In catching up with the Peabody Awards, I note with great pleasure that three productions with strong Baltimore ties are among the TV shows honored. I am also happy to say that all three were highly praised on this blog when they debuted.
ABC's "Modern Family" scores a Peabody after taking home just about every other major award this year, including one from the Directors Guild of America for Baltimore native Jason Winer. The Baltimore Friends School graduate serves as an executive director on the hit series, and played a prominent role in making it such a winner. Winer directed the pilot for "Modern Family," and it was the most talked about and widely praised pilot of the TV year.
HBO's "In Treatment," one of my two favorite dramas on television, also won an Emmy for last season, which included 12-year-old Aaron Shaw, of Perry Hall, in a weekly co-starring role. Great work by Shaw as one of Gabriel Byrne's patients, a teenager with eating issues.
The HBO documentary, "Thrilla in Manilla," was also honored. Here's what the Peabody judges said: "Taking its title from the last of three legendary heavyweight bouts between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, the documentary pulls no punches and lays bare misconceptions about their rivalry."
One of the talking heads in the film is Sunni Khalid, senior reporter at WYPR-FM. Khalid is the expert who brings insight, passion and rare courage to his informed critique of the racial aspects of the historic fight.