Winner 1986

The Story of English

MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, New York, New York, BBC, London, UK

We read in the Scriptures that “In the beginning was the Word.” Increasingly, that word is in English. How did it happen? How is it that the Tower of Babel has toppled, to reveal English as the first truly global language? These are difficult questions, not particularly suited to demonstration and explanation on television. Yet, in a stunningly informative and entertaining nine-hour series, MacNeil-Lehrer Productions and the British Broadcasting Corporation have effectively traced the evolution of our mother tongue. Particularly noteworthy is the book, prepared as a bonus for those who watched the series, which restates and extends the archaeological and socio-linguistic arguments presented in the programs. For a television series of exceptional excellence and importance, a Peabody Award to MacNeil/Lehrer Productions and the British Broadcasting Corporation for “The Story of English.”