WGA noms: ‘West Wing,’ ‘Sex’ double-hitters
The Hollywood Reporter
By Cynthia Littleton
NBC’s “The West Wing” and HBO’s “Sex and the City” bagged two nominations apiece in the television competition for the 57th annual Writers Guild Awards.
The WGA’s East and West coast branches announced TV and radio nominees Wednesday. Nominees for feature film categories — which are usually a harbinger of screenwriting nominees in the annual Academy Awards derby — will be unveiled Jan. 13.
“West Wing” earned mentions in the WGA’s episodic drama category for the episodes “Memorial Day,” penned by John Sacret Young and Josh Singer, and “The Supremes,” written by Debora Cahn. HBO’s “Six Feet Under” was nominated for the episode “Falling Into Place,” written by Craig Wright, while HBO’s “The Sopranos” rounded out the category with a nom for episode “Long Term Parking,” penned by Terence Winter.
In the episodic comedy field, “Sex and the City” earned mentions for episodes “Splat!” written by Jenny Bicks and Cindy Chupack, and “The Ick Factor,” written by Julie Rottenberg and Elisa Zuritsky.
Fox’s Emmy-winning “Arrested Development” earned a nom for the episode “Pier Pressure,” from writers Jim Vallely and series creator/executive producer Mitch Hurwitz. The pilot of the now-canceled Fox dramedy “Wonderfalls,” penned by Bryan Fuller from a story by Fuller and series co-creator Todd Holland, was recognized, along with the “Ida’s Boyfriend” episode of Fox’s “Malcolm in the Middle” written by Neil Thompson.
In the longform category for original screenplays, the noms were spread among three telefilms that aired on basic and pay cable: FX’s “Redemption,” by J.T. Allen, HBO’s “Something the Lord Made,” by Peter Silverman and Robert Caswell, and Showtime’s “Spinning Boris,” by Yuri Zeltser and Cary Bickley.
Cable productions also dominated the longform adapted screenplay field. The three noms in that category went to Showtime’s “Cavedweller,” adapted by Anne Meredith from the novel by Dorothy Allison; TNT’s “The Wool Cap,” adapted by William H. Macy and Steven Schachter from the original story “Gigot” by Jackie Gleason; and HBO’s Emmy-winning “Angels in America,” which Tony Kushner adapted from his Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name.
Fox’s “The Simpsons” nearly swept the animation category, bagging four out of five nominations. “Simpsons” episodes vying for WGA Awards glory are “Today I Am a Clown,” by Joel Cohen, “Fraudcast News,” by Don Payne, “Milhouse Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” by Julie Chambers and David Chambers, and “Catch ‘Em If You Can,” by Ian Maxtone-Graham. Cartoon Network’s “Justice League” rounded out the category with a mention for episode “Starcrossed, written by Rich Fogel, John Ridley and Dwayne McDuffie from a story by Fogel.
In the comedy/variety series category, NBC’s “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” was the only late-night program on the Big Three networks to earn a mention. Fox’s “Mad TV” bagged a nomination, as did Showtime’s “Penn & Teller Bullshit!” and HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”
In the catch-all category encompassing comedy/variety: music, awards, tributes and specials, the contenders are two awards shows that aired on CBS: the 58th annual Tony Awards, written by Dave Boone and Bruce Vilanch, and the Kennedy Center Honors, written by George Stevens Jr. and Sara Lukinson.
The writing team on CBS’ soap stalwart “The Guiding Light” has no competition, literally, as the sole nominee in the daytime serial category.
In the children’s programming category, Showtime’s “A Separate Peace” earned a nom for Wendy Kesselman’s adaptation of John Knowles’ classic coming-of-age novel. The ABC telefilm “A Wrinkle in Time” was nominated for Susan Shilliday’s adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless fantasy novel.
Two PBS programs earned noms in the documentary — current events category: “P.O.V.,” for the episode “Last Man Standing: Politics Texas Style,” written by Paul Stekler, and the “Frontline” installment “From China With Love,” written by Michael J. Kirk.
PBS programs also swept the category of documentary — other than current events. Four installments of the “American Experience” series earned mentions: “Emma Goldman,” written by Mel Bucklin, “Reconstruction, Part 1,” written by Llewellyn M. Smith from a story by Elizabeth Deane and Patricia Garcia Rios, “RFK,” by David Grubin, and “The Fight,” written by Barak Goodman.
The remaining contenders in the category were the fourth episode of the “Broadway: The American Musical” series, “Oh What a Beautiful Morning,” written by Jo Ann Young, and the episode “Revolutionaries,” from the “They Made America” series, written by Carl Charlson from a story by Harold Evans.
CBS productions dominated the news categories. The two nominees in the news — regularly scheduled, bulletin or breaking report category were the report “Remembering Ray Charles,” written by Jonathan Kaplan for CBS’ Chicago O&O, WBBM-TV, and “The Reagan Funeral” report from “ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings,” penned by Steve Alperin.
In the news — analysis, feature or commentary category, the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” earned two mentions: for the segment “Change of Heart” by Rebecca Peterson and Scott Pelley, and segment “Martha Stewart,” by Barbara Dury and Morley Safer. The third nomination in the category went to the WWOR-TV New York segment “Homes for the Homeless” by Jacqueline Calayag.
In the radio field, CBS Radio and ABC News Radio each earned two noms in the top category of news — regularly scheduled. CBS’ mentions went to writer Robert Mank for the “CBS News Hourly” report and to Gail Lee for “Remembrances.” ABC’s noms went to two writers for the “World News This Week” report, Marianne Pryor and Stuart Chamberlain Jr. Rounding out the category was Infinity Radio Network scribe Bill Spadaro for the “1010 WINS Afternoon Drive” report.
The WGA Awards, administered by the West and East coast branches of the guild, cover programs broadcast between Dec. 1, 2003, and Nov. 30. Winners will be revealed Feb. 19 during ceremonies held simultaneously in Los Angeles and New York.