Peabody Awards: 'Handmaid's Tale,' 'Saturday Night Live' Among Entertainment Winners

11:57 AM 4/16/2018

by Kimberly Nordyke

The awards will be handed out May 19 in New York.

'The Handmaid's Tale,' left, and 'Saturday Night Live'
'The Handmaid's Tale,' left, and 'Saturday Night Live'
Courtesy of Hulu; NBC

The Peabody Awards has chosen The Handmaid's Tale, Saturday Night Live, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver and Insecure as four of this year's eight winners in the entertainment category.

Also selected as winners were American Vandal, Better Call Saul, Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Additionally, A Series of Unfortunate Events was named the sole winner in the children and youth programming category.

Also announced Thursday, the Fred Rogers Co. will receive the Institutional Award "in recognition for carrying on the legacy of its eponymous founder, whose iconic children’s program debuted 50 years ago." The children's program won a Peabody in 1968, while the host himself won one in 1992. He died in 2003.

The announcement comes three days after the nine documentary winners were unveiled, among them, Oscar nominee Last Man in Aleppo, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise and Time: The Kalief Browder Story.

Last week, the jurors unveiled the 60 nominees for the "most compelling and empowering stories released in electronic media" last year. Those finalists are being narrowed down to 30 winners — aka the Peabody 30 — to be revealed by category. The final group of winners, for news/radio/public service programming, will be announced April 24.

The Peabody Award winners and finalists will be celebrated at a gala event on May 19 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. That ceremony will be hosted by Hasan Minhaj, senior correspondent on Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, whose comedy special was among the winners announced Thursday.

In addition, Carol Burnett will receive the inaugural Peabody Career Achievement Award at the event.

The Peabody Awards are based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. Jurors, including The Hollywood Reporter's editor-at-large Kim Masters, selected the finalists out of 1,200 entries across TV, radio/podcasts and the web.

A full list of winners announced so far, along with the jurors' comments about each winner, follows.

  • Entertainment Winners

    'Saturday Night Live'
    'Saturday Night Live'

    American Vandal
    CBS Television Studios for Netflix (Netflix)
    A surprisingly insightful rumination on contemporary life, American Vandal slowly shifts focus from a high school student accused of a sophomoric prank/crime to the consequences of solving the mystery. Wickedly funny, the show also offers a look at how the ethical questions of the true crime genre intersect with the harsh realities of being a teenager in the age of social media.

    Better Call Saul
    Sony Pictures Television, Gran Via Productions (AMC)
    Mixing legal drama, crime thriller, and dark comedy, this Breaking Bad prequel of the earnest Jimmy McGill’s transformation into Saul Goodman captures the professional and personal struggles as he navigates an unfair moral universe. A compelling narrative of pathos and character drama, the show’s innovative style and commanding performances reach the creative heights of its origin series.

    Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King
    Netflix, Art & Industry (Netflix)
    Hasan Minhaj delivers much more than a hilarious stand-up comedy special. Homecoming King is a deeply personal memoir — part Richard Pryor, part Spaulding Gray — that covers the struggles of the immigrant experience, encounters with stereotypes and race expectations, and intergenerational acceptance, while using comedy to invite empathy, caring, and understanding.

    HBO Entertainment in association with Issa Rae Productions  (HBO)
    Issa Rae delivers a groundbreaking series that captures the lives of everyday young black people in Los Angeles with a fresh and authentic take. Breaking away from tired and familiar representations of “diversity” on television, this series offers a fun and intimate portrayal of work, relationships, and the ordinary experiences of the two young black women at its center.

    Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
    HBO Entertainment (HBO)
    Each week, John Oliver and his team offer something completely new in the merger of comedy and reporting. While scathing in its political critique, the show is also smart and insightful in producing long-form journalism, breaking stories that others have overlooked with precision, clarity, and hilarity.

    Saturday Night Live: Political Satire 2017
    SNL Studios in association with Universal Television and Broadway Video (NBC)
    Building on the strength of its election year parodies, SNL doubled-down this year with wicked satiric portrayals of President Trump and a clownish coterie of administration apparatchiks. Kate McKinnon and special guests Alec Baldwin and Melissa McCarthy, in particular, produced performances that helped the American public come to terms with an unprecedented presidential administration and its daily political absurdities.

    The Handmaid’s Tale
    Hulu, MGM, White Oak Pictures, The Littlefield Company, Daniel Wilson Productions (Hulu)
    The Handmaid’s Tale offers a timely warning of a fascist, misogynist near future. Equal parts drama, horror, and science fiction, The Handmaid’s Tale is captivating, harrowing, and crackling with contemporary political relevance — a cautionary tale about the ramifications of the regulations of women’s bodies and reproductive rights, as well as the specter of theocratic rule.

    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
    Amazon Studios (Amazon)
    A period drama and feminist comedy, Amy Sherman-Palladino’s story of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel centers on the emergence of a 1950s female comedian who runs afoul of New York decency laws. In the process, the colorful and imaginative story also reflects on the “place” of women in public spaces, Jewishness, familial relations, class expectations, and the importance of a woman not being “ripped right out of a catalogue” that is both impressively weighty and effortlessly light.

  • Child and Youth Programming Winner

    'A Series Of Unfortunate Events'
    'A Series Of Unfortunate Events'
    Courtesy of Netflix

    A Series of Unfortunate Events
    Netflix (Netflix)
    Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events follows the tragic but brilliant Baudelaire orphans as they investigate their parents’ deaths while surviving their wicked uncle’s machinations to deprive them of their inheritance. Both darkly gothic in style and drolly hilarious, the televised version visually realizes the melancholy-yet-beautiful essence of the beloved children’s book series on which it is based.

  • Documentary Winners

    'Last Men in Aleppo'
    'Last Men in Aleppo'
    Courtesy of Sundance

    America ReFramed: Deej
    American Documentary, Inc., WORLD Channel, Rooy Media LLC, ITVS (WORLD Channel)
    A bold step forward in inclusive filmmaking that allows David James (Deej) Savarese, a nonspeaking young man with autism, to tell his own story, focusing on accomplishment and possibility, not limits and barriers.

    Chasing Coral
    An Exposure Labs Production (Netflix)
    This surprisingly emotional film expertly documents, through time-lapse underwater photographs, the effects of climate change on the rapid decimation of the world’s coral reefs, events known as coral bleaching that affected 29 percent of the shallow-water coral in the Great Barrier Reef in 2016 alone.

    Fuse Media (Fuse/Linear Broadcast)
    An urgent, intimate portrait of heartbreak and determination, disappointment and victory as three young Dreamers navigate confusing immigration policy, bad faith on the part of politicians, and the emotional trauma of family separation.

    Last Men in Aleppo
    American Documentary | POV, Larm Film (PBS)
    Masterful storytelling by civilian filmmakers at the heart of the Syrian crisis as they follow the volunteer group the White Helmets, who provide emergency services to traumatized residents in the rebel-occupied areas of the city of Aleppo.

    Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise
    The People’s Poet Media Group, LLC, Thirteen’s American Masters for WNET and ITVS in association with Artemis Rising  (PBS/WNET/TV)
    A vivid portrait of Maya Angelou, who, while best known as one of America’s leading writers, also blazed a brave and original life as a performer, actress, and activist integral to the civil rights movement and the celebration of African-American experience.

    Mile 22 LLC, ITVS, in association with KA Snyder Productions, Cuomo Cole Productions, Artemis Rising and Transform Films (PBS)
    An emotionally devastating film centered on the testimonies of the families, teachers, and first-responders of Newtown, Connecticut, who recount the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School and examine its impact on their lives, their town and, by implication, the nation that allowed this to happen.

    Oklahoma City
    American Experience (PBS/WGBH Education Foundation)
    Essential viewing that draws a line from armed standoffs at Ruby Ridge and Waco to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, to tell the story of both the worst act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history and the rise of anti-government hatred and white militancy.

    The Islands and the Whales
    Intrepid Cinema, Radiator Film (PBS)
    An exquisitely photographed documentary that explores the inextricable links between oceans poisoned by coal burning power plants and the direct impact they have on people of the remote Faroe Island in the North Atlantic Ocean, who struggle between maintaining their traditional way of life and the long-term health repercussions of mercury poisoning.

    Time: The Kalief Browder Story
    Spike TV, The Cinemart, Roc Nation (Spike)
    Powerful miniseries illuminating the greatest flaws of our criminal justice system through the tragic events and death of a young African-American who spent three years on Rikers Island without being convicted of a crime.

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