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‘The Cosby Show,’ Kermit and Friends Win Peabody Awards

April 27, 1987

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) _ ″The Cosby Show″ and Kermit the Frog and his Muppet pals were among the winners today of George Foster Peabody Awards for distinguished broadcasting in 1986.

CBS shared or won outright five Peabodys to lead the major networks. The awards are administered by the University of Georgia School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

The honorees also included WQED-TV of Pittsburgh, which won for ″Anne of Green Gables″ and shared a second award with the National Geographic Society for ″The National Geographic Specials;″ MacNeil Lehrer Productions and the British Broadcasting Corp. for a series on the evolution of the English language, and Thames Television International, which shared two awards.

The awards, announced today, will be presented May 6 in New York.

NBC’s ″The Cosby Show,″ starring Bill Cosby, is ″a renaissance in family television comedy presenting a positive view of family life irrespective of gender and race,″ the judges said.

Jim Henson’s Muppets, which include such children’s favorites as Miss Piggy, Oscar the Grouch, Gonzo and Big Bird, were cited ″for 30 years of good, clean fun and outstanding television entertainment.″

″This Week With David Brinkley,″ on ABC, was cited as ″an exceptional news program which effectively deals with a wide range of issues, interviews and commentary.″

CBS News received Peabody awards for the program ″Newsmark: Where in the World Are We?″, which dealt with Earth’s geography; ″CBS Reports: The Vanishing Family - Crisis in Black America″, and ″Sunday Morning: Vladimir Horowitz,″ a broadcast of the pianist’s performance in Moscow.

WQED was the only local station to receive more than one award. Judges called ″Anne of Green Gables″ a ″clever and poignant″ story of an orphan girl who experiences disappointment, achievement, expectation and love. The National Geographic specials are ″characterized by exceptional photoography, good writing and careful craftsmanship,″ judges said.

Thames Television International shared a Peabody with D.L. Taffner Ltd. for ″Unknown Chaplin,″ which included recently discovered footage of comedian Charlie Chaplin; and with WGBH-TV in Boston for ″Paradise Postponed,″ a ″Masterpiece Theater″ series that depicts changes in post-World War II Britain.

CBS entertainment shared in two awards: with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for the series ″1986 Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts,″ and with Garner-Duchow Productions for ″Promise,″ a drama about a man who must care for his schizophrenic brother.

NBC radio news won an award for its coverage of the U.S. attack on Libya. ABC Entertainment and Churchill Films shared an award for ″The Mouse and the Motorcycle,″ a ″highly realistic combination of live and animated action plus a personalized children’s tale of friendship, responsibility and compassion.″

Other winners included:

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. radio network for ″Paris: From Oscar Wilde to Jim Morrison;″ Connecticut Public Radio for ″One on One,″ which judges called a ″truly superior kind of radio opportunity″ for those who want to understand science; WHAS radio in Louisville, Ky., for ″A Disaster Called Schizophrenia,″ which ″drives home the realities of this serious mental illness;″

The Fine Arts Society of Indianapolis for pioneering classical music on the radio and promoting the arts in Indianapolis; WTJM-TV of Milwaukee for ″Who’s Behind the Wheel,″ which showed poor driving records of Milwaukee school bus drivers;

WFAA-TV of Dallas for ″SMU Investigation,″ an investigation into the football program at Southern Methodist University; KPIX-TV of San Francisco for ″AIDS Lifeline,″ which the judges said represents a ″total commitment″ by the station to inform and educate viewers;

WSB-TV of Atlanta for ″The Boy King,″ about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s boyhood; WCCO-TV of Minneapolis for ″Project Lifesaver,″ a public service campaign promoting safe driving; and WCVB-TV of Boston for a ″A World of Difference,″ a two-year public service campaign against prejudice;

Dorothy Stimson Bullitt of KING Broadcasting in Seattle, ″in appreciation for the continuation of her exemplary family-owned broadcast enterprise.″

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