The Peabody Awards have grown to be a staple of media since their beginning in 1940, as the committee awards programs they see as excellent in quality. Beginning with only awards for radio, the group soon expanded to television, giving tv shows their due credit since 1948.
While the actual awards ceremony has yet to occur, the Awards committee follows an unusual process by announcing the winners ahead of the actual ceremony, where the recipients receive their prizes. With Fred Armisen confirmed as the host of the 2015 festivities, which will take place on May 31st, the group has now announced the Entertainment Program winners for the 74th incarnation of the awards, along with their reasoning. The winners, who join already-announced recipients Sir David Attenborough and Afropop Worldwide, can be seen below.
- The Americans (FX)
In this ingenious, addictive cliffhanger, Reagan-era Soviet spies – married with children and a seemingly endless supply of wigs – operate out of a lovely 3BR home in a suburb of Washington, D.C. Between their nail-biter missions (and sometimes in the midst of them), the series contemplates duty, honor, parental responsibility, fidelity, both nationalistic and marital, and what it means to be an American.
- Black Mirror (Channel 4)
This cinematically arresting, brilliantly written series from England is an anthology of dark-side tales – dark as a black hole. If its narrative shocks don’t wreck your sleep pattern, its moral conundrums will.
- Fargo (FX)
Fargo, the series, boasts the same snow-swept backdrop and dark, deadpan ambience as the Oscar-winning movie but tells a different, more complicated story. Its villain, Billy Bob Thornton’s mischievous, murderous, charismatic Lorne Malvo, is a character worthy of Norse mythology.
- The Honorable Woman (SundanceTV)
A visually rich, densely-plotted thriller set against the backdrop of the Israeli-Palestine conflict, it suggests complexities and age-old vendettas that often escape even the best documentaries, to say nothing of the evening news.
- Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)
Schumer’s wholesome, disarming “Brady Bunch” looks belie and enhance a comic intelligence that’s smart, distinctively female and amiably profane, whether she’s applying it to sketch comedy, stand-up, or person-on-the-street interviews.
- Jane the Virgin (The CW)
Immaculately conceived, it’s a smart, self-aware telenovela that knows when and how to wink at itself. Its Latina lead, Gina Rodriguez, is incandescent.
- The Knick (Cinemax)
Graphic, gripping, unapologetically grisly when it has to be, this lavish historical drama masterfully dissects surgical experimentation, doctors’ egos, race relations and social mores in the New York City of 100 years ago. It gives new meaning to the term “operating theater.”
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
A most worthy addition to the news-as-comedy genre, Last Week Tonight doesn’t just satirize the previous week’s news, it engages in fresh, feisty investigative reports that “real” news programs would do well to emulate.
- Rectify (SundanceTV)
A powerful, subtle dramatic series about a death-row inmate released after nearly two decades thanks to new DNA evidence, it ponders whether what’s been lost can ever be repaid, not just to him but to everyone he and his alleged crimes touched.