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Finalists for 2016 Sentinel Awards Announced, Featuring Topics of Healthcare, Sexual Abuse, Ebola, Climate Change and More

Thursday, Aug 25, 2016

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Fourteen finalists have been chosen from almost 80 entries for the 2016 Sentinel Awards, showcasing a diverse range of topics including healthcare, sexual abuse, Ebola and climate change.

Now in its 17th year, the Sentinel Awards are presented in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 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 awards recognize exemplary television storylines that inform, educate and motivate viewers to make choices for healthier and safer lives. All eligible submissions are reviewed for accuracy by experts at the CDC and partner organizations, and for entertainment value and potential benefit to the viewing audience by entertainment, academic and public health professionals. This year, storylines will be recognized in the following categories: Drama, Comedy, Documentary, Talk Show, Reality, Serial Drama, Climate Change, Spanish Language, Children's Programming and TV Movie.

"Every year the quality of entries increases," said Kate Langrall Folb, director of HH&S. "Entertainment television is a powerful resource for information, and compelling storylines can motivate millions of viewers worldwide."

Martin Kaplan, HH&S' principal investigator, founding director of the Lear Center and the Norman Lear professor of entertainment, media and society at USC Annenberg, said: "We're delighted to shine a spotlight on television writers and producers who both entertain viewers and at the same time provide them with accurate information. Our hope is that the storylines we honor with this award will spur other TV writers to recognize and use responsibly the awesome power they wield."

The finalists will be recognized during a ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood.

The 2016 Sentinel Awards finalists:

  • Jane the VirginChapter Twenty-Eight (The CW)

    Topic: Parenting and plagiocephaly
  • Madam SecretaryInvasive Species (CBS)

    Topic: Suicide, grief and mental health
  • ViceRight to Die (HBO)

    Topic: End of life policy
  • Body Team 12 (HBO)

    Topic: Ebola
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) 

    Topic: Mental health
  • Doc McStuffinsSelfless Snowman (Disney Junior)

    Topic: Blood transfusion
  • Born This WayUp Syndrome (A&E)

    Topic: Down Syndrome
  • East Los HighEnd of an Era (Hulu)

    Topic: Sexual abuse
  • Code BlackThe Son Rises (CBS)

    Topic: End of life
  • Explorer: Bill Nye's Global Meltdown (National Geographic Channel) 

    Topic: Climate change
  • Vive la Salud con la Dra. Azaret (CNN en Español)

    Topic: Cardiology
  • Getting OnNo, I Don't Want a F**king Smiley Face (HBO)

    Topic: Healthcare
  • Black-ishDr. Hell No (ABC)

    Topic: Angioplasty
  • How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change (HBO)

    Topic: Climate change

Hollywood, Health & Society provides entertainment industry professionals with accurate and timely information for storylines dealing with health and climate change through consultations and briefings with experts. Based at The Norman Lear Center, HH&S is a one-stop shop for writers, producers and others in search of credible information on public health and climate change topics. Since its inception, HH&S has been funded by the CDC; other funders have included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The California Endowment and The SCAN Foundation, among others. For more information about resources for writers, go to

The Norman Lear Center is a multidisciplinary research and public policy center studying and shaping the impact of entertainment and media on society. From its base in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, the Lear Center builds bridges between faculty who study aspects of entertainment, media and culture. Beyond campus, it bridges the gap between entertainment industry and academia, and between them and the public. For more information, visit

Located in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California, the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is among the nation's leading institutions devoted to the study of journalism and communication, and their impact on politics, culture and society. USC Annenberg offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in journalism, communication, public diplomacy and public relations. For more information, visit


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