67th Annual Peabody Awards Winners Announced

Brian Williams to host Awards Ceremony on June 16 at New York City's

Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

Winners include NBC's '30 Rock,' AMC's 'Mad Men,' Bravo's 'Project Runway,'

ABC News' Bob Woodruff

Apr 02, 2008, 01:00 ET from Peabody Awards

    ATHENS, Georgia, April 2, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- Thirty-five recipients
 of the 67h 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 2007, were
 named in a ceremony in the Peabody Gallery on the University of Georgia
     Recipients included "The Colbert Report," Comedy Central's cable-news
 satire, and "A Journey Across Afghanistan: Opium and Roses," a documentary
 from Bulgaria's Balkan News Corporation (bTV). "Whole Lotta Shakin," the
 Texas Heritage Music Foundation's rollicking public-radio series
 chronicling the 1950s heyday of rockabilly music received the award, as did
 "Univision's Ya Es Hora," a public-service campaign that taught legal
 aliens how to apply for American citizenship.
     The entertainment series selected included "30 Rock," Tina Fey's
 hilarious send-up of TV sketch shows and her own network, NBC; and "Project
 Runway," Bravo's fashion-designer competition. Peabodys also went to "Mad
 Men," AMC's richly detailed and evocative drama set in the world of New
 York advertising in the early 1960s, and "Dexter," Showtime's dark,
 challenging drama about a serial killer who preys on other sociopaths. The
 sweet, sensitive "Nimrod Nation" received a Peabody. This beautifully shot,
 eight-part documentary series from Sundance Channel takes viewers into the
 heart of a small Michigan town.
     "The range of genres, the variety of topics and the consistently high
 quality of submissions for Peabody consideration indicated again that
 amazing work is being done in electronic media," said Horace Newcomb,
 Director of the Peabody Awards. "The Peabody Board labored through many
 hours of discussion and deliberation to select these works from among more
 than a thousand outstanding entries."
     Peabodys went to "Wounds of War - The Long Road Home for Our Nation's
 Veterans," a series of moving reports by ABC News correspondent Bob
 Woodruff, himself a recovering Iraq War casualty, about the struggles of
 veterans dealing with severe war injuries and stress. "CBS News Sunday
 Morning: The Way Home" captured a Peabody for Kimberly Dozier's powerful
 piece about two women veterans who lost limbs in Iraq. Like Woodruff,
 Dozier survived a near-fatal attack while on assignment in Iraq. Another
 CBS News series, "60 Minutes," was awarded a Peabody for "The Killings in
 Haditha," a Scott Pelley report that questioned the conventional wisdom
 about the worst single killing of civilians by U.S. soldiers since Vietnam.
     Discovery's "Planet Earth," a majestic use of HDTV technology
 showcasing natural wonders of the world, was honored, as was "Independent
 Lens" for "Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life," an expansive portrait of Duke
 Ellington's musical collaborator. "NATURE: Silence of the Bees," an inquiry
 into the unsettling decline in the world's honeybee population from
 Thirteen/WNET, and WGBH-Boston's "Design Squad," an engineering competition
 for young people, further indicate the variety of this year's recipients.
     The awards will be presented on June 16 at a luncheon at the Waldorf-
 Astoria Hotel in New York City. Brian Williams, the distinguished anchor
 and managing editor of "NBC Nightly News," will be the master of
     "Taxi to the Dark Side," a horrifying documentary about an Afghani
 cabbie who died in U.S. military custody, added a Peabody to its list of
 awards, which already included an Oscar. "Taxi" raised disturbing questions
 about interrogation techniques and U.S. wartime policies. Awards also went
 to "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial," a "NOVA" installment
 focused on controversies surrounding the teaching of evolution in public
 schools, and "mtvU: Half of Us," a public-service campaign and supportive
 website for college students struggling with depression.
     "As always," Newcomb said, "it was exciting to discover deeply serious
 work in entertainment, entertaining work in documentaries, education in
 news reports and thoughtful perspectives on the news in everything from
 game shows to parody. The Peabody Awards, in all their diverse and
 innovative examples, are models for what can and should be done across the
     The array of worthy documentaries was again impressive. In "Sisters in
 Law," another installment of "Independent Lens," two sisters, one the court
 president, the other the prosecutor, dominate a small-town courthouse in
 Cameroon. "Cheney's Law," from "Frontline," explored the rationale and
 implementation of the current Vice President's three-decade campaign to
 expand the power of the presidency. Arts and crafts were represented by
 "Art:21 - Art in the 21st Century," where four artists speak eloquently
 about their "protest" art, and by "Craft in America: Memory, Landscape and
 Community," an exquisite, insightful tour of furniture makers, quilters,
 weavers and other craft-artists, classic and modern.
     In a strong year for local television news, Dallas' WFAA-TV was
 especially potent, earning a Peabody for four reports that underscored its
 commitment to investigative work: "Money for Nothing" revealed slipshod
 lending practices by the U.S. Export-Import Bank. "The Buried and the Dead"
 raised questions about the state of Texas' oversight on the gas pipeline
 industry. "Television Justice" looked into a dubiously cozy relationship
 between a "To Catch a Predator" unit of "NBC Dateline" and the police in
 Murphy, Texas. And "Kinder Prison" explored a Homeland Security prison
 holding immigrant families near Austin, Texas.
     A Peabody went to "Security Risks at Sky Harbor," from KNXV-TV in
 Phoenix, an expose of frighteningly lax baggage screening at the city's
 main airport. Pittsburgh's WTAE-TV's "Fight for Open Records," a series of
 reports about improprieties in Pennsylvania's state-run student loan
 agency, received a Peabody. These reports were made possible by a
 successful -- and well-explained -- legal battle to obtain the agency's
 ostensibly public records. An Award also went to "Virginia Tech Shootings:
 The First 48 Hours," from WSLS-TV in Roanoke, Va., for two intense days of
 live, exhaustive and remarkably calm coverage of the April 16 killing
     In addition to the Texas Heritage Foundation's rockabilly
 retrospective, Peabody-winning radio programming included "The MTT Files,"
 an eight-part American Public Media series in which Michael Tilson Thomas,
 conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, provided fascinating insights into
 the work of composers from Igor "Firebird Suite" Stravinsky to James "Cold
 Sweat" Brown. A Peabody went to "Speaking of Faith: The Ecstatic Faith of
 Rumi," from American Public Media. This edition of the long-running series
 explored resurgent interest in the 13th century Persian poet. "The Brian
 Lehrer Show," from New York's WNYC, was cited for being true
 "community-building radio," a shrewd blend of news analysis, civil
 conversation and call-ins that brings together the city's wildly diverse
     "Just Words," from the Center for Emerging Media, was honored for 55
 four-minute documentary pieces, broadcast on Baltimore's WYPR-FM and other
 stations. The reports give personal voice to issues such as homelessness,
 drug abuse and youth violence. "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me!," a live and
 very lively weekly quiz show that draws on and has fun with the latest news
 events, from National Public Radio, Chicago Public Radio and Urgent Haircut
 Productions, was also awarded a Peabody.
     "White Horse," a beautiful and probing feature segment of BBC America's
 nightly newscast was recognized for illustrating the human and
 environmental toll of the Chinese government's massive efforts to modernize
 its hinterlands. A Peabody went to "CNN Presents: God's Warriors," a
 three-part, six-hour documentary series that examined the rise and impact
 of fundamentalism in Judaism, Islam and Christianity. The HBO documentary
 "To Die in Jerusalem" received a Peabody. This heartbreaking consideration
 of the Israeli-Palestine conflict followed two mothers who lost their
 respective teenage daughters, one a suicide bomber, the other one of her
     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 UGA faculty, students and staff.
     The Peabody Awards, the oldest honor in electronic media, do not
 recognize categories nor are 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
     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
     Graphics Available
     Peabody Images: available at www.peabody.uga.edu and clicking on events
 and news
     30 Rock Universal Media Studios in association with Broadway Video
 Television and Little Stranger Inc.
     Tina Fey's creation is not only a great workplace comedy in the
 tradition of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," complete with fresh, indelible
 secondary characters, but also a sly, gleeful satire of corporate media,
 especially the network that airs it.
     Art:21 - Art in the 21st Century Art:21, Inc.
     Trusting artists to speak for themselves and viewers to "get" what they
 talk about, the PBS series provides a unique forum for the display,
 analysis and appreciation of myriad forms of contemporary visual art.
     Speaking of Faith: The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi American Public Radio
     Delving into the "adventurous, cosmopolitan" Islam of a 13th century
 Persian poet now enjoying revival worldwide, this public-radio series
 continues to illuminate connections among people of all faiths.
     Bob Woodruff Reporting: Wounds of War - The Long Road Home of Our
 Nation's Veterans ABC News
     Severely injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq, Woodruff made wounded
 veterans and their struggle with recovery and red tape his special focus
 and served them well with his sensitive, dogged reporting.
     Money for Nothing, The Buried and the Dead, Television Justice, Kinder
 Prison WFAA-TV
     The Dallas station distinguished itself with not one but four
 investigative series in 2007, probing dubious practices by the U.S.
 Export-Import Bank, the Texas Railroad Commission, a police department that
 got too cozy with a TV sexual-predator sting operation and a Homeland
 Security Prison holding immigrant families.
     Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial NOVA/WGBH Educational
 Foundation, Vulcan Productions Inc., The Big Table Film Company
     The centerpiece of this thoughtful, topical edition of NOVA was the
 recreation, verbatim, of key testimony and argument from a six-week trial
 in Pennsylvania that served as a crash course in modern evolutionary
 theory, the evidence for evolution and the nature of science.
     Whole Lotta Shakin' Texas Heritage Music Foundation
     A red-hot retrospective of rockabilly music, this 10-part series
 distributed by Public Radio International blended rare interviews, archival
 radio broadcasts and foot-stomping tunes by obscure practitioners as well
 as legends such as Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.
     White Horse BBC World News America, BBC America, BBC World
     Uncommonly beautiful for a nightly news feature, but no less trenchant
 for being artful, it captured a rustic, sleepy inland village on the verge
 of obliteration by the Chinese government in its attempt to further the
 country's economic miracle.
     Just Words The Center for Emerging Media
     Mark Steiner's 55 weekly radio reports, four minutes each, gave voice
 to marginalized people -- low-wage workers, recovering drug addicts, the
 homeless -- who rarely get to speak for themselves in the mainstream media
 and, in doing so, made common social issues immediate and personal.
     CNN Presents: God's Warriors CNN
     In six hours over three nights, CNN explored how rising fundamentalist
 disenchantment with the modern, secular world has affected Judaism, Islam
 and Christianity in sometimes similar but also different ways.
     Dexter Showtime, John Goldwyn Productions, The Colleton Company, Clyde
 Phillips Productions
     With a premise that questions our fondness for avenging heroes -- a
 serial killer who channels his dark urges into police forensics and the
 killing of other sociopaths -- this Showtime series is a masterful
 psychological thriller and a complex and ambiguous meditation on morality.
     Planet Earth Discovery Channel, BBC
     Awesome, spectacular, humbling, exhilarating -- pick your effusive
 adjective -- the 11-part series documented the natural wonders of our
 world, some familiar, others never before seen, in stunning high-definition
     CBS News Sunday Morning: The Way Home CBS News
     Two unflinchingly candid women who lost limbs while serving in the
 military in Iraq were the centerpiece of this powerful, thought-provoking
 report by correspondent Kimberly Dozier, a recovering war casualty herself.
     Fight for Open Records WTAE-TV
     The Pittsburgh station's relentless legal campaign to obtain public
 records of a state-run student loan program netted evidence of financial
 misconduct and pushed the state to rewrite an antiquated right-to-know law.
     To Die in Jerusalem HBO Documentary Films in association with Priddy
     The anguish of the Israeli-Palestine conflict was embodied in this
 frank documentary about two mothers who lost their respective teenaged
 daughters, one a suicide bomber, the other her victim.
     Design Squad WGBH Educational Foundation
     Created to inspire boys and girls in their 'tweens and teens to
 consider an engineering profession, this lively, fast-paced series puts an
 educational emphasis into the reality-competition television format.
     Craft in America: Memory, Landscape and Community Craft in America Inc.
     This three-hour chronicle of America's rich, ongoing traditions of
 weaving, quilting, woodworking and other craft art was as carefully wrought
 and as beautifully shot as its subject matter.
     Univision's Ya Es Hora Univision Communications
     More than a million legal Hispanic immigrants sought U.S. citizenship
 as the result of Univision's multi-faceted campaign to explain the benefits
 and responsibilities of becoming citizens and how to go about applying.
     NATURE: Silence of the Bees Partisan Pictures, Inc., Thirteen/WNET New
     The first in-depth investigation of an alarming, world-wide die-off of
 honeybees, this documentary underscored the critical role of these
 pollinators to our food supply and surveyed the forensics that have yet to
 solve the mystery.
     A Journey Across Afghanistan: Opium and Roses Balkan News Corporation -
     Surprising and visually distinctive, this Bulgarian news network's road
 trip yielded a rare, everyday Afghan perspective on the fighting between
 Taliban and western troops, while revealing fascinating efforts to supplant
 the growing of opium poppies with rose bushes to produce rose oil.
     The MTT Files American Public Media, San Francisco Symphony
     Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas brought his wealth of knowledge and
 idiosyncratic insight to bear on subjects as diverse as Igor "Firebird"
 Stravinsky and James "Cold Sweat" Brown in this delightful, surprising
 public-radio series.
     Project Runway Bravo, The Weinstein Company, The Magical Elves, Full
     A series that redeems the reality-contest genre, this face-off
 competition among upstart fashion designers demands, displays and
 ultimately rewards creativity that can't be bluffed.
     Taxi to the Dark Side Jigsaw Pictures, Tall Woods, Wider Film, ZDF/ARTE
     The brutal death of an Afghani cab driver while in U.S. military
 custody gave director Alex Gibney the central thread of his searing
 exploration of detainee interrogation techniques and who, ultimately, bears
     Security Risks at Sky Harbor KNXV-TV
     This Phoenix station's unnerving expose of outrageous lapses in
 baggage-screening at the city's main airport shook up the Transportation
 Security Administration all the way to Washington, D.C.
     Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me! National Public Radio, Chicago Public
 Radio, Urgent Haircut Productions
     A zippy update of one of broadcasting's long-ago staples, this live
 quiz show reminds listeners of the week's news even as host Peter Sagal and
 various panelists make witty sport of it.
     Independent Lens: Sisters in Law Vixen Films, Independent Television
 Service (ITVS)
     Directors Kim Longinotto and Florence Ayisi make viewers flies on the
 wall of a small-town courthouse in Cameroon overseen by two dynamic,
 wisecracking, larger-than-life sisters - one the court's president, the
 other its state prosecutor - who are helping women stand up to abuse.
     Virginia Tech Shooting: The First 48 Hours WSLS-TV
     Covering the worst mass shooting in United States history and its
 immediate aftermath, the news staff of this station in Roanoke, Virginia,
 demonstrated knowledge of their community, mastery of their journalistic
 craft and remarkable, much-needed calm.
     The Brian Lehrer Show: Radio That Builds Community Rather Than Divides
 WNYC Radio
     Lehrer's talk show is a wide open yet shrewdly managed forum in which
 every sort of political, social and cultural issue is considered and where
 New Yorkers, in all their diversity, can get to know each other.
     Nimrod Nation Sundance Channel, Public Road Productions, Wieden and
     The subject of Brett Morgen's lyrical, unhurried, eight-part
 exploration of small town life is Watersmeet, Michigan, a folksy hamlet
 reminiscent of Mayberry and Lake Wobegone, but undeniably, hearteningly
     FRONTLINE: Cheney's Law FRONTLINE, Kirk Documentary Group, Ltd.,
     In a strongly researched and reported hour that sometimes played like a
 political thriller, "FRONTLINE" traced the Bush Administration's expansion
 of Presidential wartime powers to a determined, secretive campaign by the
 Vice President, that stretches back three decades.
     mtvU: Half of Us mtvU
     Responding to studies that have shown that nearly half of all college
 students have experienced bouts of disabling depression, mtvU created an
 impressive, multi-platform campaign that includes public-service spots and
 a comprehensive website where students can get information, advice, even
 upbeat music.
     Independent Lens: Billy Strayhorn - Lush Life
     Robert Levi Films, Independent Television Service (ITVS) Along with
 celebrating the work of the often overlooked arranger and composer ("Take
 the 'A' Train") who was crucial to Duke Ellington's sound and success, the
 documentary sensitively explored the homophobia that kept Strayhorn in the
     CBS News 60 Minutes: The Killings in Haditha CBS News, 60 Minutes
     This thorough, open-minded investigation of the worst single killing of
 civilians by American troops since Vietnam put not just the incident into
 better perspective but the entire Iraq War and the terrible choices it
 presents both soldier and civilian.
     Mad Men AMC, Lionsgate Pictures Television
     The way they were on Madison Avenue, in the Manhattan towers and the
 bedroom communities of New York, circa 1960, is recalled in rich detail and
 a haze of cigarette smoke in this exemplary period dramatic series.
     The Colbert Report Hello Doggie Inc., Busboy Productions, and Spartina
     Let none dare call it "truthiness." Colbert, in his weeknight Comedy
 Central send-up of politics and all that is bombastic and self-serving in
 cable-news bloviasion, has come into his own as one of electronic media's
 sharpest satirists.

SOURCE Peabody Awards