Jury Duty

Amazon MGM Studios, Picrow, The District, Piece of Work Entertainment

When Ronald Gladden showed up for jury duty, he thought little of the cameras around him. The entire process, he was told, was being filmed for a documentary. And so, even as his fellow jurors (which included, improbably, X-Men and Sonic the Hedgehog star James Marsden) thrust him into confoundingly hilarious situations, Gladden remained a calming, dignified presence at the courthouse—and in front of the cameras, too. To watch all eight episodes of Jury Duty, which was, it turns out, a wholly fabricated improv-fueled hoax where only Gladden was none the wiser, is to witness the trappings of reality TV and prank shows being upended. Rather than such a format being used to mock or denigrate its participants, the conceit here nurtured a sunny approach to life where serving one’s community, in ways big and small, is presented as a humble but necessary goal. For wrapping up a lesson of civic responsibility within a warmhearted comedic tale, and for creating a bold feat of nonfiction storytelling that proves reality television can, surprisingly, bring out the best in all of us, Jury Duty wins a Peabody Award.

PRIMARY PRODUCTION CREDITS

Creators: Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky. Showrunner: Cody Heller. Executive Producers: David Bernad, Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky, Ruben Fleischer, Nicholas Hatton, Cody Heller, Todd Schulman, Jake Szymanski, Andrew Weinberg.Supervising Producer: Robyn Adams. Producers: Tanner Bean, Katrina Mathewson, Alexis Sampietro, Matthew McIntyre. Director: Jake Szymanski. Writers: Tanner Bean, Katrina Mathewson, Ese Shaw, Marcos Gonzalez, Andrew Weinberg, Mekki Leeper, Kerry O’Neill, Evan Williams. Editors: Diana Fishman, Steven Rosenthal, Adam Lichtenstein, Mary DeChambers, ACE. Talent: James Marsden, Alan Barinholtz, David Brown, Kirk Fox, Ben Seaward, Ross Kimball, Mekki Leeper, Pramode Kumar, Ishmel Sahid, Ron Song, Evan Williams, Susan Berger, Trisha LaFache, Edy Modica, Rashida Olayiwola, Kerry O’Neill, Whitney Rice, Maria Russell, Cassandra Blair. Cinematography: Chris Darnell. Sound/Music: Danny Dunlap, John Nau, Andrew Feltenstein, Blas Kisic, Brandon Howlett.