An episode of Fox’s “Glee” spotlighting disabilities and a documentary on autism are among eight shows that will be honored this spring for exemplifying “television with a conscience.”
In addition to disability issues, the programs selected this week to be honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences tackle issues ranging from physician-assisted suicide to racism and Alzheimer’s disease. The shows were chosen for displaying the “power of television to change attitudes and lives,” the Academy said.
“Glee” was selected for an episode called “Wheels” where teacher Will Schuester challenges his students to spend a week using wheelchairs in order to better understand a fellow glee club member who relies on one. The episode also features a student with Down syndrome who is selected for the cheerleading squad.
A Discovery Health documentary called “Unlocking Autism” was also selected. The show looks at scientific efforts to better understand autism and examines how the disorder affects people’s lives.
“This year’s honorees have created moving and thought provoking television that not only entertains, but informs the audience of important social issues,” said Lynn Roth, co-chair of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences committee responsible for the honors.
“CSI” and the ABC drama “Private Practice” are among the other shows to be honored at an event in May.