Scandal, Orphan Black, The Returned, Key & Peele Are Among Prestigious Peabody Winners

Orphan Black Peabody AwardsOne fierce Scandal fixer, Orphan Black‘s bevy of Tatiana Maslanys (Maslaneese?), many Returned undead folk and cut-ups Key & Peele are among the winners of this year’s Peabody Awards, which as the “Pulitzer Prize” for electronic media recognize excellence in radio, TV and the blogosphere.

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We’ve singled out the scripted TV winners below, excerpting the Peabody panel’s words of praise.

For the complete list of winners — including documentaries, films and news coverage such as 180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School, Best Kept Secret, The Central Park Five and Frontline: League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis — visit

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BORGEN | This “realistic, richly nuanced dramatic series” from Denmark offers a “rumination on power, ambition, integrity, love and deal-making, with one of the most intriguing female protagonists in all the TV world.”

BREAKING BAD | Exploring “the darkest chambers of a human heart in a way never before seen on TV,” series creator “Vince Gilligan made good on his promise to utterly transform Walter White from Mr. Chips into Scarface.”

THE BRIDGE | This “rare, non-stereotypical depiction of two cultures rubbing against and informing each other is as fascinating as the mystery.”

BROADCHURCH | An “intricately crafted, emotionally rich, endlessly surprising mystery series” from ITV.

HOUSE OF CARDS | “By releasing an entire season of episodes at once, Netflix took binge viewing to a new level and obliterated the idea that a hit TV show needs a slot in primetime.”

KEY & PEELE | Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele aka “Abbott and Costello Meet Richard Pryor” deliver “racially aware sketches both broad and incisive.”

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK | “A complex, riveting character study rich in insights about femininity, race, power, and the politics, inside and outside prison walls, of mass incarceration.”

ORPHAN BLACK | “A super-charged, stylized sci-fi action serial that ponders identity, humanity, bioethics and genetic research when it occasionally stops for breath. Tatiana Maslany is a marvel in the title role.”

THE RETURNED | This French series, which enjoyed a U.S. showcase on Sundance, is “elegant, it’s zombie-free and it’s still unnerving.”

SCANDAL | “[T]urbocharged by Kerry Washington’s star turn, Scandal is part West Wing and part Dynasty, an exaggerated, outrageous, fun-house reflection of the real-life political shenanigans we’ve come to loathe and jeer.”

Do you agree with this year’s Peabody picks?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Patti says:

    I think Orange is the New Black was a recipient of the award too.

  2. K says:

    Pretty good picks! Only thing to say is I would’ve liked to have seen The Good Wife grace this list. It’s been at the top of its game this season.

    • xx says:

      Agreed. It was acknowledged in 2010, but Peabody Awards can be given to the same show in multiple years (Breaking Bad) so TGW should definitely show up again next year.

  3. Melanie says:

    I love all of the praise that Tatiana’s been getting for her performance in Orphan Black, but it’s fabulous to see the show recognized in and of itself for all of it’s remarkableness. The writing and story is superb.

  4. Jim says:

    That’s a pretty great list.

  5. Anne Kuki says:

    The Fosters

  6. Aimee says:

    I looked it up…Orange is the New Black did win too. Knowing this I can honestly say I don’t disagree with anything on the list. Well done Peabody Awards!

  7. TV Gord says:

    Great choices all around, but I’m particularly happy to see Orphan Black and Broadchurch recognized!

  8. Lili says:

    So happy for Borgen, Bron/Broen (The Bridge), Broadchurch and Les Revenants (The Returned), very, very good European Series. Scandinavia and France produced very good series those last ten years that are really worth watching !

  9. Bea says:

    The what Awards? Peabody??…Never heard of it. Yay Orphan Black.

  10. Nicole says:

    Scandal? Meh. Where’s The Americans though? It’s a great show. And of course Orphan Black, that little underrated gem is getting some lovin’,oh yeah!!

  11. gdv says:

    Yay, Orphan Black! I just want to brag for a minute and say that I have enlisted 3 coworkers into the Clone Club in the last week. And now that they’re fans, they’re convincing their friends and family to watch it before S2 starts.

  12. Jerry says:

    Very happy with Scandal getting honoured with a Peabody award. It is definitely a thrilling ride week to week, and a very captivating show in my opinion. It is actually a very cable-like show despite being on broadcast.

    While I don’t always agree with Shonda Rhimes and her creative directions, I think sometimes that is what is needed from producers and writers. I think particularly for broadcast shows, writers and producers somehow produce episodes with the intention of satisfying fans or in accordance to fan feedback rather than developing their own show. I personally like to see writers and producers taking control of the entire show, so we can be offered a treat instead of simply watching what we want to watch.

  13. Is it just me? says:

    Scandal? That must be a mistake. It is a soap opera with sink hole size holes in every episode. The only people who can act are Jeff Perry, Bellamy Young and Kate Burton. Everyone else can go home. The writers on that show should be kicked out of the writer’s guild. Kerry Washington and her over acting, over enunciations and facial contortions are awful. Orphan Black, House of Cards and the others are all quality shows, but Scandal I just don’t get it. It shouldn’t even be in the same category as the others. That show is over hyped, over rated, over saturated and gets attention for race, clothes and everything except the acting of the lead character. Have you ever read any critical acclaim about Kerry Washington’s acting? Of course not. I think it is appalling that she was nominated for Emmy, SAG and Golden Globe. ABC and their obnoxious PR team muscled their way to those nominations and I think all three awards felt obliged to nominate her. Yet Tatiana Maslany, Vera Farmiga and others were left out for some. Not to mention Keri Russell who was left out for all three awards. The Good Wife received a Peabody Award in 2010. But what about Homeland and The Americans. Hopefully next year.

    • Jerry says:

      I would have to disagree. It is incredibly difficult for a serialized drama on broadcast to increase in ratings, and Scandal has managed it. Yes, you might argue it is because of the assassination plot, and it jumped to a high for that episode, but many thought it would be a one-off episode with high ratings, yet it maintained that high rating for more than 20 episodes now. Word of mouth is spreading, and apparently for many fans it is so good that they are willing to recommend to other people so much so that more people started tuning in. Whereas increase in ratings is credited to increase in quality for shows like Game of Thrones, Shameless, somehow I feel that Scandal somehow did not get this acknowledgement.

      I personally love the cast and the show and think it is very well written. I don’t see major plot holes to be honest. Kerry Washington’s acting is pretty spot-on for her character and I don’t see another person playing Olivia Pope better, and while you may not have seen a single person giving Washington acclaim for her role, many do, and this very website also put her in as a potential nominee before the nominations were announced. Not a perfect show, but certainly the most exciting show to watch in my opinion, and engages the audience throughout. I’ve seen shows like House of Cards, and while they are great in quality, there are many pointless conversations and filler content in between too. At least Scandal makes the pointless conversations and filler seem interesting.

      On a side note, I doubt ABC will seriously spend so much money to market Scandal for Emmys and Golden Globes and SAG. It is also quite foolish and not useful to market to 3 vastly different groups of people for just a nomination (not even a win).

      • Is it just me? says:

        Dear Jerry,

        I like good respectful varying opinions. Which you don’t find on line sometimes.

        Thank you,

        • Jerry says:

          Thank you so much! When I first posted I was afraid you were going to call me an idiot, but I am glad someone agrees that it is good to agree to disagree, and not make it personal. Scandal does have its flaws though, like sometimes I think it caters too much too fandom over Fitz and Olivia, that you can see them kiss and make love even when things are so urgent and off-track!