By Meredith Blake
Los Angeles Times via McClatchy-Tribune
NEW YORK — Winners of the 73rd annual George Foster Peabody Awards were announced Wednesday on “CBS This Morning,” with a record 46 series, specials and reports from television, radio and the Web being honored for excellence in 2013.
There were some old favorites among the television honorees, but for the most part the Peabody board looked beyond the obvious favorites and saved most of its recognition for slightly under-the-radar newcomers.
FX’s “The Bridge,” a murder mystery set on the U.S.-Mexico border, was praised for its “rare, nonstereotypical depiction of two cultures.”
BBC America scored two wins, one for the inventive “Orphan Black,” whose lead Tatiana Maslany was hailed as a “marvel,” and another for the brooding small-town murder mystery “Broadchurch.”
A trio of political dramas — “House of Cards” (Netflix), “Scandal” (ABC) and “Borgen” (a Danish series currently streaming on KCET.org) — were honored.
The French import “The Returned” (SundanceTV), set in a scenic Alpine village where the long dead suddenly come back to life, was also recognized.
AMC’s Emmy-winning “Breaking Bad,” singled out for its “stunning brand of visual storytelling and meticulous character development,” rounded out the list of winning dramas.
On the comedy side, honorees include Netflix’s prison serial “Orange is the New Black,” praised for its insight into “the politics… of mass incarceration,” and Comedy Central’s “broad and incisive” sketch series “Key & Peele.”
The Peabody Awards also recognize excellence in nonfiction programming.
The PBS documentary series “Frontline” was honored for the special “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis,” about traumatic brain injury among professional football players.
Also on PBS, “Independent Lens” picked up Peabodys for three of its documentaries: “How to Survive a Plague,” about the AIDS activist group ACT UP; “The House I Live In,” about the human toll of the war on drugs; and “The War Within,” about rape in the military.
HBO picked up awards for the documentaries “Six by Sondheim,” which profiles the Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim; “Life According to Sam,” the story of a teenager with progeria; and “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,” which focuses on a Milwaukee priest who abused hundreds of deaf children.
Also honored were the nonfiction series “The Story of Film” (TCM), “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” (CNN) and “Latino Americans” and “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” (both PBS).
Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw received a personal Peabody honoring his journalistic achievements.
The Peabody Awards ceremony will take place May 19 and will be hosted by “This American Life’s” Ira Glass.
Highlights from the ceremony will be broadcast later this year on the cable network Pivot.