There were no red carpets, media lights or tables festooned with flowers and dinnerware, but the virtual 2020 Sentinel Awards, marking their 20th anniversary, had plenty of one important thing: Heart. Among the shows honored: Normal People, The Good Fight, Pose, New Amsterdam and I May Destroy You.
NBC’s medical drama New Amsterdam has received the “Imagining a Culture of Health Award” as part of the 2021 Sentinel Awards, for the show’s entire body of work during its third season. In addition to New Amsterdam, 11 other shows are being celebrated for outstanding storytelling that makes a difference in viewers' lives, including The Good Doctor, Euphoria, Pose, The Handmaid’s Tale, This Is Us and Grey’s Anatomy. Their episodes covered such topics as Covid-19, abortion, mental health, addiction and racism.
Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S), a program of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, will present the awards virtually on Oct. 20, 2021.
For more than 20 years, the Sentinel Awards have recognized exemplary achievements in TV storylines that inform, educate and motivate viewers to make choices for healthier and safer lives. For audiences here and around the world, television often provides both entertainment and factual information about a wide range of health topics and social issues. Today, fighting widespread misinformation with facts has never been more important, and HH&S helps TV storytellers find the facts they need to “get it right.”
As the entertainment landscape expands and programs continue to push boundaries, topics such as disease, injury, maternal health, disability, violence, discrimination and more are being explored through dynamic storytelling.
Funding for Hollywood, Health & Society comes from the CDC, The SCAN Foundation, the California Health Care Foundation, the John Pritzker Family Fund, N Square, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among others. The program, now celebrating more than 20 years of service to the TV entertainment industry, serves as a free resource by providing expert consultations and briefings, panel discussions, screenings, custom research trips, social media and more.
Ava DuVernay's Netflix series When They See Us was among the 2019 Sentinel Awards honorees, which also included Chernobyl, Grace and Frankie, Grey's Anatomy, Mom, This Is Us, and The Resident. The creator of Euphoria, Sam Levinson, offered heartfelt remarks in accepting the HBO show's award.