'Virunga,' 'Cosmos' Among Peabody Doc and Education Winners

'Mr. Dynamite' and 'Adventure Time' are also recipients of the 74th Peabody Awards.

The 74th Peabody Awards announced its documentary, education, public service and children's programming winners on Thursday, with Virunga, Cosmos and Adventure Time among the honorees.

Peabody winners will be presented with their awards at a gala on May 31, the first-ever red-carpet evening ceremony for the awards. Peabody-winner Fred Armisen is set to host the gala at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. The Peabody Awards recognize excellence in TV, radio and web storytelling and are based at UGA's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The Complete List of Recipients of the 74th Annual Peabody Entertainment Awards:

Citations for Documentary Winners
 
American Experience: Freedom Summer (PBS)
With archival images, animation and fresh interviews, Freedom Summer recalls the voter-registration “freedom rides” of 1964, a campaign planned and trained for like a Civil Rights D-Day. The documentary is not only inspiring and instructive, it holds surprises even for those who believe they know this epochal American story.
 
Children on the Frontline (Channel 4)

This “Dispatches” documentary addresses one of the most tragic facets of the civil war in Syria, the impact on the country’s children. Yet by focusing on five kids who go on learning and playing amid the chaos and danger, it becomes a powerful testament to resilience and adaptability.

 

Human Harvest: China's Illegal Organ Trade (International Syndication)
With powerful testimonials about the intricacies of the trade and the human cost, including interviews with Chinese doctors who confide they’ve been coerced into removing organs from live political prisoners, this is a harrowing exposé of fiendish system of forced organ donor transplants.
 
Independent Lens: Brakeless
A cautionary tale that vividly evokes a deadly, 2005 commuter-train crash in Japan as a metaphor to explore modern society’s relentless pursuit of speed and efficiency, it’s beautifully made and scored like a real-life thriller.
 
Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown (HBO)

Alex Gibney’s biography of the hardest working man in show business gets up and gets on the scene, telling a fascinating story about race and culture and politics with amazing archival clips and interviews with musicians who worked with him.
 
The Newburgh Sting (HBO)
A powerful, fascinating documentary, it uses archival surveillance video and eloquent, emotional interviews to deconstruct and discredit the case against four Newburgh, New Jersey, men lured into a would-be terrorist plot by an FBI informant in 2009.
 
POV: American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs (PBS)
Engaging on multiple levels, the documentary surveys the life of a Chinese American philosopher, writer and activist who devoted 75 years to the labor, civil rights, and black power movements. Now 98, with a grandmotherly smile, she’s a charismatic presence on camera and still a challenging thinker.
 
Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa (SABC 2, DStv, channel 190 / GOtv, channel 65)
Compelling and inspiring, this well-constructed documentary chronicles the life and times of a hero of the anti-apartheid movement who championed nonviolence even after he survived a car-bomb maiming.
 
United States of Secrets (PBS)
With extensive, candid interviews from both critics and defenders, FRONTLINE provided a great public service, revealing in clear, comprehensible detail how the U.S. government in its post-9/11 zeal came to monitor and collect the communications of millions of people around the world – and here at home – and the lengths to which officials have gone to hide the massive surveillance from the public.
 
Virunga (Netflix)
An unusual but successful melding of investigative journalism and nature filmmaking, Virunga documents the work of courageous park rangers in the Congo to protect Africa’s mountain gorillas from war, poaching and industrial expansion.

Education
 
COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey (National Geographic Channel, FOX)
An update of Carl Sagan’s famous series for the age of CGI, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s COSMOS is not only an educational, eye-popping, near-psychedelic tour of our universe and beyond, it’s a passionate brief on behalf of science itself.
 
Public Service
 
Ebola (BBC World Service)
An incredibly important and consequential response to a global crisis, this multi-pronged BBC World Service effort shrewdly employed a variety of platforms – Twitter, website and apps as well as radio – to keep Africans abreast of the epidemic’s advance and provide people the world over with reliable news.
 
Entre el Abandono y el Rechazo (Between Abandonment and Rejection) (Univision Network)
Reflecting the high level of public interest in abandoned children at the southern U.S. borders, Univision’s coverage provided multi-perspective context that’s often missing in mainstream media’s English-language reports. It skillfully combined an overview of the phenomenon while following one family whose child disappeared trying the cross the border.
 
Children’s Programming
 
Adventure Time (Cartoon Network)
An animated amalgam of sci-fi, fantasy, horror and fairy tale, it chronicles the escapades of an odd-looking human boy named Finn and his best friend, a shape-shifting dog named Jake, in the surreal Land of Ooo. Purely and wonderfully imaginative in manner of classic theatrical cartoons past, it entertains even as it subtly teaches lessons about growing up, accepting responsibility, and becoming who you’re meant to be.
 
Doc McStuffins (Disney Junior)
Charming, sweet and gently humorous, this animated series, featuring an African-American physician’s daughter who attends to damaged stuffed animals and other broken toys, alieves children’s fears about doctor visits even as it promotes medicine as a profession.
 

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