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South Park, House Get Peabodys

Look, they gave a Peabody to Kenny!

The Peabody Award winners have been announced by the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, with Comedy Central's irreverent South Park one of the winners, described in a release announcing the winners as a "notoriously rude, undeniably fearless lampoon of all that is self-important and hypocritical in American life, regardless of race, creed, color or celebrity status."

The show is regularly slammed by critics of cable content pushing for a government crackdown on content.

Other entertainment shows getting the prestigious awards were Sci Fi's Battlestar Galactica (the first such award for the cable net), Fox's drama House, FX's The Shield and ABC's Boston Legal.

The Peabody judges called House "the most distinctive new doctor drama in a decade."
Four local stations won awards for news coverage, including two from New Orleans, and WNET's documentary on Bob Dylan collected a statue as well.

The awards, for "excellence in news, documentary, comedy, drama, education and public service," will be handed out June 5 at a luncheon in New York hosted by Jon Stewart.

Below is the entire list of winners, taken straight from the Peabody folks:

Hurricane Katrina    WLOX-TV, Biloxi, MS 

Hurricane Katrina ripped the roof off WLOX’s newsroom, toppled one of its transmitting towers and destroyed two of its bureaus, yet courageous employees of the station broadcast 12 consecutive days of life-saving news and information to its storm-shocked Gulf Coast viewers.  WLOX-TV.

Preparation and Coverage of Hurricane Katrina    WWL-TV, New Orleans, LA

From pre-storm advisories to investigative reports on why the levees failed,   WWL’s  coverage of Hurricane Katrina began two days before the storm battered and swamped New Orleans and continued, unbroken, thanks to careful pre-planning and dedicated personnel, 99 percent of whom stayed on the job. WWL-TV.

NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams: After the Storm: The Long Road Back    NBC

NBC’s stated goal was to cover the aftermath of Katrina “with as many resources and as much time and intensity” as it had devoted to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  This commitment on the part of a broadcast network resulted in extraordinary coverage and analysis. NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

CNN Coverage of Hurricane Katrina and Aftermath    CNN

No other national, 24-hour news service provided more essential, up-to-the-minute information for viewers, listeners and online users.  CNN’s continuous live coverage became a go-to channel for the most current news about Katrina and its effects. CNN.

China: A Million Steps Ahead    TVE, Madrid, Spain

More than 100 million Chinese have moved from the countryside to cities in the past 10 years. The documentary gets both the big picture and smaller, personal stories of miraculous, historically unprecedented cultural and economic shifts. TVE.

American Experience: Two Days in October       PBS

This extraordinary installment of WGBH Educational Foundation’s “American Experience” juxtaposed concurrent 1967 events  – the ambush of an American battalion by Viet Cong and a student protest in Wisconsin – to illuminate a turning point in the Vietnam War. Robert Kenner Films, WGBH Educational Foundation, Wisconsin Public Television,  Playtone, BBC.

This World BBC: Bad Medicine      BBC 2

Resourceful, physical risk-taking reporting about a Nigerian doctor’s crusade against counterfeit drugs illuminates an international scourge that extends to industrialized nations as well as the Third World.  BBC.

P.O.V.:  Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed        PBS

Not just a lively remembrance of Shirley Chisholm, the United States’ first female presidential candidate, this documentary is also a thoughtful analysis of the viability of third-party candidates. P.O.V./American Documentary Inc., Independent Television Service, Realside Productions.

Boston Legal       ABC

David E. Kelley’s series about a blue-chip Boston law firm somersaults from comedy to drama to stinging political commentary with acrobatic assurance and undisguised glee. David E. Kelley Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Organization.

House     FOX

An unorthodox lead character – a misanthropic diagnostician fond of saying  humanity is “overrated” – and cases fit for a medical Sherlock Holmes have helped  make “House” the most distinctive new doctor drama in a decade.  Heel and Toe Films, Shore Z Productions, Bad Hat Harry Productions, NBC Universal Television Studio.

Edge of America         Showtime

Inspired by the true story of an African-American teacher-coach at a Native American reservation in Utah, “Edge of America” mines an atypical culture clash for insight into two marginalized minorities.  Showtime, Red House Entertainment.

South Park    Comedy Central

Primitive animation is part of the charm of TV’s boldest, most politically incorrect satirical series. Its simple style also makes possible the show’s unmatched topicality.  Comedy Central.

American Masters: No Direction Home --  Bob Dylan     PBS

Pulling together never-before-seen archival footage and interviews, director Martin Scorsese creates an artful and intimate portrait of the poet, jester and raspy voice of his generation as we’re ever likely to see or hear. Don’t think twice, it’s all right.  Thirteen/WNET New York, Grey Water Park Productions, Spitfire Pictures, Cappa/DeFina Productions in co-production with Vulcan Productions, BBC/Arena, and NHK.

The Wire: The Impact of Electricity on Music    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Audio dynamite, this consistently surprising eight-part radio series explores how electricity changed – and continues to change – how we hear music, how we play it, even what we think it is or can be.  Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

BBC DoNation Season: Life on the List    BBC

Public service campaigns rarely combine the potential and power of electronic media – TV, radio, online, interactive – in ways as effective as this concerted appeal for organ donors. British Broadcasting Corporation – Factual and Learning and Drama.

Classical Baby      HBO

This whimsical, charming, deceptively simple marriage of animation to the music of Tchaikovsky, Bach and Ellington becomes an interactive treat for young children and parents alike.  HBO Family.

A Room Nearby      PBS

Five people’s tales of their lonely lives become the soundtracks for idiosyncratic animated vignettes. Peabody board members called it “a beautiful gift.” Independent Television Service.

Burning Questions     KNBC-TV, Los Angeles, CA

KNBC-TV’s four-part investigative series confirmed health and safety concerns about a multi-acre commercial-residential development built on a site that includes a leaking subterranean gas reservoir.  KNBC-TV.

How Far Will the Army Go?     KCNC-TV, Denver, CO

An enterprising high-school journalist and  KCNC-TV teamed up to document U.S. Army recruiters helping a prospective recruit to forge a diploma and beat a drug test. KCNC-TV.

A Place of Our Own (Los Ninon en Su Casa)     KCET-TV, Los Angeles, CA

This public-service project, designed to provide parents and child-care providers with information about helping kindergarteners develop social, emotional and cognitive skills, included daily TV programs and web sites  in Spanish and English and more than 200 bi-lingual outreach workshops.  KCET/Los Angeles in association with Sesame Workshop and 44 Blue Productions Inc.

Radio Rookies Project   WNYC Radio, New York

Teenaged reporters pick up microphones and let down their guards in this series of remarkably immediate and illuminating first-person dispatches.  WNYC Radio/Radio Rookies.

15% of the United States        KMEX-Univision 34, Los Angeles, CA

Inspired by the book “La Nueva California, Latinos in the Golden State,” KMEX-Univision 34’s 19-part series examined  the past, present and future of the Latino community, revealing diversity and contributions far beyond the usual television depictions.  KMEX-Univision 34.

Save Our History: Voices of Civil Rights     The History Channel

Not a professor or celebrity in sight. Just men and women, white as well as black, recalling their personal experience of  “the movement.” The History Channel special was eloquent, moving, invaluable.  Documania Films, Sierra Tango Productions, The History Channel.

What If Winter Never Comes? (Et si l’hiver ne venait plus?)   CBC/Radio-Canada

From the frontlines of global warming, the Arctic, this report brought listeners voices of native people, the Inuit, whose way of life is literally melting away. Deftly employed ambient sound enhanced the piece’s  power.  La Premiere Chaine (French Radio Network) – CBC/Radio-Canada.

Viva Blackpool     BBC America

What would have been at minimum an engrossing tale of ambition, greed and corruption in a depressed seaside city looking to gambling for salvation becomes, with the addition of a song score of pop-music classics and ingeniously staged production numbers, a riveting, at times jaw-dropping entertainment event.  BBC America, BBC.

The Staircase    Sundance Channel

A controversial murder case in Durham, N.C., is merely the backdrop for the intimate, grippingly constructed eight-chapter documentary in which director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade explores a complex defendant, his divided family and his spare-no-expense defense. Maha  Films.

Yesterday      HBO

This starkly beautiful, heart-breaking movie from South Africa about a young mother who is diagnosed with AIDS put an indelible face on a continent’s massive crisis. A Distant Horizon/Videovision Entertainment Production in association with Anant Singh, The Nelson Mandela Foundation, M-Net Exciting Films and Video Foundation of South Africa in association with HBO Films.

The Queen of Trees     BBC 2

Impeccable, creative cinematography aside, the wondrous thing about this study of a single sycamore fig, Africa’s queen tree, is that it’s a microcosm of the eco-complexity of the Earth at large. Deeble and Stone Productions, NHK, Thirteen/WNET New York,  Granada International, BBC, ZDF.

Children of Beslan      HBO

Terrorists’ September 2004 siege of a Russian elementary school recalled in the words of children ages 6 to 12 who survived it. The simplest and most direct of several documentaries on the subject, and the most shattering.  BBC in association with HBO Documentary Films.

Bleak House     BBC

“Absolutely compulsive viewing” said the Peabody board of this masterful, faithful-yet-modern adaptation of Charles Dickens’ serial about a never-ending London law suit.  A BBC,  WGBH-Boston co-production in association with Deep Indigo.

The Shield      FX

Riveting, densely layered adult entertainment – and more. No cop series has posed harder questions than “The Shield” about how far we’re willing to let law-enforcement officers go to keep us safe.  Fox Television Studios in association with Sony Pictures Television.

Battlestar Galactica     SCI FI CHANNEL

A belated, brilliantly re-imagined  revival of a so-so 1970s outer-space saga, the series about imperiled survivors of a besieged planet has revitalized sci-fi television with its parallax considerations of politics, religion, sex, even what it means to be “human.”  NBC Universal Television Studio.