`King Gimp,' `Corner' get Peabodys

March 30, 2001|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC

Two critically acclaimed, Baltimore-based productions received yet another major honor yesterday, when they won Peabody Awards for broadcast and cable excellence.

"The Corner," an HBO miniseries about the efforts of a Baltimore family to escape the drugs that decimated their neighborhood, completed its sweep of television awards with the Peabody. It had previously won three Emmy Awards, as well as the Television Critics' Association Award as best television movie or miniseries.

"King Gimp." an HBO film about Dan Keplinger, a disabled artist from Baltimore, by local filmmakers Susan Hadary and William Whiteford - also won a Peabody. Last year, it won an Academy Award.

The annual awards are handed out by the University of Georgia's Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The Peabodys and the Emmys are considered television's most prestigious awards.

"This is outrageous. I can't believe it," Hadary said yesterday. "Bill and I are so excited. This is an honor that goes beyond anything we expected when we were doing the work."

She said the telephone call from The Sun was the first she and Whiteford heard of the award. "Somebody from HBO called earlier in the day, and said they had some really big, really good news for us, and then they never called back," she said laughing.

David Simon, who co-wrote and co-produced "The Corner," could not immediately be reached for comment. The miniseries is based on a nonfiction book he wrote with Ed Burns.

Other highlights:

HBO, which has become the benchmark for television excellence in recent years, won five awards, including a second one for "The Sopranos."

NBC's "The West Wing," the drama about life behind-the-scenes at the White House, was also honored for a second year.

Boston's public television station WGBH won four Peabodys for programs it produced for PBS. Overall, shows that aired on PBS won nine Peabodys.

The Discovery Channel in Bethesda won a Peabody for its "Walking With Dinosaurs" series.

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