'South Park,' Katrina Coverage Win Peabody Awards

Associated Press
Friday, April 7, 2006

ATLANTA -- Comedy Central's "South Park" won its first Peabody Award on Wednesday, winning praise from judges as TV's boldest, most politically incorrect satirical series.

WWL-TV in New Orleans and WLOX-TV in Biloxi, Miss., which stayed on the air throughout Hurricane Katrina, won awards, and CNN and NBC were honored for their coverage of the deadly storm.

The George Foster Peabody Awards, for broadcasting excellence in both news and entertainment, are given annually by the University of Georgia. Thirty-two awards will be handed out at a June 5 ceremony in New York, hosted by two-time recipient Jon Stewart.

"South Park" was praised as a show that "pushes all the buttons, turns up the heat and shatters every taboo," Peabody Awards Director Horace Newcomb said. "Through that process of offending it reminds us of the need for being tolerant."

Fox's medical drama "House" and ABC's "Boston Legal," a David E. Kelley creation, also won awards.

First-time winners included the Sci Fi Channel for "Battlestar Galactica," a drama about a war-ravaged civilization trying to start anew; FX, for the police series "The Shield"; and the Sundance Channel, for presenting "The Staircase," an eight-part documentary about a North Carolina murder case.

HBO picked up awards for "Children of Beslan," a documentary about the aftermath of the September 2004 terrorist capture of a Russian elementary school, "Yesterday," a South African-produced film, and "Classical Baby," which judges called "an inventive, whimsical marriage of animation to classical music."

Internationally, CBC/Radio-Canada picked up an award for its report on how global warming is affecting the Arctic and the Inuit people there. The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. also won for its eight-part documentary on the impact of electricity on music. The BBC received four Peabodys, including one for its multimedia campaign to encourage organ donations and another for the dramatization of Charles Dickens's "Bleak House."

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