The Peabody Awards Board of Jurors on Tuesday announced its 60 nominees representing “the most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting and streaming media” in 2020.
The nominees were chosen by 19 jurors who surveyed 1,300 entries from television, podcasts/radio and the web in entertainment, news, documentary, arts, children’s/youth, public service and multimedia programming. The Peabody Awards are based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.
“During an incredibly turbulent and difficult year, these nominees rose to the occasion and delivered compelling and empowering stories,” said former Yahoo! Global Editor-in-Chief Martha Nelson, who now chairs the Peabody jury. “From Covid-19 coverage to poignant explorations of identity, each nominee not only told a powerful story but also made a significant impact on media programming and the cultural landscape. We’re thrilled to recognize their outstanding and inspiring work.”
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The nominated programs encompass a wide range of issues, including Covid, voting rights, police violence, immigrant rights, and economic justice. The 2020 nominees represent a particularly important year for news with 16 nominations in that category.
“Peabody is proud to continue its tradition of recognizing diverse and emerging voices, those telling powerful stories that audiences need to engage with and hear,” said Jeffrey Jones, Peabody executive director. “Once again, our nominees offer moral clarity for how we as ethical citizens might respond.”
Of the 60 nominations, PBS and Netflix lead with 12 and nine, respectively, followed by HBO with five, Amazon and Showtime have three each, and Apple TV+ and CBS have two each. Thirty winners will be named during a virtual celebration in June. Details about the online event will be announced in the coming weeks.
The 60 Peabody Award nominees, listed by category and in alphabetical order (network/platform in parentheses) are:
CHILDREN’S & YOUTH
Three siblings have a special next-door neighbor: a wise panda named Stillwater. His friendship and stories give them new perspectives on the world, themselves, and each other.
Producers: Apple/Scholastic Entertainment/Gaumont (Apple TV+)
The Owl House
Accidentally sent to the world of the Boiling Isles before a trip to summer camp, a teenager named Luz longs to become a witch, with the rebellious Eda and pint-sized demon King at her side.
Producer: Disney Television Animation (Disney Channel)
Hao Wu’s documentary captures the struggles of patients and frontline medical professionals battling the Covid-19 pandemic in Wuhan.
Producers: 76 Days LLC/MTV Documentary Films (virtual cinema)
All In: The Fight for Democracy
Examining voter suppression and barriers to voting in the US, the film interweaves personal experiences with activism and historical insight to expose a problem that has existed since the country’s founding.
Producer: Story Syndicate (Amazon Studios)
American Experience: The Vote
One hundred years after the passage of the 19th Amendment, “The Vote” tells the dramatic culmination story of the hard-fought campaign waged by American women for the right to vote.
Producer: 42nd Parallel Film for American Experience (PBS)
A timely and important five-hour film series that casts a new lens on U.S. history and the ongoing role that Asian Americans have played.
Producers: CAAM, WETA, Flash Cuts, LLC., Tajima-Peña Productions, ITVS (PBS)
This documentary focuses on the gymnasts who survived USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar’s abuse and the reporters who exposed USAG’s toxic culture.
Producers: Netflix, Impact Partners, Artemis Rising Foundation, Meadow Fund, Dobkin Family Foundation, Chicago Media Project, Grant Me the Wisdom Productions and Actual Films (Netflix)
Atlanta’s Missing & Murdered: The Lost Children
This five-part docuseries examines the role of politicians, law enforcement, news media and community leaders who insufficiently deal with the killing of at least 30 African-American children and young adults from 1979-1981 in Atlanta.
Producers: HBO Documentary Films, Show of Force, Get Lifted Film Company and Roc Nation (HBO)
This gripping documentary follows a team of investigators at the Romanian newspaper Gazeta Sporturilor as they try to uncover a vast health-care fraud that enriched moguls and politicians and led to the deaths of innocent citizens.
Producers:Alexander Nanau Production, Samsa Film, HBO Europe (HBO Europe)
This documentary about a groundbreaking summer camp gives us a history of the disability rights movement and the path toward greater equality.
Producers: Higher Ground and Rusted Spoke, Little Punk/JustFilms/Ford Foundation for Netflix (Netflix)
A critical look at the history of transgender representation on screen, the film offers heartfelt perspectives from leading trans creatives and thinkers about Hollywood’s impact on the trans community.
Producers: Disclosure Film, Field of Vision, Bow & Arrow Entertainment for Netflix (Netflix)
With unprecedented access to ICE operations, as well as moving portraits of immigrants, this docuseries takes a deep look at US immigration today.
Producers: Reel Peak Films for Netflix (Netflix)
In My Blood It Runs
A film about Dujuan, a ten-year-old Arrernte/Garrwa child healer whose family advocates for him to have a culturally sustaining education that affirms his Arrernte identity, while he also navigates western schooling in Australia.
Producers: Closer Productions, American Documentary|POV (PBS)
Independent Lens: Belly of the Beast
An expose of modern-day eugenics and reproductive injustice in California prisons through intimate accounts from currently and formerly incarcerated people.
Producers: Belly of the Beast LLC, Idle Wild Films Inc., Black Public Media, Independent Television Service, Corporation for Public Broadcasting (PBS)
Kingdom of Silence
An in-depth look at Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s life, work and murder amidst the complexity of U.S.-Saudi Arabian relations. Exclusive interviews explore Khashoggi’s connections as well as his enduring global legacy.
Producers: Showtime Documentary Films presents Jigsaw Productions (Showtime)
This film follows political activist Boniface “Softie” Mwangi who decides to run for political office in Kenya after several years of fighting injustice in his country.
Producers: LBx AFRICA, American Documentary|POV, We Are Not the Machine, Eyesteel Film, Doc Society, BBC (PBS)
Amidst air strikes and bombings, a group of female doctors in Ghouta, Syria struggle with systemic sexism while trying to care for the injured using limited resources.
Producers: Danish Documentary, Ma.Ja.De Hecat Studio Paris Madam Films for National Geographic Documentary Films (National Geographic)
The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show
In 1968, entertainer and activist Harry Belafonte took over Johnny Carson’s seat on The Tonight Show for one historic week, honestly confronting a fractured and changing country through conversations with guests like Robert Kennedy and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. months before their assassinations.
Producer: Big Beach (Peacock)
The Speed Cubers
This documentary captures the extraordinary twists and turns in the journeys of Rubik’s Cube-solving champions Max Park and Feliks Zemdegs.
Producers: Netflix Original Documentaries/Saltwater/Romano Films, Wieden + Kennedy Studios (Netflix)
In this love story filmed over two decades, matriarch Fox Rich strives to raise her six sons and keep her family together as she fights for her husband’s release from the Louisiana State Penitentiary.
Producers: Concordia Studio, GB Feature, LLC and Amazon Studios (Amazon Studios)
Welcome to Chechnya
A group of activists risk their lives fighting for LGBTQ+ rights in Chechnya.
Producers: Public Square Films, Ninety Thousand Words, Maylo Films, BBC Storyville and HBO Documentary Films (HBO)
Euphoria Special: Part 1: Rue ‘Trouble Don’t Last Always’
Zendaya in a one-act dialogue and rumination on the struggles, depths and challenges of addiction and self-loathing, and what loving and forgiving oneself really means.
Producers: HBO, Reasonable Bunch, A24, Little Lamb, Dreamcrew, ADD Content Agency|HOT|TCDY Productions (HBO)
This series features the Morales cousins who scramble to save their grandfather’s taco shop—and pursue their own dreams—as gentrification shakes up their LA neighborhood.
Producers: Netflix (Netflix)
I May Destroy You
Michaela Coel plays a carefree, self-assured Londoner with a group of great friends, a boyfriend in Italy and a burgeoning writing career. But when her drink is spiked, she must question and rebuild every element of her life.
Producers: HBO, BBC, Various Artists Limited and Falkna (HBO)
Accused of the genocide of Mayan people, retired general Enrique is trapped in his home by massive protests. The indignant old man and his family must face the truth of his actions and the growing sense that a wrathful supernatural force is targeting them for his crimes.
Producer: La Casa De Produccion (Shudder)
A collection of five original films by Steve McQueen, set from the late 1960s to the mid 1980s, tells personal stories from London’s West Indian community, where lives have been forged by personal force of will in the face rampant racism and discrimination.
Producers: BBC Studios Americas, Inc. and Amazon Studios (Amazon Studios)
Jason Sudeikis is Ted Lasso, an American football coach hired to manage a British soccer team—despite having no experience. A lesson in radical optimism and the ripple effect it can have in transforming communities structured by toxic masculinity.
Producers: Apple/Doozer Productions, Warner Bros. Television and Universal Television (Apple TV+)
Never Have I Ever
Mindy Kaling’s coming-of-age story follows a South Asian teenage girl grappling with high school, romance and her family after the death of her father.
Producers: Universal Television, 3 Arts Entertainment, Original Langster and Kaling International, Netflix (Netflix)
The Good Lord Bird
Based on the award-winning novel by James McBride, this limited series from Ethan Hawke about radical abolitionist John Brown offers a study of one of the most significant first steps by a white American in confronting and eradicating the nation’s original sin.
Producers: Showtime Presents Blumhouse Television, Mark 924 Entertainment, Under the Influence Productions (Showtime)
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Broadcasting from his home in South Carolina, Stephen Colbert rewrote the role of the late-night television host during the lockdown as the nation grappled with a global pandemic and President Donald Trump.
Producer: CBS Studios (CBS)
A Hasidic Jewish woman in Brooklyn flees to Berlin from an arranged marriage and is taken in by a group of musicians — until her past comes calling.
Producers: Studio Airlift and RealFilm for Netflix (Netflix)
ABC News 20/20 in collaboration with The Courier Journal: Say Her Name: Breonna Taylor
As the nation continues to seek accountability and justice, this collaborative reporting features personal home videos, new interviews of key players and police body camera video from the night of Breonna Taylor’s death.
Producers: ABC News 20/20 + Courier Journal (ABC)
Battle For Hong Kong
Frontline follows five protesters through intense clashes over several months of pro-democracy protests against the growing influence of the Communist government in mainland China.
Producer: Frontline (PBS/GBH)
Bravery and Hope: 7 Days on the Front Line
A team of CBS News journalists, embedded with emergency physicians and critical care specialists at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, gives us an intimate story about the complex ethical decisions of who lives and who dies at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
Producer: CBS (CBS News)
An undercover report from China’s secretive Xinjiang region, Frontline investigates the Communist regime’s mass imprisonment of Muslims, and its use and testing of sophisticated surveillance technology against the Uyghur community.
Producer: Frontline (PBS/GBH)
Covid’s Hidden Toll
In this examination of how the Covid crisis has hit vulnerable immigrants and undocumented workers, Frontline follows the pandemic’s invisible victims, including farm and meat-packing workers who lack protections.
Producer: Frontline (PBS/GBH)
Fire – Power – Money: Holding PG&E Accountable
ABC10’s examination of the connection between deadly wildfires, PG&E and its influence on California politics, demonstrates what a committed local news station can do for citizens.
Producer: KXTV-TV ABC10 (KXTV-TV)
Arizona’s “Brady list” system is designed to track police officers with histories of lying and committing crimes. This hour-long special exposes the failure of Arizona’s law enforcement and prosecutors to effectively keep and enforce these lists.
Producer: KNXV-TV ABC15 (KNXV-TV)
Sky News spends 48 hours inside Idlib uncovering evidence of war crimes and humanitarian disasters.
Producer: Sky News (Sky News)
KARE 11 Investigates: Cruel & Unusual
After preventable deaths, botched investigations, falsified records and a suicide crisis, this local Minneapolis investigation exposes a suspicious pattern of inmate deaths.
Producer: KARE 11-TV (KARE 11-TV)
Muslim in Trump’s America (Exposure)
Director and journalist Deeyah Khan exposes the extreme anti-Muslim ideology that President Donald Trump normalized — and ruthlessly exploited — in the fight for votes.
Producer: Fuuse Films (ITV)
PBS NewsHour COVID-19 Coverage: Global Pandemic/Making Sense: The Victims of the Covid Economy
Examining the pandemic globally and nationally, this piece covers the diversity of responses to the pandemic from five continents and the impact of the pandemic on the US economy and its workers, including hard hit sectors such as retail, restaurants, and African American-owned businesses.
Producer: PBS NewsHour (PBS)
PBS NewsHour: Desperate Journey
This two-part series documents the journey of migrants as they traverse the hostile jungles of Southern Panama on foot. The reporting highlights the global migration crisis and the dangerous lengths people go to as they seek a better life.
Producer: PBS NewsHour (PBS)
Policing the Police 2020
In the wake of racial justice protests over the killing of George Floyd, reporter Jelani Cobb returns to a troubled police department he first visited four years ago to examine whether reform can work, and how police departments can be held accountable.
Producer: Frontline (PBS/GBH)
Undercover in the Schools that Chain Boys
An investigation uncovering systemic child abuse and evidence of sexual abuse inside Islamic schools in Sudan.
Producer: BBC News Arabic Documentaries (BBC)
Vice on Showtime: Losing Ground
A look at the little-known issue of “heirs property,” reporter Alzo Slade examines how many black landowners lose their homesteads due to legal loopholes often exploited by white developers.
Producer: VICE News (Showtime)
Whose Vote Counts
Jelani Cobb reports on allegations of voter disenfranchisement, how unfounded claims of extensive voter fraud entered the political mainstream, rhetoric and realities around mail-in ballots, and the pandemic’s impact on voter turnout in the 2020 election.
Producers: Frontline, Columbia Journalism Investigations, USA Today Network (PBS/GBH)
Revisiting Hurricane Katrina, Floodlines offers stories from the people who lived through the flood and its aftermath — stories of rumors, betrayal, and one of the most misunderstood events in American history.
Producer: The Atlantic (theatlantic.com; podcast platforms)
Language Keepers Podcast Series
This six-part podcast series details the amount of work and care that goes into preservation as it explores the struggle for Indigenous language survival in California.
Producer: Emergence Magazine (Emergence Magazine)
Teenagers offer stories in their own voices, relaying testimonials on subjects like the stress of living between two homes after a divorce, adjusting to life after a father’s deportation, dealing with drug pressures at school and what it’s like being at odds with your identical twin.
Producer: CBC Podcasts (CBC Podcasts/TRX from PRX)
Post Reports: The Life of George Floyd
This special episode of Post Reports gives us a full treatment of George Floyd’s life and tells the story of Floyd’s family, his upbringing and how racism hobbled his ambition.
Producer:The Washington Post (washingtonpost.com; podcast platforms)
The Land That Never Has Been Yet
This podcast series with John Biewen and Chenjerai Kumanyika excavates well-worn narratives about American democracy and demands a re-examination of our history. Our democracy is in crisis. But how democratic was America ever meant to be?
Producer: Scene on Radio (PRX)
The Promise: Season 2
A series about inequality and the people trying to rise above it, The Promise grapples with public education and race in Nashville, with one school trying to stay afloat, a neighborhood divided over race and economics, and a city that’s resisted school desegregation every step of the way.
Producer: Nashville Public Radio (Nashville Public Radio)
This American Life Episode #713: Made to be Broken | Act 1 – Time Bandit
“Time Bandit” sits with composer and musician Jerome Ellis, who at an annual New Year’s Day performance event got on stage with no instrument and broke a small rule in a monumental way.
Producer: This American Life (thisamericanlife.org; podcast platforms)
Cops and Robbers
Animation and activism unite in this multimedia spoken-word response to police brutality and racial injustice.
Producer: Lawrence Bender Productions (Netflix)
This multi-part series from Seattle’s King 5 leads viewers through the issues of racial injustice and inequality in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd to show us what accountability looks like.
Producer: King 5 (King-TV)
Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020
LeBron James leads artists, athletes, musicians, commencement speakers, influencers and cultural icons as they show their support for the High School Class of 2020 in a virtual graduation ceremony for the nation’s seniors who were denied the in-person rite of passage due to the pandemic.
Producer: The Entertainment Industry Foundation, XQ Institute, Springhill Entertainment, Done & Dusted (Multiple networks and digital platforms)
Shania tells the story of a group of friends who encounter life-changing obstacles that mirror the day-to-day challenges faced by many adolescent girls and young women in Zimbabwe.
Producers: Quizzical Pictures, USAID (Zimbabwe television)
Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché
This documentary gives us a portrait of Alice Guy-Blaché who, as the world’s first female movie director, screenwriter, producer and studio owner, was involved in over 1,000 films, but whose importance and impact in the history of cinema has been largely ignored.
Producer: Be Natural Productions (Turner Classic Movies)