Winner 1989

The Wonder Years

ABC Television, Black/Marlens Company, in association with New World Television

Each year, the Peabody Board bemoans the near-absence of excellence in series television. The decline in quality seems especially acute in the area of comedy. Happily, The Wonder Years is a glowing exception to that trend. This innovative series uses the tumultuous 1960s as a backdrop for its insight into the dynamics of family relationships. Distinguished by exceptional acting (including Fred Savage, Dan Lauria and Alley Mills), first-rate writing, and imaginative use of sound and music, The Wonder Years is always funny and frequently moving. It achieves two seemingly contradictory effects. On the one hand, its concentration on one family evokes the tradition of American situation comedy, from Father Knows Best to The Cosby Show. At the same time, its imaginative use of the techniques of modern television push the boundaries of the sitcom and point the way to new modes of storytelling. For achieving all this on a weekly basis, a Peabody to The Wonder Years.