Every year the WGA Awards delivers a keen view on the premiere programming of the best screen writers in Television and Movies. It’s a pre-Oscar warm up that offers insight to who’s got buzz for the Academy Awards the following week. The awards ceremony takes place at the Hyatt in Century City with a great red carpet that opens the stellar pre-party of a who’s who in the writing and acting communities. Those who graced the red carpet commenced with the writer and star of Crazy Girlfriend’s Rachel Bloom, comedian and program host Patton Oswalt, Last Man On Earth’s Kristen Schaal, Transparent’s Trace Lysette, Jeffrey Tambor and Jill Soloway, Desperate House Wives’ Dana Delany, Being Canadian’s Robert Cohen, Elaine May – Paddy Chayefsky’s Laurel Award recipient, Marta Kauffman – Paddy Chayefsky’s Award recipient, David Crane – Paddy Chayefsky’s Laurel Award recipient, Trumbo’s John McNamara, The Big Short’s Charles Randolph and Adam McKay. Comedians and comedy was heavily represented at this year’s red carpet. So there were a lot of laughs and clever commentary in this year’s program.
These are the 2016 Writers Guild Awards winner for both East and West coast: Los Angeles and New York – The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) tonight announced the winners of the 2016 Writers Guild Awards for outstanding achievement in writing for film, television, new media, videogames, news, radio, promotional, and graphic animation categories at concurrent ceremonies at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles and the Edison Ballroom in New York City.
Winners List After The Break
Spotlight, Written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy; Open Road Films
The Big Short, Screenplay by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay; Based on the Book by Michael Lewis; Paramount Pictures
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Written by Alex Gibney; HBO Documentary Films
TELEVISION AND NEW MEDIA WINNERS
Mad Men, Written by Lisa Albert, Semi Chellas, Jonathan Igla, Janet Leahy, Erin Levy, Tom Smuts, Robert Towne, Matthew Weiner, Carly Wray; AMC
Veep, Written by Simon Blackwell, Jon Brown, Kevin Cecil, Roger Drew, Peter Fellows, Neil Gibbons, Rob Gibbons, Sean Gray, Callie Hersheway, Armando Iannucci, Sean Love, Ian Martin, Georgia Pritchett, David Quantick, Andy Riley, Tony Roche, Will Smith; HBO
Mr. Robot, Written by Kyle Bradstreet, Kate Erickson, Sam Esmail, David Iserson, Randolph Leon, Adam Penn, Matt Pyken; USA
ORIGINAL LONG FORM
Saints & Strangers, Written by Seth Fisher, Walon Green, Chip Johannessen, Eric Overmyer; National Geographic Channel
ADAPTED LONG FORM
Fargo, Written by Steve Blackman, Bob DeLaurentis, Noah Hawley, Ben Nedivi, Matt Wolpert, Based on the film Fargo; FX
ORIGINAL SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA
“Back to Reality” (Weight), Written by Daryn Strauss; weighttheseries.com
ADAPTED SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA
“Chapter Two: Phoebe” (Heroes Reborn: Dark Matters), Written by Zach Craley; nbc.com
“Housetrap” (Bob’s Burgers), Written by Dan Fybel; Fox
“Uno” (Better Call Saul), Written by Vince Gilligan & Peter Gould; AMC
“Sand Hill Shuffle” (Silicon Valley), Written by Clay Tarver; HBO
COMEDY / VARIETY TALK SERIES
Real Time with Bill Maher, Writers: Scott Carter, Adam Felber, Matt Gunn, Brian Jacobsmeyer, Jay Jaroch, Chris Kelly, Bill Maher, Billy Martin, Danny Vermont; HBO
COMEDY / VARIETY SKETCH SERIES
Inside Amy Schumer, Head Writer: Jessi Klein Writers: Hallie Cantor, Kim Caramele, Kyle Dunnigan, Jon Glaser, Kurt Metzger, Christine Nangle, Dan Powell, Tami Sagher, Amy Schumer; Comedy Central
COMEDY / VARIETY SPECIALS
Jimmy Kimmel Live: 10th Annual After The Oscars Special, Written by Jack Allison, Tony Barbieri, Jonathan Bines, Joelle Boucai, Greg Dorris, Gary Greenberg, Josh Halloway, Sal Iacono, Eric Immerman, Jimmy Kimmel, Bess Kalb, Jeff Loveness, Molly McNearney, Danny Ricker, Joe Strazzullo, Bridger Winegar; ABC
QUIZ AND AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION
Hollywood Game Night, Head Writer: Grant Taylor; Writers: Michael Agbabian, Alex Chauvin, Ann Slichter, Dwight D. Smith; NBC
General Hospital, Writers: Ron Carlivati, Anna Theresa Cascio, Andrea Archer Compton, Suzanne Flynn, Kate Hall, Elizabeth Korte, Daniel James O’Connor, Elizabeth Page, Jean Passanante, Katherine Schock, Scott Sickles, Chris Van Etten; ABC
“Gortimer, Ranger and Mel vs. The Endless Night” (Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street), Written by Gretchen Enders & Aminta Goyel; Amazon Studios
CHILDREN’S LONG FORM
Descendants, Written by Josann McGibbon & Sara Parriott; Disney Channel
DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – CURRENT EVENTS
“American Terrorist” (Frontline), Written by Thomas Jennings; PBS
DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS
“The Great Math Mystery” (Nova), Written by Daniel McCabe; PBS
TV NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT
“Cuba” (60 Minutes), Written by Scott Pelley, Nicole Young, Oriana Zill de Granados, Andy Court and Robert Anderson; CBS News
TV NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY
“The Storm After the Storm” (60 Minutes), Written by Sharyn Alfonsi, Michael Rey and Oriana Zill de Granados; CBS News
“Marking the End of Vietnam: 40 Years Later,” Written by Andrew Evans; ABC News Radio
RADIO NEWS SCRIPT—REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT
“Remembering New York Icons,” Written by Thomas A. Sabella; CBS Radio News
RADIO NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY
“Passages,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS Radio News
PROMOTIONAL WRITING WINNER
ON-AIR PROMOTION (TELEVISION, NEW MEDIA OR RADIO)
“The McCarthys and Under the Dome Promos,” Written by Erial Tompkins; CBS
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN VIDEOGAME WRITING
Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lead Narrative Designer John Stafford; Narrative Designer Cameron Suey; Lead Writer Rhianna Pratchett; Additional Writer Philip Gelatt; Microsoft
*There were no nominees in the Television Graphic Art and Animation category this year.
The Writers Guild Awards honor outstanding writing in film, television, new media, video games, news, radio, promotional, and graphic animation categories. The awards were presented jointly in competitive categories during concurrent ceremonies on Saturday, February 13, 2016, in Los Angeles at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza and in New York City at the Edison Ballroom.
Actor-writer-comedian Patton Oswalt (Veep, Justified) hosted the WGAW’s West Coast ceremony, which was executive produced by Hugh Fink. Presenters who appeared at the L.A. show included: Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis; Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated Better Call Saul star/Emmy-winning writer Bob Odenkirk, Dr. Ken and The Hangover star Ken Jeong, Golden Globe-winning Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star Rachel Bloom, Golden Globe and Emmy-winning Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor, Emmy and WGA-nominated Key & Peele co-star/writer Keegan-Michael Key, The Last Man on Earth co-star and Annie Award-winning actress Kristen Schaal (Gravity Falls), The Carmichael Show co-creator/star Jerrod Carmichael, Silicon Valley co-stars Kumail Nanjiani and Thomas Middleditch, Emmy-nominated actor Fred Savage (The Grinder), Idiotsitter Creators/co-stars Jillian Bell & Charlotte Newhouse. actor David Koechner (The Goldbergs), Veep co-star Matt Walsh, and Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick.
The Writers Guild of America, West presented several special honors during its ceremony: Friends co-stars Matt LeBlanc (Episodes) and Courteney Cox (Cougar Town) presented the WGAW’s Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement to Friends Co-Creators Marta Kauffman (Grace and Frankie) & David Crane (Episodes); Emmy-winning Lost Co-Creator/WGA-nominated The Leftovers Co-Creator Damon Lindelof presented the Guild’s Valentine Davies Award to screenwriter John August (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) for his humanitarian efforts and civic service; Jaws screenwriter/Emmy-winning TV writer Carl Gottlieb presented the WGAW’s Morgan Cox Award to Emmy-nominated writer Arthur Sellers (Meet the Raisins!) for his Guild service; Oscar and WGA-winning screenwriter Robert Towne (Chinatown, Mad Men) presented the WGAW’s Screen Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement to Academy Award-nominated and WGA-winning screenwriter-director-actress Elaine May (Primary Colors, Heaven Can Wait); and Academy Award-nominated actress and Trumbo co-star Diane Lane presented the WGAW’s Paul Selvin Award to screenwriter John McNamara for his screenplay, Trumbo, which chronicles the turbulent life and career of Blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, embodying the spirit of constitutional rights and civil liberties.
Attendees at the WGAW’s awards ceremony also included actresses Amanda Peet and Dana Delany, comic-host Howie Mandel, writer-producer Phil Rosenthal, Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA), Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA), and L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz.
The WGAE’s East Coast Ceremony was hosted by actor-writer-comedian Michael Ian Black (The Jim Gaffigan Show, Wet Hot American Summer). Presenters who appeared at the New York show included: Bob Balaban (Show Me A Hero), Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair (High Maintenance), Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot), Terry George (Hotel Rwanda), Jordan Klepper (The Daily Show with Trevor Noah), Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Billions), Margo Martindale (The Good Wife), Michael McKean (Better Call Saul), Annette O’Toole (Halt and Catch Fire), Dascha Polanco (Orange Is the New Black, Joy), Emmy Rossum (Shameless) and John Slattery (Mad Men, Spotlight).
The Writers Guild of America, East presented honorary awards throughout the ceremony. Senator Al Franken was presented with the Evelyn F. Burkey Award, which celebrates a person who has brought honor and dignity to writers, by fellow original Saturday Night Live writer Alan Zweibel. Tony Goldwyn (Scandal) presented Richard LaGravenese with the Ian McClellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement, celebrating a body of work that includes The Fisher King, Behind the Candelabra and P.S. I Love You. Four-time Writers Guild Award winner Melissa Salmons was presented with the Richard B. Jablow Award for her devoted service to the Guild by last year’s award recipient Jeremy Pikser (Bulworth).
Attendees at the WGAE’s awards ceremony also included Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), Alex Gibney (Going Clear), Beau Willimon (House of Cards), Adepero Oduye (The Big Short), Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton), Adam Rapp (Flesh & Bone), David Simon (Show Me A Hero), Fred Armisen (Portlandia), Taylor Hackford (Ray), John Markus (The Cosby Show), Marin Ireland (The Slap), Gina Gionfriddo (Becky Shaw), The Black List’s Franklin Leonard and the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Julie Menin.
The WGA Awards were by all means festive as they were in the past. Patton delivered stellar comedic relief as this year’s host, with quips about not making his daughter’s 6th birthday because he’d been hired at the last moment to write some fart jokes for Dirty Grandpa, that were never used in the movie and some salient comments on Justice Antonin Scalia and politics in general. The one truly joyful surprise was Geena Davis walking in to the press room with WGA award winner Josh Singer for his work on the feature Spotlight. It was a delight to see her and she was as charming as ever. The WGA Awards offered awareness of great writing, as it does every year, with its aim on next year’s crop of exceptional writing, when it’s that time again for the 2017 awards season.