by Elizabeth Liang, an MFA-1 student in CalArts’ Film and Video Program
After a rigorous judging process, the much-loved Disney Television Animation series, Gravity Falls, created by CalArts alum Alex Hirsch (Film/Video BFA 07), is one of 60 finalists for this year’s Peabody Awards, which recognize quality TV and radio programming.
While studying animation at CalArts, Hirsch conceptualized and created an 11-minute pilot for Gravity Falls. The show was picked up and produced by Disney, and premiered its first season on June 15, 2012, and continued through its second season, which ended on Feb. 15 of this year. With millions of weekly viewers and fans, Gravity Falls received wide critical acclaim. Last year, Eric Kain wrote the story, “‘Gravity Falls’ Is The Best Show On Television” for Forbes magazine.
Gravity Falls is inspired by Hirsch’s childhood experiences with his twin sister during their summer vacations. In the series, Dipper Pines (voiced by Jason Ritter) and his twin sister, Mabel (voiced by Kristen Schaal), spend summer vacation with their great-uncle Stan (voiced by Hirsch) in a mysterious town named Gravity Falls that’s home to paranormal forces and supernatural creatures.
Established in 1940 and presented by University of Georgia’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, The Peabody Awards honor distinguished and meritorious public service by American radio, television stations, networks, online media, producing organizations and individuals.
View the list of all the 2015 Peabody Awards finalists. The awards gala will be televised in a 90-minute special, “The 75th Anniversary Peabody Awards,” airing on Pivot, Monday, June 6 (at 8 pm ET/PT).