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Quick Takes: Peabodys Awards' 'Spring' step

April 05, 2012

Coverage of the "Arab Spring" dominated the Peabody Awards when the oldest honors in broadcasting were handed out Wednesday.

CNN, Al Jazeera English and National Public Radio received the prestigious award for their coverage of the pro-Democracy movements that led to leaders being unseated in the Middle East, including Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

The awards recognize achievement and public service by TV and radio stations, individuals and the Internet. An awards ceremony will be in New York on May 21.

The list of 38 Peabodys went far beyond news coverage, recognizing popular television shows, radio series and websites. Winners included Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," NBC's "Parks and Recreation," HBO's "Game of Thrones," PBS' "Austin City Limits," IFC's "Portlandia," Showtime's "Homeland" and the long-running quiz show "Jeopardy!"

—Associated Press

Planet Green's new Destination

Discovery Communications has decided it's not easy being green.

The cable programming giant announced it is pulling the plug on Planet Green, its nearly 4-year-old low-rated cable network devoted to "green lifestyle programming." On May 28, Planet Green will become Destination America, a channel that Discovery said will "celebrate the people, places and stories of the United States, emblazoned with the grit and tenacity, honesty and work ethic, humor and adventurousness that characterize our nation."

Destination America programs include "United States of Food," described as a "celebration of America's obsession with meat"; "Fast Food Mania," which promises to "celebrate our favorite fast food treats"; "Cheating Las Vegas," about "elaborate scams of modern casino gaming"; and "Super-Duper Thrill Rides," which will tour the nation's amusement parks.

—Joe Flint

2 'Housewives' get own shows

Two of "The Real Housewives" are getting their own shows on Bravo.

The network announced Wednesday that Beverly Hills cast member Lisa Vanderpump will get her own reality show centered on the inner workings of her new Hollywood restaurant, SUR.

Kandi Burruss from the Atlanta "Housewives" will star in "The Kandi Factory," in which she works with wannabe pop stars with no experience who want to make it in the music industry.

Vanderpump and Burruss will continue to appear on "The Real Housewives" shows.

—Associated Press

Ancient dish sets record price

A 900-year-old dish has smashed the record for Chinese Song dynasty ceramics sold at auction, fetching $26.7 million.

Sotheby's said the price — triple the pre-sale estimate — surpassed the previous record set in April 2008 for Song dynasty ceramics, when a vase sold by the auction house went for about $8.7 million.

The auction house said the flower-shaped bowl was from a private Japanese collection and was "arguably the most desirable piece of Ru official ware remaining in private hands."

The auction result underscores Hong Kong's position as the world's third largest auction hub, driven by soaring demand from newly wealthy Chinese collectors.

—Associated Press

Poet's piece on Israel raises ire

German Nobel literature laureate Gunter Grass labeled Israel a threat to "already fragile world peace" in a poem published Wednesday that drew sharp rebukes at home and from Israel.

In the poem titled "What must be said," published in German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Italy's La Repubblica among others, Grass, 84, criticized what he described as Western hypocrisy over Israel's own suspected nuclear program amid speculation it might engage in military action against Iran to stop it building an atomic bomb.

—Associated Press

Animal Planet adds shows

Animal Planet has a menagerie of new shows for the season ahead.

Among them: the network's first competition show, with the provocative title "Top Hookers." (Relax. It deals with fishing.)

Building on its hit "Whale Wars," the network plans to introduce "Rhino Wars," which follows a team of former U.S. Special Forces as they hunt down rhino poachers in South Africa.

A new adventure series, "The Hunger," explores the ingenious methods used by disparate world cultures to find, capture or cultivate food.

"Glory Hounds" stars the military working dogs that serve beside soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

—Associated Press

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