Friday, April 04, 2008

Peabodys Recognize Colbert Nation

The prestigious George Foster Peabody Awards were announced earlier this week, and once again, judges showed an eclectic taste among the entertainment winners.

Among the honorees were "Mad Men," one of TV's best new dramas of 2007; "Project Runway," arguably the most popular reality series on cable; and "The Colbert Report," Stephen Colbert's send-up of "The O'Reilly Factor" on Comedy Central.

I find the last one to be particularly funny and ironic, because several years ago O'Reilly had claimed to be a Peabody winner. When it was shown that he wasn't, he claims to have gotten the award mixed up with another. That's a bit like me claiming to have won a Pulitzer when in fact I won something from the Georgia Sports Writers Association a few years back.

Colbert celebrated in typical fashion last night, coming up with stickers that say "Peabody Winner" that he's going to put on everything.

The Peabodys have been around for 67 years and are awarded by the University of Georgia. Eons ago, when I attended the Harvard of the South, I was a student judge for the Peabodys. It's an interesting process, because the committee - me and two faculty/staff members - made our recommendations to the final judges in the Education Category. Pretty much nothing we recommended ended up winning, while things we didn't recommend got honored.

For example, we reviewed a CBS special called "Words Up," starring Kadeem Hardison in a comic tale that taught the value of adult literacy. CBS' description didn't do the special justice. When we read the blurb, all of us were like "Let's watch five minutes of this." But in the end, it was the best thing we saw, by far, and the one special we all agreed absolutely deserved to win. It didn't.

But a documentary about a guy sailing around the world, which didn't have a lot of educational value and wasn't recommended by my committee, did win one. So your guess is as good as mine as to how these things are actually picked.

But this year's list has some fine choices.

WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: It's less than 12 hours to the season premiere of "Battlestar Galactica" (Sci Fi, 10 p.m.), but the network will upload the video to scifi.com at noon. I'm going to make a recommendation here: Don't watch it online. Here's why: The effects at the beginning of the episode are so good, you'll want to watch them on the biggest TV you can find. A 15-inch computer monitor won't do it justice. Plus, Sci Fi is airing the final two episodes of last season from 8-10 p.m., so you can refresh what is happening in your mind. I know it's difficult, but you've waited many months for this, why not wait another 10 hours and watch it as it should be seen?

CBS returns with new episodes of "Ghost Whisperer" at 8 p.m. and "Numb3rs" at 10 p.m.

"Canterbury's Law" (Fox, 9 p.m.) is new for right now, but sent to the death grounds of Friday nights isn't a good sign.

The hit ABC game show "Duel" (ABC, 9 p.m.) returns for a new season. This show wasn't bad the first time around, but the strategy is fairly simple - save a couple of chips early on if you can, and force your opponent to use all of his or hers.

Spike is showing the Star Wars trilogy - Episodes 1 through 3 - all weekend long beginning tonight with "The Phantom Menace" at 9 p.m.

On Saturday, "Torchwood" (BBC America, 9 p.m.) is all new. Also, the NCAA Tournament's Final Four begins with UCLA versus Memphis (CBS, 6 p.m.) followed by North Carolina versus Kansas at 8:30 p.m.

On Sunday, the mystery series "Wire In The Blood" (BBC American, 8 p.m.) airs a two-hour TV movie, while the miniseries "John Adams" (HBO, 9 p.m.) and "The Tudors" (Showtime, 9 p.m.) continue. "Cold Case" (CBS, 9 p.m.) is brand-new followed by "Dexter," which is new if you didn't catch the series on Showtime.

Speaking of which, NBC will beginning airing episodes of "Monk" and "Psych" beginning at 8 p.m. These are reruns that ran on NBC's sister network, USA.

1 comment:

zodin2008 said...

Phillip, thanks for the info about BSG's premier being available online at scifi.com at noon. I actually might watch it that way, as I am stuck in Chicago and won't be home until Sunday.

It's killing me to wait!

I am pleased to hear the Peabody's nominated "Mad Men". They do generally seem to get it right and have awarded some of the best shows ever from "The Sopranos" to "Homicide" to "The Wire" to "Frasier".