Peabodys fete ‘Wing,’ ‘Sopranos’

Alphabet missing in action

NEW YORK — “The Sopranos” and “The West Wing” took top prizes for the second straight year as the 60th annual Peabody Awards for broadcast excellence were announced Thursday.

HBO, home of the “Sopranos,” boasted five of the much coveted nods, second only to eight for PBS.

NBC and CBS both took three nods. Fox carried one for “Malcolm in the Middle,” and Comedy Central made a surprise appearance with “The Daily Show With John Stewart: Indecision 2000,” a series of stories that the Peabody board called “razor-sharp coverage of the 2000 presidential campaign from an unlikely source.”

ABC was missing in action.

The 34 winners were culled from nearly 1,100 entries. Announcement came from the U. of Georgia’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, which has administered the awards since they started in 1940.

They will be formally presented May 21 at a luncheon at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel hosted by news reporter Christiane Amanpour.

HBO also counted wins for “The Corner,” “King Gimp,” “Cancer: Evolution to Revolution” and “Ali-Frasier 1: One Nation … Divisible.”

“Dateline NBC” won for the “The Paper Chase,” a segment on denied medical claims, and NBC News for Katie Couric’s “Controlling Colon Cancer.”

Good news for CBS

CBS took home prizes for “60 Minutes II: Death by Denial,” on the AIDS epidemic in Africa; “48 Hours: Heroes Under Fire,” about the death of six firefighters; and “Sharing the Secret,” a mother-daughter drama from Robert Greenwald Prods. and Pearson Television.

CNN received a nod for “CNN Perspectives: Cry Freetown,” on the civil war in Sierra Leone.

A&E Network and Columbia TriStar Television carried off an award for “The Crossing,” a dramatization of George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware. “Walking With Dinosaurs,” a BBC Discovery Channel/TV Asahi co-production in association with ProSieben and France 3, unearthed one, too.

PBS drew awards for “Regret to Inform,” “1900 House,” “Frontline: Drug Wars,” “Napoleon,” “School Sleuth: The Case of an Excellent School,” animated kids’ series “Arthur,” “Building Big” and “Exxon Mobil Masterpiece Theater: David Copperfield.”

The personal award went to television news director H. Martin Haag. “Marty is an industry icon who’s helped establish high ethical standards and quality reporting at both local and network news levels,” said Louise Benjamin, interim director of the Peabody Awards.

The rest of the winners were a mixed bag of documentaries, international specials, local TV investigative reports and two radio nods to National Public Radio.

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