This is getting to be a habit. Atlanta, which won a Peabody Award in its first season in 2016, today became one of the few series to win a second Peabody Award. The 2023 awards, with 35 winners honored, were announced on Tuesday (May 9).
Of Atlanta, the Peabody Awards said, “The experimental series, in which Donald Glover plays a shiftless Princeton dropout trying to manage his cousin’s burgeoning rap career, won a Peabody for its first season in 2016 for its sharp, evocative depiction of its eponymous city and the cast of characters making their way through it. Now, in its final seasons, the groundbreaking series has transcended its original success by introducing an anthology-style structure in season three that deviates largely from the central cast, allowing the final two installments of Atlanta to display a wealth of creativity and insight.”
Glover can put his two Peabody Awards alongside the two Primetime Emmys he won for the series in 2017 — outstanding lead actor in a comedy series and outstanding directing in a comedy series. Glover has also won five Grammys under his Childish Gambino alter ego. He won four of them, including record and song of the year, for “This Is America,” which was a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2018.
Better Call Saul also won a second Peabody Award. Like Atlanta, it previously won for its first season. Of the show, the Peabodys said, “It is a remarkable thing for a spin-off to surpass the artistic terms of its predecessor, even more so when that predecessor is as excellent as Breaking Bad, but that’s precisely what Better Call Saul did by the end of its six seasons.”
Entertainment programming led all categories with 10 wins, followed by eight for documentaries and seven for news
Other entertainment winners included Abbott Elementary, Quinta Brunson’s ABC sitcom, which appears to be headed for a Primetime Emmy win as outstanding comedy series; We’re Free, an HBO docuseries about drag queens; Severance, an Apple TV+ series from director and executive producer Ben Stiller and creator Dan Erickson; and Los Espookys, a Spanish-language comedy with English subtitles, which was created and written by Julio Torres, Ana Fabrega, and SNL alum Fred Armisen.
The Peabodys were especially warm in their capsule description of We’re Here: “Whenever Shangela, Bob the Drag Queen and Eureka O’Hara alight on any given town during any one episode of HBO’s docuseries We’re Here, their purpose is clear: All three queens are eager to preach the gospel of drag. Drag isn’t a mask you hide behind, as they suggest with every new transformation of a local trio tasked with performing at the end of every episode; it’s a way to reveal who you really are.”
We Need to Talk About Cosby won a Peabody in the documentary category. The Peabodys noted: “For decades, no figure shaped America’s perception of Black life with as much authority as Bill Cosby. His eponymous sitcom wasn’t just a massive commercial success; it also opened the door for countless other television series focused on Black characters. And yet, W. Kamau Bell’s deeply personal docuseries takes up the troubling quandary of Cosby in modern times, given all we now know about him — the man, the entertainment phenomenon, the paragon of respectability politics and the predator.”
The winners were chosen by a unanimous vote of 32 jurors from more than 1,400 entries from television, podcasts/radio and the web/digital in entertainment, news, documentary, arts, children’s/youth, public service and interactive programming. PBS had the most wins (six), followed by Apple TV+ and Disney+ (three each), and HBO Max (two).
The winners of the 83rd Annual Peabody Awards will be celebrated on Sunday, June 11, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles. This will be Peabody’s first in-person ceremony since 2019, as well as the first time in its history that the awards will take place in Los Angeles. Bob Bain Productions is set to produce the event. Variety is the media partner for the awards ceremony.
Peabody previously announced four specialty awards including NBC News’ TODAY as an Institutional Award winner. Lily Tomlin was named winner of the Peabody Career Achievement Award; Issa Rae won the Peabody Trailblazer Award; and Shari Frilot was named the winner of the Visionary Award.
Here’s a complete list of 2023 Peabody Award winners listed by category, with network/platform in parentheses:
Abbott Elementary; Delicious Non-Sequitur Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and 20th Television, a part of Disney Television Studios (ABC)
Andor; Lucasfilm Ltd. (Disney+)
Atlanta; FX Productions (FX)
Bad Sisters; Merman / ABC Signature in association with Apple (Apple TV+)
Better Call Saul; High Bridge, Crystal Diner, Gran Via Productions and Sony Pictures Television (AMC)
Los Espookys; HBO in association with Broadway Video, Antigravico and Mas Mejor (HBO Max)
Mo; A24 (Netflix)
Pachinko; Media Res / Blue Marble Pictures in association with Apple (Apple TV+)
Severance; Fifth Season / Red Hour Productions in association with Apple (Apple TV+)
We’re Here; HBO in association with House of Opus 20 and IPC (HBO Max)
Fire of Love; National Geographic Documentary Films presents A Sandbox Films Production / An Intuitive Pictures & Cottage M Production (Disney+)
Aftershock; Onyx Collective and ABC News Studios present a Malka Films and Madstone Company Inc Production In Association with Good Gravy Films and JustFilms | Ford Foundation Impact Partners
Batata; Saaren Films Inc., Six Island Productions Inc., Musa Dagh Productions (Streaming platforms)
Independent Lens: Missing in Brooks County; ITVS, Fork Films, Engel Entertainment (PBS)
Independent Lens: Writing with Fire; Black Ticket Films (PBS)
Mariupol: The People’s Story; Top Hat Productions / Hayloft Productions (BBC Select)
The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks; SO’B Productions (Peacock)
The Territory; National Geographic Documentary Films Presents A Documist And Associação Jupaú Film in association with Time Studios, Xtr, Doc Society Climate Story Fund / A Production of Protozoa Pictures, Passion Pictures, Real Lava (Disney+)
We Need to Talk About Cosby; Showtime Documentary Films Presents, A Boardwalk Pictures Production, In Association With WKB Industries (Showtime Networks)
Interactive & Immersive
ContraPoints; Natalie Wynn (YouTube)
Life Is Strange: True Colors; Deck Nine Games & Square Enix External Studios (PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Stadia)
Lucy and the Wolves in the Walls; Fable Studio, Third Rail Projects, Sound+Design, Story Studio & Experiences (Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest)
Reeducated; The New Yorker (Oculus, Mobile, Desktop)
The Uncensored Library; Media.Monks, Reporters without Borders, DDB Germany (Minecraft)
Guns in America; PBS NewsHour (PBS NewsHour)
Frontline: Michael Flynn’s Holy War; Frontline (PBS) with The Associated Press (PBS)
Frontline: Ukraine: Life Under Russia’s Attack; Frontline (PBS) with Channel 4
The Gap: Failure to Treat, Failure to Protect; KARE-TV (NBC/KARE-TV)
No Justice for Women in the Taliban’s Afghanistan; VICE News (VICE News)
One Day in Hebron; AJ+ (Direct From)
Shimon Prokupecz: Unraveling Uvalde; CNN (CNN)
Stolen: Surviving St. Michael’s; Spotify & Gimlet Media (Spotify)
The Divided Dial; On the Media/New York Public Radio (New York Public Radio)
This American Life: The Pink House at the Center of the World; This American Life (This American Life)
Frontline: The Power of Big Oil; Frontline (PBS) (PBS)