New York City – Comedian W. Kamau Bell will host the 66th Annual Writers Guild Awards New York Ceremony. The awards will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at the Edison Ballroom in New York City. Award presenters to be announced. W. Kamau Bell was most recently the host of the FXX television series Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. When approached to host the annual awards ceremony, Bell remarked, “I’m excited to host the WGA Awards, mostly because I assume it will allow me to keep my health insurance.” The 2014 Writers Guild Awards will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2014, simultaneously at the Edison Ballroom in New York City and the JW Marriott in Los Angeles, CA.
Writers Guild Makes Changes To Awards Eligibility & Submission Guidelines; New Media Series Like ‘House Of Cards’ OK; ‘Quiz & Audience Participation Category Added
The big news is that the Writers Guild awards to be held February 1, 2014, have revised their guidelines to allow eligibility for Netflix series like House Of Cards that have been produced for initial exhibition in New Media. Show received 9 Emmy nominations last week and was not specifically named in today’s WGA announcement:
Los Angeles and New York – For the upcoming awards season, Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have changed awards eligibility and submission guidelines for the television and new media categories, and have added a new Quiz & Audience Participation writing award.
“Whether you’re watching content on a TV screen, online on a laptop, or with a hand-held device, outstanding writing and great storytelling deserve the same recognition,” said WGAW President Christopher Keyser and WGAE President Michael Winship. “These changes in eligibility and submission guidelines reflect the evolution of distribution models in the entertainment industry. We are also looking forward to giving out the new Quiz & Audience Participation Award in 2014.”
TELEVISION AND NEW MEDIA
In the past year, several high profile series have been produced for initial exhibition in new media. Under the existing Writers Guild Awards rules, these shows would not have been eligible to compete against similar programs produced for TV. The new guidelines will permit online series to compete with TV series in the script and series categories.
Also in the last year, several daytime serials, which had been broadcast on network television for decades, moved to new media platforms. Although they are continuations of programs previously produced for television, the old rules would have placed them in the separate Derivative New Media award category. The new awards guidelines will allow online daytime serials to compete in the Daytime Drama category along with serials that continue to be produced for television.
Specific changes to Writers Guild Awards rules are as follows:
Deadline Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke is writing from on-scene reports. The winners are named at 2013 WGA Awards (LIVE). There will be an update to this post on Monday morning:
Nora Ephron, the quintuple-threat director and screenwriter and playwright and author and columnist, died in June after quietly battling leukemia. She had been a staunch WGA member and received the WGA East’s Ian McClellan Hunter Award in 2003 honoring motion picture work, so this tribute set for the WGA’s New York awards show February 17 is fitting — she never won the guild award despite nominations for a heavy-hitter list of movies (Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally..., Sleepless In Seattle and Julie & Julia). Her last play, Lucky Guy, is set to begin previews on Broadway next month with Tom Hanks and Maura Tierney starring. Here’s the guild’s release announcing plans:
New York City – Writers Guild of America, East today announced a tribute to award-winning, screenwriter, director, playwright, author, and Guild, East member Nora Ephron. The tribute to Ephron, who died in June, will be led by the author Meg Wolitzer, whose novel, “This Is My Life,” was adapted and directed by Ephron in 1992 and presented at the Writers Guild Awards East Coast ceremony on Sunday February 17th, in New York City.
“At this year’s Writers Guild Awards East Coast ceremony, we will mark the passing of one of our most distinguished and creative members. Nora Ephron’s life and body of work were those of a quintessential New Yorker, but not only did she embody the sophistication, wit and energy of our city, she was also a loyal union member who walked the picket line and talked the talk on behalf of all her fellow writers,” said Michael Winship, President, Writers Guild of America, East.
“It’s almost like it’s become a fad for politicians to use movies as a publicity platform,” screenwriter Mark Boal told Deadline of the political controversy still swirling around Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty tonight at the WGA‘s annual panel discussion with guild award nominees. Until recently the Oscar-nominated screenwriter, along with Oscar-snubbed director Bigelow, kept his feelings relatively close to his chest on the Senate critics who called for investigations into the accuracy and propriety of Zero Dark Thirty‘s account of the intelligence operations that led to bin Laden’s capture and death. With the Academy Awards less than three weeks away, he likened the Zero Dark Thirty political assault to McCarthyism: “You’re talking about an institution that has lower approval ratings than head lice and cockroaches in the American public, so I think anything they can do to, in some cases, avoid the issues that they’re voted in to do, they’ll do.”
New York City – Writers Guild of America, East today announced that it will honor current Secretary-Treasurer Bob Schneider with its annual Richard B. Jablow Award, named after the Guild’s first counsel who helped found the organization and authored its constitution, for devoted service to the Guild. The honor will be presented to Schneider by last year’s recipient Susan Kim, during the 65th Annual Writers Guild Awards, at B.B. King Blues Club in New York City on Sunday, February 17, 2013.
New York City – Writers Guild of America, East today announced that versatile screenwriter and director David Koepp will be the recipient of the Ian McClellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement. The award, established in 1992, honors a WGA member for his/her body of work as a writer in motion pictures or television, and will be presented during the 65th Annual Writers Guild Awards, at B.B. King Blues Club in New York City on Sunday, February 17, 2013.
“For the past 25 years, David Koepp has written an extraordinary variety of movies that have thrilled audiences around the world – whether the exploits of Indiana Jones, the terror of genetically engineered dinosaurs at Jurassic Park or the derring-do of the Mission: Impossible team. But more than those adventures, David has given us tales of character and emotion that capture and lift the human spirit. He is a consummate storyteller and for that reason the Writers Guild of America, East is thrilled to present him its Ian McClellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement,” said Michael Winship, President, WGAE.
Los Angeles and New York – The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have announced nominations for outstanding achievement in writing for new media and videogames during 2012. Winners will be honored at the 2013 Writers Guild Awards on Sunday, February 17, 2013, at simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York.
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN WRITING ORIGINAL NEW MEDIA
“The Compromises, Episode 1,” “The Pest, Episode 3,” The Snake, Episode 4,” “The Bonding, Episode 6,” “The Future, Episode 7/Series Finale” (Jack in a Box), Written by Michael Cyril Creighton; jackinaboxsite.com
“Episode 1, The Report,” “Episode 2, The Third Man,” “Episode 3, The Suck” (Lauren), Written by Jay Rodan; youtube.com/wigs
“Assistants, Episode 104,” “Photo Shoot, Episode 105,” “Ten Per Cent, Episode 106,” “Hashtags, Episode 107,” “The Contract, Episode 108” (Model Wife), Written by Cory Cavin, Bill G. Grandberg & Josh Lay; modelwifeshow.com
“Babyshower,” “Stendhal Syndrome,” “A Very Important Call,” “Think,” “Emma” (The Untitled Webseries That Morgan Evans Is Doing), Written by Morgan Evans; UntitledWebseries.com
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN WRITING DERIVATIVE NEW MEDIA
“All in the Family; Chapter 1,” “All in the Family; Chapter 2,” “All in the Family; Chapter 3,” “All in the Family; Chapter 4,” “All in the Family; Chapter 5” (Dexter Early Cuts), Written by Scott Reynolds; SHO.com
“Hide And Seek,” “Keys to the Kingdom,” “The Chosen Ones,” “Parting Shots” (The Walking Dead: Cold Storage), Written by John Esposito; amctv.com
Tom Stoppard, the screenwriter and playwright whose latest feature film work is this year’s Anna Karenina, has been named the winner of the WGA West‘s 2013 Laurel Award for Screen, the guild’s lifetime achievement award for movies. He will receive the honor February 17 during the WGA Awards‘ West Coast ceremony at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE. Previous recipients include David Mamet, Lawrence Kasdan, Robert Benton, Barry Levinson, Steven Zaillian, and Eric Roth last year.
Stoppard has adapted everyone from Nabokov and le Carre to Doctorow and Tolstoy. He wrote and won an Oscar for 1998′s Best Picture winner Shakespeare In Love and was nominated for co-writing 1986′s Brazil. He also won four Best Play Tony Awards in his career, which began in 1960 as a London playwright before jumping into television in 1965. Here’s the WGA West’s full release:
Like the Producers Guild earlier this week, the WGA did not produce a list of film nominees in the Original Screenplay and Adapted Screenplay categories that had any surprises. This in itself is not surprising since the WGA (I’m a member) — due to restrictive rules regarding eligibility of films only produced under the guild’s MBA or certain international affiliated collective bargaining agreements — had far less of a field from which to choose. The number of screenplays eligible overall is slightly more than a third of all scripts the Academy’s much smaller voting body is picking from (polls for Oscar nomination voting close today at 5 PM). As usual, we can look for several differences when the Academy reveals their writing nominations January 10th. Although nominees often vary between the two orgs, the final winners are usually much more in sync. Last year, both WGA Award-winning scripts — Midnight In Paris and The Descendants – went on to repeat at the Oscars. In 2010 though, only WGA Adapted Screenplay winner The Social Network repeated at Oscar time, while the Oscar winner for Original Screenplay, The King’s Speech, wasn’t even nominated at the WGA because it was ineligible.
Related: WGA Awards Nominations Announced
The WGA unveiled its nominations for theatrical motion pictures this morning in three categories: Original Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay and Documentary Screenplay. Winners will be announced February 17 at simultaneous Writers Guild Awards ceremonies in LA and NY. Among the usual awards-season names missing include Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Amour, Beasts Of The Southern Wild and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which were excluded from the nomination ballots for not being produced under guild jurisdiction or under a collective bargaining agreement in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or the UK. Oscar guidelines are less restrictive. Here are the nominees announced today out of the 112 eligible screenplays:
Flight, Written by John Gatins; Paramount Pictures
Looper, Written by Rian Johnson; TriStar Pictures
The Master, Written by Paul Thomas Anderson; The Weinstein Company
Moonrise Kingdom, Written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola; Focus Features
Zero Dark Thirty, Written by Mark Boal; Columbia Pictures
Argo, Screenplay by Chris Terrio; Based on a selection from The Master of Disguise by Antonio J. Mendez and the Wired Magazine article “The Great Escape” by Joshuah Bearman; Warner Bros. Pictures
Life of Pi, Screenplay by David Magee; Based on the novel by Yann Martel; 20th Century Fox
Lincoln, Screenplay by Tony Kushner; Based in part on the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin; DreamWorks Pictures
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Screenplay by Stephen Chbosky; Based on his book; Summit Entertainment
Silver Linings Playbook, Screenplay by David O. Russell; Based on the novel by Matthew Quick; The Weinstein Company
The Central Park Five, Written by Sarah Burns and David McMahon and Ken Burns; Sundance Selects
The Invisible War, Written by Kirby Dick; Cinedigm Entertainment Group
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, Written by Alex Gibney; HBO Documentary Films
Searching for Sugar Man, Written by Malik Bendejelloul; Sony Pictures Classics
We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists, Written by Brian Knappenberger; Cinetic Media
West of Memphis, Written by Amy Berg & Billy McMillin; Sony Pictures Classics
Los Angeles – The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) has named two-time WGAW President Daniel Petrie, Jr. as its 2013 Morgan Cox Award honoree in recognition of his longtime service to the Guild. The award will be presented at the WGAW’s 2013 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony on Sunday, February 17, 2013, at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE.
“Dan Petrie, Jr. is a remarkable man, distinguished for his creative accomplishments as an Oscar®-nominated screenwriter, as a producer and as a director, and no less distinguished for his long and passionate commitment to the well-being of all writers. Dan has served this Guild for 25 years, twice as President. He has guided us through difficult times. A champion of our fervent and often raucous democracy, with a quiet manner and a firm hand, Dan made our many voices our strength. In the process, he earned the respect of all who served with him. He has always had mine. It is fitting, therefore, that Dan Petrie, Jr. should be the unanimous choice of the Board to receive this year’s Morgan Cox Award,” said WGAW President Christopher Keyser.
Joshua Brand and John Falsey, who co-created hit TV series including Northern Exposure, St. Elsewhere and I’ll Fly Away, have been awarded the WGA West‘s 2013 Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television. The honor, the guild’s lifetime achievement award for outstanding television writing, will be bestowed February 17 during the WGA Awards‘ West Coast ceremony at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE. “Writers Joshua Brand and John Falsey’s have left an indelible imprint on the television landscape, co-creating some of TV’s most enduring, memorable series that have both entertained and moved a generation of viewers”, said WGAW president Christopher Keyser. “Defined by an expert blend of sharp observation, dry wit, and honest emotion, their work is, like a singer with a five-octave range, breathtaking in its scope and its power. Together, Brand and Falsey have created an enviable legacy that both veteran and up-and-coming writers can aspire to match”.
Actor Nathan Fillion, who currently stars as mystery novelist Richard Castle on ABC’s hit series Castle, has been tapped by the Writers Guild of America, West to host its upcoming 2013 Writers Guild Awards show to be held on Sunday, February 17, 2013, at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE.
“When I first accepted the honor of hosting the Writers Guild Awards, I was confused and actually thought I was receiving one. Since I play a writer on TV, I felt perhaps someone was under the impression I deserved an award and I wasn’t about to correct them. However, now I’m in the perfect position to present myself with whichever award I choose. Who’s going to know? At the very least, I can network with the most talented writers in the business in preparation for my next round of unemployment. It’s a win/win.”