Peabody Likes WGBH-TV Best

The 62nd Annual Peabody Award winners were announced last week, with noncommercial WGBH-TV taking top honors with four statues.

Cable networks took home a total of nine awards, public TV stations eight, commercial broadcasting networks and stations eight, and noncommercial radio three. International radio and TV organizations won three.

In addition to HBO's three awards—for Six Feet Under, The Gathering Storm
and Def Poetry Jam—other cable winners were CNN's Terror on Tape
about the al-Qaeda terror network, Court TV for The Interrogation of Michael Crowe, Showtime for Bang, Bang You're Dead, TNT for Door to Door, ESPN for The Complete Angler
and BBC America for Almost Strangers.

Commercial-station winners were WISN-TV Milwaukee for a story on smoke detectors that children can often sleep through in the event of a fire, KPRC-TV Houston for a story about roadblocks to the use of the DNA of military members involved in criminal cases, and WFAA-TV Dallas for a bogus drug sting.

Three of the five broadcast-network awards went to shows whose fate had come into question. Two went to ABC's Nightline, which, for a while, wasn't sure whether it would be replaced by David Letterman (it wasn't), and CBS's 9/11
documentary, which had been criticized before its March 2002 airing as too much too soon (Peabody's conclusion appeared to be that it wasn't).

Fox's Boston Public
was honored for an episode about the "n word," and NBC was cited for Boomtown.

The awards will be given out May 19 at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. Barbara Walters hosts, and A&E will carry the ceremonies sometime in June.

The other winners:

  • Bringing Down a Dictator, from York Zimmerman Inc. and presented on PBS, about student movements to topple Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic.
  • The Sonic Memorial Project, from Kitchen Productions and presented on NPR, capturing the voices of those involved with the World Trade Center and its history.
  • Nightline: The Survivors, from ABC and producers Paul and Holly Fine, about the survivors of 9/11.
  • Nightline: Heart of Darkness, from ABC, looking at the decade-long war in the Congo, where 2.5 million have died.
  • Frontline: Shattered Dreams of Peace: The Road from Oslo
    by several organizations, including WGBH-TV Boston for PBS, about the collapse of the Middle East peace process.
  • File on 4: Export Controls, from BBC Radio 4, about how nations such as Iran procure materials to develop nuclear weapons.
  • The Hepatitis C Epidemic: A 15-Year Government Cover-Up, from Japan's Fuji TV, about a massive cover-up by the Japanese government and a manufacturer.
  • How High Is the Mountain, from Taiwan public television, about the power of families to link generations even in remote areas.
  • The Yiddish Radio Project, from NPR and Sound Portrait Productions, examining old Yiddish radio programs.
  • Stories of Home, from public WBEZ-FM Chicago, which examines the many different ways people experience "home" life.
  • The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, from WNET(TV), about race relations and racism in America.
  • Monkey Trial, from WGBH-TV and Nebraska ETV, for The American Experience
    on PBS, about the Scopes Trial.
  • EGG The Arts Show, from WNET New York, which explains the world of art in novel ways.
  • Stage on Screen, from WNET, in which stage works are brought to television, exploring the work of Samuel Beckett.
  • ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre: Othello, WGBH-TV and London Weekend Television's production of the Shakespeare play.
  • ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre's American Collection: Almost a Woman, WGBH-TV and ALT Films' new rendering of an old American story.