Sir David Attenborough, Afropop Worldwide, The Americans and Jane the Virgin are among the 2014 recipients of UGA’s Peabody Awards.
Attenborough, the British naturalist and conservationist, was cited in the individual category for his six-decade career as a host and producer of natural history programs.
Afropop Worldwide, a long-running public radio series that explores the international manifestations and influence of African, African-American and Afro-Caribbean music, is the recipient of the institutional Peabody.
Winning entertainment programs
The list of entertainment programs chosen for the Peabody Awards includes The Honorable Woman, a BBC drama that illuminates the complexities in Middle East relations and boasts a lead performance by Maggie Gyllenhaal; Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, a blend of sketches and interviews that’s distinctly female yet gender-inclusive; and Jane the Virgin, a CW series that employs the soap-operatic, telenovela form to tell a serialized tale about a household of three generations of Latina women.
The Peabody board of judges also chose FX’s The Americans, a melodrama about Reagan-era Soviet spies-married and the parents of budding American dreamers-who make viewers care about them and their increasingly conflicted loyalties, and Fargo, which pits an upstanding, undeniable female cop against an almost supernatural villain. The FX series maintains the darkly comic tone of the Oscar-winning theatrical film while unspooling a distinctly different, more complex story.
Other entertainment winners are The Knick, Cinemax’s historical drama about pioneering surgeons at an early 20th-century New York hospital; HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which revisits the previous week’s news with a satiric eye and an investigative reporter’s curiosity; Sundance TV’s Rectify, a drama about a man struggling to reconnect to his Georgia community after 20 years in prison; and Black Mirror, an anthology from Britain’s Channel 4 that explores moral and ethical questions that bring to mind the work of Rod Serling and Roald Dahl.
News and radio winners
News and radio winners include the podcast sensation Serial, which became the first of its kind to win a Peabody; and the online VICE News, which earned recognition for visceral reports about ISIS and a high school for troubled teens, respectively.
Other news and radio winners ranged from CNN’s high-impact coverage of scandalous treatment delays at Veterans Administration hospitals to an Austin TV station’s investigation of costly inadequacies in Texas’ mental health care policies.
Serial, an audio sensation that’s been downloaded more than 60 million times, is an investigative miniseries in which the case against a young man facing life in prison for murder is painstakingly examined over 12 installments.
VICE News was saluted by the Peabody board of judges for “Last Chance High,” an unflinching look at a Chicago high school whose high-risk students are running out of options, and “The Islamic State,” a series of reports from a journalist “embedded” with ISIS volunteers in Iraq and Syria.
CNN, National Public Radio and WNYC Radio also claimed twin wins.
In addition to its coverage of sometimes fatal delays in care at VA hospitals, CNN was cited for its correspondents’ reporting from Nigeria about the kidnapping of 200 schoolgirls by the terrorist group Boko Haram.
NPR was recognized for “Gangs, Murder and Migration in Honduras,” an edition of its Latino USA series that made vividly clear what’s motivating Hondurans by the thousands to attempt exodus to the U.S., and for “Reporting from the Frontlines: The Ebola Outbreak,” an international story that NPR reporters identified early and exhaustively pursued.
These and other winners of the 74th annual awards will be presented with their statuettes May 31 at the first-ever nighttime, red-carpet Peabody Award ceremony.
Fred Armisen, a Peabody winner for his work on Saturday Night Live and his series Portlandia, will host the gala at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. Pivot TV will use the ceremony as the backbone of a 90-minute Peabody special that will premiere June 21.
The complete list of Peabody Award recipients, including those in the areas of documentary, public service, education and children’s programming, are online at www.peabodyawards.com.