Los Angeles and New York – On Sunday, February 19, 2017, The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) announced the winners of the 2017 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 Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles and the Edison Ballroom in New York City.
Moonlight, Screenplay by Barry Jenkins, Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney; A24
Arrival, Screenplay by Eric Heisserer; Based on the Story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang; Paramount Pictures
Command and Control, Telescript by Robert Kenner & Eric Schlosser, Story by Brian Pearle and Kim Roberts; Based on the book Command and Control by Eric Schlosser; American Experience Films
TELEVISION AND NEW MEDIA WINNERS
The Americans, Written by Peter Ackerman, Tanya Barfield, Joshua Brand, Joel Fields, Stephen Schiff, Joe Weisberg, Tracey Scott Wilson; FX
Atlanta, Written by Donald Glover, Stephen Glover, Jamal Olori, Stefani Robinson, Paul Simms; FX
Atlanta, Written by Donald Glover, Stephen Glover, Jamal Olori, Stefani Robinson, Paul Simms; FX
ORIGINAL LONG FORM
Confirmation, Written by Susannah Grant; HBO
ADAPTED LONG FORM
The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Written by Scott Alexander, Joe Robert Cole, D.V. DeVincentis, Maya Forbes, Larry Karaszewski, Wally Wolodarsky, Based on the book The Run of His Life by Jeffrey Toobin; FX
ORIGINAL SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA
“The Party” (The Commute), Written by Linsey Stewart & Dane Clark; youtube.com
ADAPTED SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA
“Part 4” (Fear the Walking Dead: Passage), Written by Lauren Signorino & Mike Zunic; amc.com
“Stop the Presses” (BoJack Horseman), Written by Joe Lawson; Netflix
“The Trip” (This Is Us), Written by Vera Herbert; NBC
“Kimmy Goes on a Playdate!” (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Written by Robert Carlock; Netflix
COMEDY / VARIETY TALK SERIES
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Writers: Kevin Avery, Tim Carvell, Josh Gondelman, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeff Maurer, John Oliver, Scott Sherman, Will Tracy, Jill Twiss, Juli Weiner; HBO
COMEDY / VARIETY SKETCH SERIES
Saturday Night Live, Head Writers: Rob Klein, Bryan Tucker Writers: James Anderson, Fred Armisen, Jeremy Beiler, Chris Belair, Megan Callahan, Michael Che, Mikey Day, Jim Downey, Tina Fey, Fran Gillespie, Sudi Green, Tim Herlihy, Steve Higgins, Colin Jost, Zach Kanin, Chris Kelly, Erik Kenward, Paul Masella, Dave McCary, Dennis McNicholas, Seth Meyers, Lorne Michaels, Josh Patten, Paula Pell, Katie Rich, Tim Robinson, Sarah Schneider, Pete Schultz, Streeter Seidell, Dave Sirus, Emily Spivey, Andrew Steele, Will Stephen, Kent Sublette; NBC
COMEDY / VARIETY SPECIALS
Triumph The Primary Election Special 2016, Written by Andy Breckman, Josh Comers, Raj Desai, David Feldman, R J Fried, Jarrett Grode, Ben Joseph, Matthew Kirsch, Michael Koman, Mike Lawrence, Brian Reich, Craig Rowin, Robert Smigel, Zach Smilovitz, David Taylor, Andrew Weinberg; Additional Materials by Ray James, Jesse Joyce, Jason Reich, Alex Scordelis; Hulu
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: Shelly Altman, Anna Theresa Cascio, Andrea Archer Compton, Suzanne Flynn, Janet Iacobuzio, Elizabeth Korte, Daniel James O’Connor, Jean Passanante, Dave Rupel, Katherine Schock, Scott Sickles, Chris Van Etten, Christopher Whitesell; ABC
“Mel vs. The Night Mare of Normal Street” (Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street), Written by Laurie Parres; Amazon Studios
CHILDREN’S LONG FORM
Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas, Written by Geri Cole & Ken Scarborough; HBO
DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – CURRENT EVENTS
“The Choice 2016” (Frontline), Written by Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser; PBS (TIE)
“Inside Assad’s Syria” (Frontline), Written by Martin Smith; PBS (TIE)
DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS
“Jackie Robinson, Part One,” Written by David McMahon & Sarah Burns; PBS
TV NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT
“Muhammad Ali: Remembering A Legend” (48 Hours), Written by Jerry Cipriano, John Craig Wilson; CBS News
TV NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY
“CBS Sunday Morning Almanac” June 12, 2016 (CBS Sunday Morning), Written by Thomas A. Harris; CBS
“Chernobyl: 30 Years Later,” Written by Andrew Evans; ABC News Radio
RADIO NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT
“World News This Week” August 26, 2016, Written by Tara Gimbel Tanis; ABC News Radio
RADIO NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY
“Morley Safer: A Journalist’s Life,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS News Radio
ON-AIR PROMOTION (TELEVISION, NEW MEDIA OR RADIO)
“CBS On-Air Reel,” Written by Brian Retchless; CBS On-Air Promotion
TELEVISION GRAPHIC ART AND ANIMATION
“The Real History of Cinco de Mayo” (Gawker Media Group), Graphic Animation by Elisa Solinas; Lifehacker.com
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN VIDEOGAME WRITING
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Written by Neil Druckmann, Josh Scherr; Additional Writing Tom Bissell, Ryan James; Naughty Dog
Emmy-winning actor-writer-comedian Patton Oswalt (Talking for Clapping, Veep) – who recently won a Grammy for Best Comedy Album – hosted the WGAW’s West Coast ceremony, which was once again executive produced by Hugh Fink.
Presenters who appeared in Los Angeles included: Emmy-nominated Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk; Emmy-nominated and SAG Award-winning Shameless star William H. Macy; Chelsea talk show host/comedian Chelsea Handler; Dr. Ken star Ken Jeong; Emmy-nominated and WGA-winning Portlandia / Documentary Now! co-creator/star Fred Armisen; The Goldbergs co-star Wendi McLendon-Covey; Emmy-winning Veep co-star Tony Hale; Fresh Off the Boat co-star Randall Park; The Big Bang Theory and Speechless co-star John Ross Bowie; Silicon Valley co-star Kumail Nanjiani; actress Michaela Watkins (Transparent, Casual); Playing House co-creators / co-stars Lennon Parham (Veep, Lady Dynamite) & Jessica St. Clair (Veep, The McCarthys), Emmy-winning TV writer-producer Norman Lear (One Day at a Time, All in the Family), actor David Koechner (The Goldbergs, Superior Donuts), and comedian/actor Bill Burr (Walk Your Way Out, Breaking Bad).
In addition, the WGAW presented several honorary awards during its ceremony: Oscar-nominated actor James Woods (Salvador, Nixon) presented the WGAW’s Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement to Academy Award and WGA-winning screenwriter-director Oliver Stone (Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, JFK); Emmy-winning The Newsroom star Jeff Daniels presented the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement to Oscar and WGA-winning The Social Network screenwriter and The West Wing / The Newsroom Creator Aaron Sorkin; Emmy-nominated actress Kerry Washington (Confirmation, Scandal) presented the Paul Selvin Award to screenwriter Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich) for her script for the HBO telefilm, Confirmation, which embodies “the spirit of constitutional rights and civil liberties which are indispensable to the survival of free writers everywhere;” actor Jeff Goldblum (Independence Day: Resurgence, Jurassic Park) presented the Valentine Davies Award to acclaimed screenwriter-director Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones’s Diary) for his humanitarian service and charitable efforts around the globe; Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated actress Shohreh Aghdashloo (The Expanse) presented the Jean Renoir Award for International Screenwriting Achievement to late Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami (Taste of Cherry, The Wind Will Carry Us, Certified Copy), whose son Ahmad Kiarostami accepted on his behalf; and writer Howard Michael Gould (Instant Mom) presented the Morgan Cox Award to Emmy-nominated M*A*S*H writer and past WGAW Board of Directors member Dan Wilcox for his Guild service.
Attendees at the WGAW’s show included: Denzel Washington (Fences), Louis C.K. (Louie), Tom Ford (Nocturnal Animals), Pamela Adlon (Better Things), Tig Notaro (One Mississippi), Mykelti Williamson (Fences), Gil Birmingham (Hell or High Water), Diablo Cody (One Mississippi), Nathan Fielder (Nathan for You), Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), Brian Bloom (Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare), David Benioff (Game of Thrones), Megan Amram (The Good Place), author Laura Albert (aka JT LeRoy), SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris, and Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA).
The WGAE’s New York ceremony was hosted by Grammy-winning and Emmy-nominated stand-up comedian Lewis Black (The Daily Show, Inside Out) and co-executive produced by Bonnie Datt and Shannon Walker.
Presenters who appeared in New York City included esteemed actress Becky Ann Baker (Girls), Emmy-nominated actor Dylan Baker (The Americans), Screen Actors Guild Award-winning actress Danielle Brooks (Orange Is The New Black), Emmy-nominated actor Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Screen Actors Guild Award-winning actor David Harbour (Stranger Things), screen and stage actor Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta), series creator and star Jill Kargman (Odd Mom Out), Tony Award-winning actress Jane Krakowski (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Four-time Writers Guild Award-winning late night host Seth Meyers (Late Night with Seth Meyers), Writers Guild Award-nominated comedian Amber Ruffin (Late Night with Seth Meyers), Academy Award-winning screenwriter John Patrick Shanley (Doubt), Westminster-evicted puppet Triumph The Insult Comic Dog (Triumph’s Election Special) and respected journalist Alex Wagner (CBS News).
In addition, the WGAE presented several honorary awards during its ceremony: one of the most celebrated television writers of all time David Simon (The Deuce) presented his fellow Baltimore native John Waters (Hairspray, Serial Mom) with the Ian McLellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement; The legendary late night host David Letterman and writer Steve Young (Maya & Marty) presented the Twenty-time Emmy-nominated writer Steve O’Donnell (Late Night with David Letterman) with the Herb Sargent Award for Comedy Excellence; Two-time Daytime Emmy Award-winner Melissa Salmons (The Guiding Light) presented Courtney Simon (One Life To Live) with the Richard B. Jablow Award for Devoted Service to the Guild; NAACP Image Award-winning author Walter Mosley (Always Outnumbered) presented fearless writer Jelani Cobb (Policing the Police, co-written with James Jacoby) with the inaugural Walter Bernstein Award, which honor writers who have demonstrated with creativity, grace and bravery a willingness to confront social injustice in the face of adversity.
Attendees at the WGAE’s show included: Walter Bernstein (The Front), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester By The Sea), Diana Son (American Crime), Richard Price (The Night Of), Alex Gibney (Zero Days), Tina Fey (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Robert Carlock (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Stephen Henderson (Fences), Russell Hornsby (Fences), Paul Simms (Atlanta), Robert Smigel (Triumph’s Election Special), Joe Weisberg (The Americans), Joel Fields (The Americans), Stephen Schiff (The Americans), Chuck Sklar (88th Annual Academy Awards), Terry George (Hotel Rwanda), A.M. Homes (Falling Water), Chris Sparling (Mercy), Mink Stole (Pink Flamingos), Commissioner Gregg Bishop (NYC Department of Small Business Services), Neil Dudich (Eastern Executive Director, Directors Guild of America) and Matthew D. Loeb (International President, IATSE).
Production credits for the WGAW’s show included: Executive Producer Hugh Fink, Producers Tara Power and Joselyn Allen, Co-Producer Kelly Brock, Director Nick Murray, Head Writer Joe O’Brien, Writers Hugh Fink, Ed Lee, Danielle Koenig, Mike Drucker, Gerry Duggan, and Matt Oswalt, Creative Consultant Shelly Goldstein, Line Producer Tina Pavlides, and Production Designer Chris Giammalvo.
Production credits for the WGAE’s show included: Co-Executive Producers Bonnie Datt and Shannon Walker, Head Writer Ann B. Cohen, Writers Jordan Carlos, David Steven Cohen, Timothy Cooper, Don Hooper, Lily-Hayes Kaufman, Nick Nadel, Dan Perlman, Craig Shemin, Andrew Smith and Sasha Stewart, Line Producer LB Audio, Video & Scenic Solutions, and Clip/Tribute Reels Crain Shemin.
For more information about the 2017 Writers Guild Awards, please visit www.wga.org or www.wgaeast.org.
About The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE): The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) are labor unions representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media, and broadcast news. The Guilds negotiate and administer contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of their members; conduct programs, seminars, and events on issues of interest to writers; and present writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, West, visit www.wga.org. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit www.wgaeast.org.