They are among the eight shows this year that exemplify “television with a conscience.”
Sexual abuse, racism, teen pregnancy, autism and good nutrition in the fight against childhood obesity are among the topics of eight TV shows being honored with the fourth annual Television Academy Honors as shows that exemplify “television with a conscience.”
Dana Delaney, star of ABC’s Body of Proof, will host the awards program in Beverly Hills on May 5 for the third consecutive year, according to an announcement Monday by John Shaffner, chairman and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
This years recipients are:
• The 16th Man — A documentary narrated by Morgan Freeman about the end of apartheid in South Africa, the start of Nelson Mandela’s new government with its goal of racial unity, and what the South African rugby team’s victory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup meant to the country’s healing process. (Produced by ESPN Films in Association with Revelations Entertainment)
• The Big C, “Taking The Plunge” — In the season-one finale of The Big C, Cathy Jamison (Laura Linney) finally informs her family of the life-threatening cancer diagnosis she had kept secret, and after wavering on treatments, opts for a risky procedure. (Produced by Showtime Presents, Sony Pictures Television, Perkins Street Productions, Farm Kid and Original Film)
• Friday Night Lights, “I Can’t” — An episode of the drama that tackles a difficult situation that teens and adults face every day: unwanted pregnancy. (Produced by Imagine Television, Film 44 and Universal Media Studios)
• Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution — The celebrity chef goes to Huntington, West Virginia, named by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of the most nutritionally unhealthy areas in America, to help people switch from fast and processed to fresh foods, both in the schools and at home. (Produced by Fresh One Productions and Ryan Seacrest Productions)
• The Oprah Winfrey Show, “A Two-Day Oprah Show Event: 200 Adult Men Who Were Molested Come Forward” — Shattering the stigma of male sexual abuse, 200 men speak out — some for the first time — about the trauma of their own childhood experiences. (Produced by Harpo Productions, Inc.)
• Parenthood, “Pilot” — In the series premiere Kristina and Adam Braverman (Monica Potter, Peter Krause) discover their young son Max (Max Burkholder) has Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism. (Produced by Imagine Television and Universal Media Studios)
• Private Practice, “Did You Hear What Happened to Charlotte King?” — This episode addresses the crime of sexual assault, the aftermath and long-term mental health effects that follow. This marks the second Television Academy Honors award for Private Practice. It was honored in 2010 for the episode “Nothing to Fear,” about physician-assisted suicide. (Produced by ABC Studios)
• Wartorn 1861-2010 — With suicide rates among active military servicemen and veterans currently on the rise, this show draws on personal stories of American soldiers whose lives and psyches were torn asunder by the horrors of battle and post-traumatic stress disorder. It was executive produced by James Gandolfini. (Produced by Attaboy Films and Downtown Community Television in Association with HBO Documentary Films)
“We continue to be impressed each year by the amount of programming that not only entertains the audience, but uses the medium of television to showcase and expand understanding about important social issues,” said Shaffner. “The programs selected exemplify the idea of television with a conscience.”
“When members of the television community embrace the responsibility of telling socially impactful stories as these honorees have, it is our pleasure — and mission — to provide them with the recognition they deserve,” said ATAS Honors committee co-chair Lynn Roth.