Thesps from "Scandal," "Breaking Bad," "House of Cards" and "Orange is â¨the New Black" mingled with documentary filmmakers, news producers, Tom Brokaw and Anthony Bourdain Monday at the Peabody Awards, the TV â¨industry's most eclectic annual kudos ceremony.
The 46 winners, the most in org's 73-year history, were chosen fromâ¨ more than 1,100 entries by the 16-member Peabody board and presented at theâ¨ Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Awards are not given in categories; the sole criteria for winning isâ¨excellence in storytelling.
Veteran NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw received the org's achievement awardâ¨ recognizing his long career in journalism.
"This is a humbling moment for me," Brokaw said. "If you live long â¨enough these kind of awards come to you and/or you get cancer. Turnsâ¨out, I ended up getting both. It's going to work out. Life is going toâ¨ be OK because I'm in the enviable position of getting the bestâ¨ treatment in the world and it has made me much more conscious of what â¨a privilege it is to have the kind of job that I have."
Brokaw went on to tell the crowd that "we are living through the mostâ¨ transformative time in the history of journalism." "It's not just about 140 characters," Brokaw said. "It's not justâ¨ about who you are going to meet for coffee. It's about serving mankind â¨with the information they need to know to make good decisions aboutâ¨ their lives."
"House of Cards" showrunner Beau Willimon accepted the show's trophy on â¨behalf of the cast and crew.
"As David Fincher always says, 'Cast well and get the hell out of theâ¨way," Willimon said. "We'd be nowhere without our cast." After recognizing Netflix as the company "who has really changed theâ¨game," Willimon acknowledged fellow honoree, documentary "The â¨Invisible War," about sexual assault in the U.S. military, which he said inspired a storyline in "House of Cards'" second season.
Bryan Cranston accepted the second Peabody given to AMC's "Breaking Bad."
"Seven years ago Vince Gilligan had this idea of turning a good man â¨into a bad one," Cranston said. "He played this parlor game that we've â¨all played at home - 'What would you do if you had two years to live? â¨How would you live your life? Walter White lived that in his own â¨world. On behalf of everybody (from the show) who I thought were goingâ¨ to follow me up to the stage, but didn't, we greatly appreciate (this â¨award)."
The crowd got out of their seats when three subjects from "The Centralâ¨ Park Five" took the stage alongside director Ken Burns. Doc tells theâ¨story of the five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem who wereâ¨ wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in New York City's Central â¨Park in 1989. While the Academy didn't acknowledge the well-received PBS doc, Burnsâ¨ compared receiving the Peabody to getting to the "top of Everest."
Anthony Bourdain, a winner for his CNN series "Parts Unknown," gave a shootout to the all-news cabler and its leader, Jeff Zucker, who has faced a critical scorching in recent months for some of its programming choices.
"We handed in some difficult and risky material to the network and (Zucker) has been a steadfast friend. So I'm very, very grateful to Jeff in particular," Bourdain said.
Cabler Pivot will air highlights of the Peabody ceremony next month.
(Pictured: "Breaking Bad's" Bryan Cranston, Betsy Brandt and R.J. Mitte)
Peabody Awards Salute Tom Brokaw, Storytellers Across the Media Spectrum
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