April 3, 2014
FRONTLINE Wins Peabody Award for League of DenialProduced at WGBH in Boston, investigative documentary recognized for storytelling excellence in electronic media
WGBH public media partner POV also receives honors for non-fiction films
BOSTON, Mass. (April 3, 2014) – FRONTLINE has been honored with a Peabody Award for its documentary League of Denial, an investigation of the NFL’s concussion crisis. The prestigious awards recognize excellence in storytelling in electronic media and highlighted the documentary’s deep examination of the hidden history of the NFL and brain damage. FRONTLINE is U.S. television’s longest running investigative documentary series and is produced at WGBH in Boston and broadcast nationwide by PBS.
“It’s very special to have our work receive this prestigious award,” says FRONTLINE’s Michael Kirk, League of Denial’s writer, producer and director. “League of Denial could not have been made anywhere but FRONTLINE, and would not have aired anywhere but PBS. The program continues the FRONTLINE tradition of asking hard questions about powerful institutions, and we’re grateful to the Peabody Awards for recognizing and rewarding that commitment.”
Drawing on the book League of Denial by Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada of ESPN, the film explores what the league knew – and when – about the connection between football and brain injuries.
“We’re very proud of this award,” says FRONTLINE founder and executive producer David Fanning. “League of Denial is a great example of the best of what FRONTLINE can do: to tell a deep and important story in all its complexity, and to make a major contribution to the national conversation.”
“We worked hard to bring the hidden story of the NFL and brain injuries to the public,” says FRONTLINE deputy executive producer Raney Aronson. “Receiving this award is enormously gratifying.”
Current and former NFL players spoke out about the film in the wake of its October 2013 premiere, and a number of viewers told FRONTLINE the film changed the way they felt about football. “More than anything,” Kirk says, “we are glad that the film resonated with viewers and has helped to spark a national debate about a critically important issue.”
Additionally, two POV films won Peabody Awards: The Best Kept Secret, profiling the work of a New Jersey educator with students with autism, and The Law in These Parts, examining the system of military administration used by Israel since the Six Day War of 1967. POV is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films and is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including WGBH.
FRONTLINE, U.S. television’s longest running investigative documentary series, explores the issues of our times through powerful storytelling. The series has won every major journalism and broadcasting award, including 65 Emmy Awards and 15 Peabody Awards. More than 150 FRONTLINE films can be watched in full, for free, at pbs.org/frontline.
FRONTLINE is produced by WGBH Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Park Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation.
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur, Curious George, and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2, WGBX 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH TV productions focusing on the region’s diverse community include Greater Boston, Basic Black, and High School Quiz Show. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH Boston Public Radio; 99.5 WCRB; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. WGBH also is a major source of programs for public radio (among them, PRI’s The World®), a leader in educational multimedia (including PBS LearningMedia™, providing the nation’s educators with free, curriculum-based digital content), and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, blind, and visually impaired audiences. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards and Oscars. Find more information at wgbh.org.