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CBS Tops in WGA TV Awards

Feb 20, 2005  •  Post A Comment

CBS programs received more awards than those of any other network during simultaneous Writers Guild of America award ceremonies Feb. 19 in New York and Hollywood.

Fox, NBC, HBO and PBS programs dominated in comedy, drama, long form and documentary, respectively.

Episodes of two Fox shows, “Arrested Development” and “Malcolm in the Middle,” were honored in a rare tie result.

“We don’t accept this tie,” joked “Arrested” executive producer Mitchell Hurwitz, who accepted along with writer Jim Vallely for the episode “Pier Pressure.” The “Malcolm” episode, “Ida’s Boyfriend,” was written by Neil Thompson.

The “Catch ‘Em If You Can” episode of Fox’s “The Simpsons” won the animation prize. It was written by Ian Maxtone-Graham.

An episode of NBC’s “West Wing” titled “The Supremes” and written by Debora Cahn won for outstanding episodic drama.

HBO programs swept the long-form drama categories. “Something the Lord Made,” written by Peter Silverman and Robert Caswell, won in the original long form category, while Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America” teleplay received the prize for adapted long form.

PBS won both documentary categories. The “Frontline” episode “From China With Love,” written by Michael J. Kirk, was honored as best in current events, while “The Fight” episode of “The American Experience,” written by Barak Goodman, won in the documentary other than current events category.

NBC’s “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” was recognized as top comedy/variety/talk series. Writers were Mike Sweeney, Chris Albers, Jose Arroyo, Andy Blitz, Kevin Dorff, Dan Goor, Michael Gordon, Brian Kiley, Michael Koman, Demetri Martin, Brian McCann, Guy Nicolucci, Conan O’Brien, Allison Silverman, Robert Smigel, Brian Stack and Andrew Weinberg.

CBS’s “The Kennedy Center Honors” took the prize in comedy-/variety (music, awards, tributes or specials). Writers were George Stevens Jr., who received his fifth consecutive award, and Sara Lukinson.

A segment of CBS’s “60 Minutes II” was honored in New York for news analysis, feature or commentary, for the story “Change of Heart,” written by Rebecca Peterson & Scott Pelley. In the radio category, CBS’s “Christmas Past,” written by James Benes, took the prize for news analysis, feature or commentary.

ABC News programs also won in TV and radio categories. On TV, “ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings'” coverage of “The Reagan Funeral” was chosen as best regularly scheduled, bulletin or breaking news report. It was written by Steve Alperin. “World News This Week,” written by Stuart H. Chamberlain Jr., won in the same category for radio.

CBS picked up honors for on-air news promotion on TV or radio for “Still Standing: Kill Bill, King of Queens: Runner,” written by Chris Cranner; “Center of the Universe: Direct TV,” written by Chris Cranner & Jay Curtis & Mark Mallory; and “Still Standing/Listen Up: Who’s On First,” written by Chris Cranner & Jay Curtis. In addition, the TV news graphic animation prize went to “CBS 2 Celebrates Subway Centennial/Sports Block,” written by Christopher T. Ingram.

The Showtime teleplay “A separate Peace,” written by Wendy Kesselman and based on the novel by John Knowles, took the children’s script award.”

In daytime serials, CBS’s “Guiding Light” was the only nominee and won the prize.

In the major film categories, sometimes considered a precursor to next week’s Academy Awards, the winner for original screenplay was Charlie Kaufman won for his original screenplay “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” The best adapted screenplay award went to Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor for “Sideways.”

Charles Grodin was master of ceremonies in New York, while John O’Hurley hosted the West Coast event.

In Hollywood, winners of honorary awards, announced in advance, included David Mamet, who received the Screen Laurel Award and the biggest standing ovation of the evening. Mr. Mamet said, “It is an extraordinarily tough business. Only those of us bitten by the snake know how it is.”

Susan Harris won the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television, and Don Payne won the Paul Selvin Award for service to the guild.

In New York, special awards went to John Sayles, who received the Ian McLellan Hunter Award for Lifetime Achievement; John Auerbach, who won the Richard B. Jablow Award for Distinguished Service to the WGAE; and Clair Labine, recipient of the Evelyn F. Burkey Award.

The executive producer in Hollywood was Cort Casady; writers were Dave Boone, Beth Armogida, Dennis Blair, Cort Casady and Roy Zimmerman. Carole Propp was talent executive.

In New York, the producer was Sindy Gordon, and writers included David Steven Cohen, Craig Shemin and Michael Quinn.