of those on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border profiting off migrants, from coyotes to ICE labor camps, and revictimizing them.
The Texas Tribune and TIME
This project tells the story from 1978 to now of the U.S. government’s detention of asylum seekers, mixing archival footage, data analysis, interactivity and text to offer a strong example of multimedia journalism.
The Marshall Project in partnership with The Guardian
“Long Island Divided”
This investigation into discrimination in real estate and housing on Long Island, built upon tireless work over three years, deftly combines large data sets with humanizing case studies.