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The honor, presented by Mercedes-Benz, is “reserved for individuals whose work and commitment to broadcast media has left an indelible mark on the field.”
“Carol Burnett is one of the all-time greats of television comedy. Her wit and talent set the bar for women in entertainment,” Jeffrey P. Jones, executive director of Peabody, said Thursday in a statement. “Suffice it to say there would be no Gilda Radner, Julia Louis-Dreyfus or Tina Fey without her blazing the trail. We are pleased to celebrate the many contributions of a beloved TV icon.”
Burnett first received a Personal Award in 1962. In making their decision, jurors noted: “In a world that needs laughter today more than ever before, Carol Burnett has emerged in the past year as one of television’s funniest, and most highly acclaimed, comediennes. Already a star of the first magnitude, she promises to give untold enjoyment to the world of television for years to come. May her tribe increase!”
Five years later, she launched The Carol Burnett Show, which ran for 11 years and averaged 30 million viewers a week. Most recently, Burnett appeared in the special The 50th Anniversary of The Carol Burnett Show, which aired on CBS in December, and she will host the upcoming family show A Little Help With Carol Burnett. The series, which features a panel of young children providing advice to adults with dilemmas, will debut May 4 on Netflix.
The news comes two days after the 60 nominees for this year’s Peabody Awards were unveiled, with The Handmaid’s Tale, Saturday Night Live and Star Trek Discovery among the nominees.
Those finalists will be narrowed down to 30 winners, to be revealed by category starting April 17 with the documentary winners, followed by entertainment/children’s and youth on April 19 and news/radio/public service programming on 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 and a Peabody nominee this year.
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.
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