- Wednesday, Apr. 15, 2015
The Television Academy today announced this year's honorees for the Eighth Annual Television Academy Honors, celebrating and recognizing programs that have used the power of television to shift cultural acceptance and influence the hearts and minds of the viewer.
The honorees for 2014 are: black-ish "Crime and Punishment", E:60 "Dream On: Stories of Boston's Strongest", The Normal Heart, Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life & Times of Katrina Gilbert, Transparent and Virunga.
The Television Academy will celebrate the showrunners and producers of the winning programs during a special presentation and reception, hosted by Emmy Award-winning actress Dana Delany (The Comedians) at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills on Wednesday evening, May 27. In the week leading up to the ceremony, the Television Academy will highlight the honored programs and causes with daily postings at TelevisionAcademy.com and Yahoo.com.
"These winning programs have made such a positive impact on society and everyone involved deserves to be commended on their significant contribution. These programs have enlightened viewers, prompted discussion, raised social awareness, and are sparking change," said Television Academy Chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum on the announcement.
The six programs honored this year feature themes and storylines that deal with family values, HIV awareness, healthcare, gender transition, the struggle to protect endangered species, and the impact of a terrorist attack. The honorees have exemplified what it means to use the medium of television to inspire, educate and inform as well as entertain. This year's Television Academy Honors Selection Committee was chaired by Lucia Gervino.
Recipients of the Eighth Annual Television Academy Honors are:
► black-ish "Crime and Punishment" (ABC) - Although Dre (Anthony Anderson) and Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross) agreed they would no longer spank their kids, all bets might be off when Jack disobeys. Now, Zoey, Junior, Diane and a nervous Jack are afraid that their parents will go back on their word. There is a fine line between corporal punishment and abuse. A pro football player uses a switch on his child, and an American cultural divide between races, regions, and religions is exposed and the age old question arises, when does discipline become child abuse? This episode offers a comedic look at an American family determined to resolve their issues with disciplining their children. (Produced by ABC Studios)
► E:60 "Dream On: Stories of Boston's Strongest" (ESPN) – At 2:49 p.m., on April 15, 2013, as scores of spectators cheered on Boston Marathon runners approaching the finish line, two hand-made bombs exploded. In a split second, the lives of hundreds of people were forever changed. One year later, ESPN's investigative newsmagazine presents a special program remembering the lives lost and paying tribute to those who survived, their journeys of perseverance, courage, strength and love in the past twelve months. (Produced by ESPN)
► The Normal Heart (HBO) – The award-winning TV movie tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s, taking an unflinching look at the nation's sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial. (Produced by HBO Films in association with Plan B Entertainment, Blumhouse and Ryan Murphy Productions)
► Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life & Times of Katrina Gilbert (HBO) – The documentary offers the personal, unvarnished story of Katrina Gilbert, a single mom of three working as a certified nursing assistant in an extended-care facility while striving to look after her family and address her own health-care issues. Overworked, underpaid, uninsured and lacking support, she chooses daily between purchasing her own medication and paying for the needs of her three children, which leaves her struggling to make ends meet. (Produced by HBO Documentary Films in association with The Shriver Report and Mackerel Sky Films)
► Transparent (Amazon) – When Maura, who has spent her life as Pfefferman family patriarch Mort, reintroduces herself to her family, everyone's secrets finally start to come out. Her children – meandering Ali, record producer Josh, and sexually conflicted Sarah – start to spin in different directions as they begin to figure out who they are. (Produced by Amazon Studios)
► Virunga (Netflix) – A powerful combination of investigative journalism and nature documentary, Virunga is the incredible true story of a group of courageous people risking their lives to build a better future in a part of Africa the world's forgotten, and a gripping exposé of the realities of life in the Congo. From director Orlando von Einsiedel and executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio. (Produced by Grain Media)
Eligible programs for this year's Television Academy Honors aired during the 2014 calendar year, and were submitted in the fiction/nonfiction categories as whole series, single episodes or story arcs up to three episodes. Made-for-television movies, miniseries and fiction/nonfiction specials were also eligible to apply for Television Academy Honors.
Chris Dilorio/Joanna Cichocki