This year’s Sentinel Awards honor 12 shows whose outstanding storytelling tackled powerful and timely topics, including Emmy nominees and winners Dopesick, Abbott Elementary and Hacks, as well as A Million Little Things, Never Have I Ever and Reservation Dogs, the breakout coming–of–age series about four indigenous teen–age friends living in rural Oklahoma. Reservation Dogs captures the special Culture of Health Award for its entire Season 1 body of work. The Culture of Health Award recognizes TV’s transformative power to impact audiences with visionary storytelling that addresses critical and complex issues of health, well–being and equity across a diverse society.
Co–created by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi (Thor: Love and Thunder), the FX for Hulu series features an all–Native American cast and production crew. Every episode of the critically acclaimed show covered important topics, including healthcare and economic disparities, aging and caregiving, mental health and racism—and with humor.
The other 11 scripted shows (complete list of honorees below) from network, cable and streaming services explored similar tough topics, as well as the climate emergency and the addiction crisis. Comedic narratives lead this year, with finalists like Resident Alien, Harlem and Upload showing the power of humor to deliver meaningful messages.
Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S), a program of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, will present the awards live and in–person for the first time since November 2019. Presenters for the ceremony will be announced in the coming weeks. The gala event takes place at the Television Academy’s Wolf Theater located at the Saban Media Center of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on Lankershim Boulevard on the evening of Oct. 25, 2022.
“What a thrill to announce that our annual Sentinel Awards is returning this year to a live venue, and for the first time at the Television Academy,” said HH&S Director Kate Folb.“We’re delighted to celebrate the good work these shows are doing—and their accurate and compelling depictions of serious topics,” she added. “Now more than ever we find comfort in our favorite entertainment shows and the important stories they tell.”
Marty Kaplan, founding director of the Lear Center and HH&S’ principal investigator, said: “It’s great to be able to shine a spotlight on storytellers who entertain viewers, and at the same time provide them with accurate information.”
For more than 20 years, the Sentinel Awards have celebrated outstanding achievements in TV storytelling that informs, educates and motivates viewers to make choices for healthier and safer lives. For audiences here and around the world, excellence in television provides both entertainment and fact–based information about a wide range of health topics and social issues.
More than 150 entries were submitted for the awards. All eligible submissions were reviewed for accuracy of information; a second round of judging looked at the entertainment value and potential benefit to the viewing
The 2022 Sentinel Awards honorees:
Reservation Dogs (FX)
Season 1 body of work
Recipient of the “Culture of Health Award”
A Million Little Things (ABC)
The People vs. Purdue Pharma
Hacks (HBO Max)
On the Market
Topic: Artificial intelligence
The First Lady (Showtime)
Topic: Breast cancer
Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock (Apple TV)
Flight of the Flutterflies
Topic: Children’s programming
Resident Alien (Syfy)
Topic: Climate emergency
Abbott Elementary (ABC)
Topic: Economic disparities (comedy)
The White Lotus (HBO)
Topic: Economic disparities (drama)
Never Have I Ever (Netflix)
… Stalked My Own Mother
Topic: Mental health
The Strong Black Woman