The 73rd Annual Peabody Awards were announced today, and the winners include some of the highest profile Emmy contenders, among them “Breaking Bad,” “Scandal,” and Netflix’s two hot properties “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.”
Of “Breaking Bad,” the Peabody judges said, “Through a stunning brand of visual storytelling and meticulous character development, we were able to explore the darkest chambers of a human heart in a way never before seen on TV. Over five seasons, Vince Gilligan made good on his promise to utterly transform Walter White from Mr. Chips into Scarface.”
The admired “Scandal” as “an exaggerated, outrageous, fun-house reflection of the real-life political shenanigans,” while grittier political drama “House of Cards” was praised for the way it “took binge viewing to a new level and obliterated the idea that a hit TV show needs a slot in prime time.” “Orange is the New Black” was a “complex, riveting character study rich in insights.”
As usual, the Peabody winners also included offbeat selections, including BBC America’s “one of a kind” cult hit sci-fi drama “Orphan Black” and Comedy Central’s “broad and incisive” sketch comedy “Key and Peele.”
Lauded documentaries also made the cut: Oscar-nominated “The Invisible War” about the epidemic of sexual assault in the military, Emmy-winning “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God” about the Catholic church sex abuse scandals, and Ken Burns‘s “The Central Park Five” about the wrongful conviction of five teenagers for rape.
The Peabody Awards were introduced in 1940 by the National Association of Broadcasters as a Pulitzer Prize-equivalent for radio, but over the course of seven decades they have expanded to include television and digital media. This year’s prizes will be handed out at a ceremony to be held May 19 and hosted by “This American Life” creator Ira Glass.
Will any of this year’s Peabody winners be recognized at the Emmys? Make your Best Drama Series predictions below: