Skip to main content

Deadwood, Abu Ghraib Among Peabody Winners

Home Box Office's Deadwood, Jon Stewart's Indecision 2004 on Comedy Central and CBS' 60 Minutes II's Abu Ghraib investigation were among the winners of this year's Peabody Awards, given out by the University of Georgia.

They were among 32 awards handed out Thursday morning for "distinguished achievement and meritorious public service by stations, networks, producing organizations and individuals."

CBS was the only broadcast network news department to win a Peabody, an all-time low, and it was the
first Peabody for Iraq war coverage, TV or radio.

The award for 60 Minutes II was for a story from the producer/anchor team of Mary Mapes and Dan Rather. Mapes was later fired and Rather's exit from the evening news anchor chair hastened by the same program's Bush/National Guard story.

Former NBC Chairman Grant Tinker recieved an award for a career fostering creative excellence in TV.

Other winners included HBO (3), BBC America (2) Cinemax (2), Discovery Channel, History Channel, WGBH  Boston, and first-time winners CNBC, Trio, and Univision.

There were four local TV station winners: "Friends in High Places," an  investigation of state contacts conducted by WTVF  Nashville; "State of Denial," a series on workers compensation abuses by WFAA Dallas; an investigation of Chesapeake Bay pollution by WBAL Baltimore; and an investigation/PSA campaign, The Bully Project, by WITI-TV Milwaukee.

The awards will be given out May 16 at a lunch in New York. Following is the Peabody list and descriptions of the winners.

On the Media

WNYC Radio, National Public Radio,
New York

Using interviews, reported pieces, commentary and occasional satire to critique media performance in these media-saturated times, “On the Media” reminds us that the messenger is always part of the message and must be examined as such.

Studio 360 American Icons: Melville’s Moby Dick

WNYC Radio, Public Radio International,
New York

This installment of “American Icons” guides us through Herman Melville’s classic tale of compulsion, rage and rapture, Moby Dick, illuminating and revitalizing a masterpiece.This, said the Peabody Board, is great radio.

The War in

National Public Radio,

National Public Radio’s team of foreign correspondents documents the turbulent aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iraq with insight, rigor, and narrative balance.

Leonard Bernstein: An American Life

CultureWorks, presented on WNYC, New York and the WFMT Radio Network, Chicago,

This 11-part radio documentary, hosted by Susan Sarandon, is a brilliantly produced account of Leonard Bernstein’s life, career and music.With never-before published letters and more than 100 exclusive interviews, it composes an audio symphony on the theme of an American musical giant.

Let the Good Times Roll

The Rhythm and Blues Foundation,
, Public Radio International

This 13-part radio series explores the personalities, the business and the pure delight of rhythm and blues.Jazz, gospel and the blues come alive again when set within the social turbulence of the post World War II era.

To the Best of Our Knowledge

Public Radio, Public Radio International

A Public Radio International institution since 1992, To the Best of Our Knowledge is an expansive magazine of ideas using the arts and culture to examine contemporary political and social trends.

The Darfur Crisis

BBC Television News,

Searing reports from a team of BBC journalists present and analyze the crisis situation in the Darfur region of Sudan. These stories examine more than the humanitarian crisis, exposing as well the killings at the root of the story.

MOSAIC: World News from the
Middle East

Link TV,
San Francisco

Link TV’s MOSAIC is a collection of unedited daily newscast excerpts from more than 15 national broadcasters in the Middle East.The program provides viewers with wide-ranging perspectives on events in the region.

State of


WFAA’s 19-part series details questionable practices by state agencies and major insurance companies involved with Texas’s workers compensation system.

Friends in High Places


WTVF’s three-year investigation probes the awarding of hundreds of millions of dollars in state contracts to friends of the Tennessee governor.The station’s ongoing reports on abuse of power have led to federal indictments and the passage of contract reform laws.

Chesapeake Bay
Pollution Investigation


This ongoing WBAL investigative report probes the impact of rapid development and resulting pollution in a small Eastern Maryland town.In part as a result of these efforts, the State of Maryland has overhauled the way it deals with development as it relates to the environment.

60 Minutes II: Abuse at Abu Ghraib

CBS News

This Dan Rather report broke the story of the abuses at Abu Ghraib Prison in Baghdad, airing for the first time the photographs of American soldiers and abused Iraqi prisoners that shocked the world.

Black Sky: The Race for Space

Discovery Channel and Vulcan Productions in association with Gemini Productions and Antenna Films.

This documentary chronicles the first great aeronautical feat of the 21st Century – Burt Rutan’s reinvention of space travel in the form of a privately funded, X-prize winning modern aircraft, SpaceShipOne.

Bus 174

Zendo Entertainment in association with Cinemax Reel Life

The disintegration of a violent hostage situation in Brazil, covered live on television, provides the centerpiece for this epic Cinemax documentary on the plight of Brazilian street children and their battle against invisibility.


Televisio de Catalunya, Bausan Films in association with Cinemax Reel Life

This HBO/Cinemax Documentary Film, which aired on Cinemax, examines the lives of seven Cuban refugee rafters – “balseros” – over the course of seven years.We follow them from the building of their rafts to their attempts to build new lives in America.

Beah: A Black Woman Speaks

Clinica Estetico and LisaGay Inc. in association with HBO

A loving biographical tribute to Beah Richards, this HBO/Cinemax Documentary Film, which aired on HBO, gives us remarkable insight into her life as an actress, poet and teacher.Through her determined life as artist and activist, we explore key issues in the social history of our time.

Something the Lord Made

A Cort/Madden Production in association with HBO Films

This is the true story of two men who defy racial strictures in the Jim Crow South.An ambitious white surgeon, Dr. Alfred Blalock, and a gifted black lab technician, Vivien Thomas, pioneer the field of heart surgery in 1944.


Red Board Productions and
Television in association with HBO Entertainment

This HBO series twists the conventions of the Western into an excruciating knot of history and imagined events.The Deadwood mining camp is peopled with the profane and violent men – and women – who occupy the fragile frontier between civilization and savagery.

The N-Word

TRIO and Post Consumer Media

This documentary recounts America’s troubled but evolving racial dialogue through an exploration of the various etymologies, usages and attitudes toward “The N-Word.”

American Experience: Tupperware!

Filmmakers Collaborative, Blueberry Hill Productions for American Experience/WGBH

This vibrant documentary, narrated by the critically-acclaimed Kathy Bates, considers why a plastic food container has become not only a ubiquitous product, but a cultural icon.Here viewers must reexamine their assumptions about American culture in the 1950s.

—Do Scars Ever Fade?

Bill Brummel Productions for The History Channel

This program, presented as part of the ongoing series “Time Machine,” struggles with the question of how an entire nation and culture can recover from the terrors of its past.The heart of this story is found in powerful first-person accounts from Rwandans who lived through those times.

The Age of Wal-Mart: Inside America’s Most Powerful Company


Adding to growing public scrutiny, this inside story of the American retail giant, presented on CNBC, reveals the workings of its intense corporate culture, forceful business practices and dollar-conscious distribution system.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Indecision 2004

Comedy Central

Through the momentous weeks of the 2004 Presidential Campaigns, Jon Stewart and cohorts provided the kind of cathartic satire that deflates pomposity on an equal opportunity basis.Somehow this sharp commentary made the real issues more important than ever.

Human Cargo

Howe Sound Films and Force Four Entertainment in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Six interwoven stories shed light on the world of refugees and those who traffic in their misery.This outstanding miniseries led to public discussion of the issues in Canadian newspapers, universities and community forums.

State of

An Endor Production in association with the BBC, BBC America

This gripping political thriller exudes a potent mix of romance, murder, deception and intrigue.To do so, it plumbs the convoluted relationships linking politics, law enforcement and the media.

The Kumars at No. 42

Hat Trick Productions, BBC America

Part scripted comedy, part improvisation, part genuine interview, “The Kumars at No. 42” focuses on a typical, albeit exaggerated, Indian family. The fusion of genres never fails to delight as it illustrates the quirks that unite families, regardless of culture or background.

Nursery Tap, Hip to Toe

Nursery Tap, LLC

Delightfully different, this collection of 30 well-known – and not so well known – nursery rhymes introduces children to a full range of the performing arts.The spoken word and the physicality of dance combine to offer an enchanting learning experience for everyone.

The Suffering of

Channel One Network

Channel One News reporter Seth Doane traveled to Sudan to outline the complexities of Sudan’s civil war and genocide for middle school and high school audiences.His reports are detailed, disturbing and powerfully informative.

Takalani Sesame Presents “talk to me…”

Sesame Workshop (
) and Kwasukasukela (
South Africa

This one-hour documentary was the culmination of a South African public service campaign designed to promote communication between adults and children on the subject of HIV-AIDS.

The Bully Project

With powerful investigative journalism, this series of reports and projects turns one boy’s story of playground violence into a public service campaign that now affects hundreds of thousands of children across southeast Wisconsin.

Univision Communications, Salud es Vida…Entérate! (Lead a Healthy Life…Get the Facts!)


Univision’s television, radio and on-line health-education initiative is an impressive cross-platform public service campaign.Designed to improve the quality of life by promoting healthier lifestyles, the campaign uses an array of media and services to reach a growing audience with crucial information.

Grant Tinker

From radio to advertising to television networks, from studio head to network CEO, Grant Tinker has often been at the center of electronic media.As CEO of MTM Enterprises in the 1970s and CEO of NBC in the 1980s, he provided creative opportunities that led to some of television’s most exciting work – and workers.The writers and producers who honed their craft at MTM have gone on to create some of the greatest programs in television history and in their turn, have afforded others the same creative freedom provided by Grant Tinker.