Two of FX Networks’ most acclaimed comedy series, Atlanta and Better Things, were honored on May 20 at the 76th Annual Peabody Awards ceremony, a celebration of excellence in storytelling across the media industry, including investigative journalism, documentary filmmaking, entertainment television, and radio/podcasts. Better Things creator and star Pamela Adlon, as well as Atlanta cast members Brian Tyree Henry and Zazie Beetz, were on hand to accept the awards.
Atlanta stars Donald Glover as Earnest “Earn” Marks, a music manager in the Atlanta rap scene struggling to help his cousin, who performs as Paper Boi, maintain his hip hop career. Glover created the show and often serves as writer and director. The second season is scheduled to air in 2018.
“The show is a genre-bending innovation, a skillful commentary on issues ranging from police brutality and mental health to celebrity and black culture,” the Peabody organization said of Atlanta. “With its seamless blend of vibrant character study and rich sociopolitical commentary in a detailed and textured exploration of a Southern city… Atlanta is able to mine the surreal as the every day for both depth and humor.”
Better Things also on FX last fall, stars Adlon as Sam Fox, a single mother raising three daughters in Los Angeles. The Peabody Awards praised the series for “constantly [cutting] new ground in the otherwise well-worn genre of family sitcom” and for its “at-times raw examination of the vicissitudes of working motherhood, crackling with feminist verve and energy.” Adlon, who created Better Things along with fellow FX showrunner Louis CK, directed each of the series’ ten episodes.
“Everything is flowing through me—one vision, one eye, one voice. It’s super handmade that way,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “I feel like with my show I was making stories that mattered but that we were under the radar a little bit, so this [award] means a huge amount to me.”
The Peabody Awards have honored the culture’s most compelling stories and their impact on society since their founding in 1940. The University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication administer the awards, which recognize excellence and meritorious work by radio and TV stations, networks, webcasters, podcasters, producing organizations and individuals.
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