It is always nice when shows you went out of your way to preview, review and sometimes champion are honored. And that's the case with the Peabody Awards announced Thursday for such productions as "The Good Wife," "Men of a Certain Age," "If God Is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise." "Burma VJ" "Lennon NYC" and C-SPAN's new video library.

As is usually the case with television-based awards, HBO is responsible for producing some of the best of the best particularly with such documentaries as Spike Lee's post-Katrina film, "If God Is Willing," and "Burma VJ." The latter did not get much notice when it aired, but it is a brilliant and moving chronicle of the video journalists (true citizen journalists) who risked their lives to try and tell the world the story of a repressive Burmese regime and its 2007 crackdown on demonstrations -- before Iran, Egypt or Libya.


CBS is the network responsible for "The Good Wife," one of the last in-depth, quality dramas on network TV that both draws a large audience and provides viewers with some real dramatic meat. Baltimore's John Charles plays a leading role in this story of what happens in the life of the wife of a public cheat and liar like Eliot Spitzer who is exposed. Julianna Margulies plays the wife who goes back to practicing law and trying to move beyond her husband's disgrace.

TNT brings us "Men of a Certain Age," the weekly drama of three male friends in middle age. Ray Romano co-created, co-produces and co-stars along with Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula. The series is co-created and co-produced by Mike Royce.

We had a weekly discussion group at Z on TV that didn't attract many followers. But the quality and passion of the fans warrant it, and we will be back when the show returns. Maybe the Peabody will help build a larger group for our conversation.

My favorite Peabody of all this year is the one for C-SPAN and it's new video library. I have written about this a lot during the year urging folks to visit.

We have almost no national memory any more -- and almost everyone in the media is to blame. I believe it is one of the reasons we have become such a confused and dazed culture -- becoming obsessed with characters like Charlie Sheen for a week and then ignoring him when he goes out on tour a few weeks later. Next silly passion, please, I'm bored!

But not C-SPAN -- the one realm of the media that has made a commitment to keeping a mediated version of our national memory alive and available to anyone who can sign onto a computer. The new video library only goes back to 1987, but it is everything C-SPAN has carried since -- and that's a very big and important bite of our civic life.

I had been losing some faith and interest in the Peabodys the last couple of years. A certain political ideology to the awards was getting hard to overlook.

But this one for C-SPAN makes me a believer in the Peabodys again -- and makes me happy to say they are among the most prestigious awards in broadcasting.

Click here for the complete list of winners. And it is worth the trip to see some of the finest non-fiction TV and radio of the year -- like the American Masters documentary on John Lennon's years in New York City, "Lennon NYC." Thank you, public broadcasting for this one.

CORRECTION: An earlier version referred to Ray Romano as creator of "Men of a Certain Age." He is the co-creator along with Mike Royce.