Peabody Award surprises: ‘Men of a Certain Age,’ ‘Justified’

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How nice that the latest list of Peabody Award winners isn’t so snooty. Often, these laurels bestowed by the University of Georgia’s journalism school can get a bit esoteric while struggling to prove that they don’t pander to TV Nielsens. In the past, they’ve courageously hailed canceled shows (‘Boomtown,’ 2002) and struggling ones (‘Friday Night Lights,’ 2006).

However, the newest Peabody champs include such quality hit TV programs as ‘The Good Wife’ and ‘Justified,’ only one of which got adequate Emmy love last year. ‘The Good Wife’ was nominated for best TV drama series and its star Julianna Margulies was up for lead actress, but ‘Justified’ and star Timothy Olyphant were unjustifiably snubbed.

So was ‘Men of a Certain Age,’ which received a major prestige boost Thursday by making the Peabody list. It is TNT’s first Peabody victory since 2002 when its TV movie ‘Door to Door’ won a prize. ‘Men of a Certain Age’ receives ace reviews from TV critics, but it’s low-rated and needs some spotlight. A Peabody judge hails it thus: ‘A series about three longtime pals, ‘regular’ guys, navigating middle age, it’s comical, poignant and harrowing, sometimes all at once.’


Last year the Peabodys also picked popular TV faves such as ‘Glee’ and ‘Modern Family,’ but made a few heroic choices such as the nod for ‘In Treatment,’ which was HBO canceled this week, and the pay channel’s ‘The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,’ which felt the ax fall soon after its debut.

-- Tom O'Neil