2018 Sentinel Awards

What other Hollywood awards night can boast that a president of the United States was a guest? But there he was, taking center stage at the 2018 Sentinel Awards, and living up to the qualities he displays before millions every week—intelligence, compassion, poise, courage, truthfulness.

Sure, there was that moment in Season 4 when he exhibited some unusual behavior that had everyone in his administration perplexed and worried. (As it turned out, medical reasons forced him to step aside under the 25th Amendment; his vice president then got the Big Gig.)

But two months later he was right as rain again—back in the Oval Office defending democracy here and throughout the world.

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Now, actor Keith Carradine—who plays President Conrad Dalton on Madam Secretary, the CBS hit TV series about Washington politics and foreign policy intrigue—was on hand to present an award to the show’s executive producers Barbara Hall and David Grae, who co-wrote the season finale episode “Night Watch” about nuclear risk.

“When I first got involved with this show I was impressed with the accuracy of the writing, and so thrilled to be part of a show that was going to address the issues of our time, albeit from a fictitious point of view,” Carradine said. “I’ve always been impressed with our writers’ uncanny ability to address certain issues in an almost prescient way, and tap into the zeitgeist and address these things in a way that become frighteningly relevant right at the moment the show is airing.”

“I’m happy to say,” he added quickly, “that the airing of this episode was not quite as prescient [but] the issues it addresses are just as relevant.”

Madam Secretary was among the dozen shows recognized at the red-carpet event—other honorees include GLOW (Netflix), Chicago Med (NBC), Empire (FOX) and Sofia the First (Disney Junior)—on topics ranging from autism to maternal health.

Full list below

In addition to Carradine, the starry guest list this night included actors Justina Machado of One Day at a Time, Keller Wortham from Jane the Virgin, and Max Gail and Laura Wright of General Hospital. Also joining in the festivities were producers, writers and other members of the honored shows’ creative teams.

As the entertainment landscape expands and programs continue to push boundaries, TV storylines that inform, educate and motivate audiences to make choices for healthier and safer lives are more important than ever.

“Entertainment television is a powerful resource for information, and compelling storylines can motivate millions of viewers worldwide,” said Kate Langrall Folb, director of HH&S.

Martin Kaplan, director of the Lear Center and HH&S’ principal investigator, said: “We’re delighted to shine a spotlight on writers and producers who entertain viewers and at the same time provide them with accurate information. We hope the shows and storylines we honor will spur other writers to recognize and use responsibly the power they wield.”

Now in their 19th year, the Sentinel Awards are presented by Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S), a program of The Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. The 12 outstanding Sentinel Awards honorees for 2018 spotlight a wide range of topics that include nuclear safety, maternal health, HIV/AIDS, autism, sexual assault, mental health and disabilities. Entries were submitted from broadcast networks, cable channels and streaming services. All eligible submissions were reviewed for accuracy by experts from the CDC and partner organizations; a second round of judging looked at the entertainment value and potential benefit to the viewing audience.

The 2018 Sentinel Awards honorees:

Chicago Med—Mountains and Molehills (NBC)

Grey’s Anatomy—Hemorrhage Cart storyline (ABC)
Topic: Maternal health

One Day at a Time—Hello, Penelope (Netflix)
Topic: Mental health

Speechless—One A-n-Angry M-Maya (ABC)
Topic: Disability

13 Reasons Why—The Missing Page (Netflix)
Topic: Sexual assault

GLOW—Maybe It’s All the Disco (Netflix)
Topic: Abortion

Empire—Sweet Sorrow (FOX)
Topic: Abortion

Sofia the First—The Lost Pyramid (Disney Junior)
Topic: Vision impairment

Sesame Street—Shape Hunt (HBO)
Topic: Autism

Jane the Virgin—Chapter 78 and Chapter 80 (The CW)
Topic: Breast cancer

Madam Secretary—Night Watch (CBS)
Topic: Nuclear safety

General Hospital—Sonny’s Dad storyline (ABC)
Topic: Alzheimer’s disease