They lead longform noms; nets top episodic drama

Cable TV movies swept the original longform category in the Writers Guild of America nominations for best writing, announced Wednesday, and took two out of three nods in the adapted group.

Networks did better in episodic drama, where NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street” pulled in three of the nine nominations; NBC also got nods for episodes of “ER” and “Law & Order,” while ABC was recognized for “The Practice” and “Nothing Sacred.”

In episodic comedy, the departure of “Seinfeld” was clearly felt: Last year, the show got three nominations; this time, nods went instead to “Frasier,” “Dharma & Greg,” “Murphy Brown” and “Ellen” — the last two also having waved good-bye to their audiences.

Ellen spec special

For Ellen DeGeneres, it was her first year out of the closet and her last on the air. Still, “Ellen: A Hollywood Tribute,” aired by ABC, was nominated in the comedy/variety specials group, alongside the American Film Institute’s “Salute to Robert Wise,” on NBC.

In the two documentary categories, all but three of the 10 nominations went to PBS, with A&E and ABC pulling up the rear.

The death of Frank Sinatra had an impact in the radio news category, with two of the five nominees focusing on the crooner.

Scripts scrutinized

Nominated scripts were initially broadcast between Sept. 1, 1997, and Aug. 31 of last year. The winning scripts will have been read by six or more judges, independently of each other.

Winners will be announced Feb. 20 at the 51st annual WGA awards ceremonies on both coasts. The event in the West will be held at the Beverly Hilton, while Eastern kudos will be handed out in New York at Windows on the World.

The complete list of nominees follows:

TELEVISION NOMINEES

LONGFORM

“Color of Justice,” written by Lionel Chetwynd, Showtime;

“Gia,” written by Jay McInerney and Michael Cristofer, HBO;

“Labor of Love,” written by Nina Shengold, Victor TV Prods., Lifetime;

“Blind Faith,” written by Frank Military, Neufeld/Rehme Prods., Showtime.

ADAPTED LONG FORM

“Don King: Only In America,” teleplay by Kario Salem, based on the book by Jack Newfield, HBO Films;

“Thicker Than Blood,” teleplay by Bill Cain, based on his play, Turner Pages Inc., TNT;

“The Love Letter,” teleplay by James Henerson, television story by James Henerson, based on the short story by Jack Finney, Hallmark Hall of Fame, CBS.

EPISODIC DRAMA

“Finnegan’s Wake (Homicide: Life on the Street),” teleplay by David Mills, story by James Yoshimura & David Simon, NBC Prods., NBC;

“Exodus (ER),” written by Walon Green & Joe Sachs, Warner Bros. Television Prods., NBC;

“Saigon Rose (Homicide: Life on the Street),” written by Eric Overmyer, NBC Prods., NBC;

“The Subway (Homicide: Life on the Street),” written by James Yoshimura, NBC Prods., NBC;

“Apollo One (From the Earth to the Moon),” written by Graham Yost, HBO Films, HBO;

“Betrayal (The Practice),” written by David E. Kelley, 20th Century Fox Film Corp., ABC;

“Proofs for the Existence of God (Nothing Sacred),” written by Paul Leland, 20th Century Fox Film Corp., ABC;

“The Marie Taquet Story (Rescuers: Stories of Courage),” teleplay by Cy Chermak & Francine Carroll, story by Malka Drucker & Cy Chermak & Francine Carroll, based on the book “The Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust” by Gay Block and Malka Drucker, Paramount Pictures Corp., Showtime;

“Burned (Law & Order),” written by Siobhan Byrne, Studios USA Television, NBC.

EPISODIC COMEDY

“Frasier’s Imaginary Friend (Frasier),” written by Rob Greenberg, Paramount Pictures Corp., NBC;

“Pilot (Dharma & Greg),” written by Dottie Dartland & Chuck Lorre, 20th Century Fox Film Corp., ABC;

“Never Can Say Goodbye (Murphy Brown),” written by Diane English, Warner Bros. Television Prods., CBS;

“Emma (Ellen),” written by Lawrence Broch, Touchstone Television, ABC.

COMEDY/VARIETY — MUSIC, AWARDS, TRIBUTES — SPECIALS — ANY LENGTH

“Ellen: A Hollywood Tribute,” written by Tim Doyle, Touchstone Television, ABC;

“AFI Salute to Robert Wise,” written by Robert Shrum, Chris Henchy and George Stevens Jr., New Liberty Prods., NBC.

COMEDY/VARIETY — (INCLUDING TALK) SERIES

“Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” written by Jonathan Groff, Brian Kiley, Janine Di Tullio, Ellen Barancik, Chris Albers, Tommy Blacha, Brian McCann, Brian Reich, Michael Gordon, Mike Sweeney, Greg Cohen, Andy Richter, Conan O’Brien, Robert Smigel, Brian Stack and Jon Glaser, NBC Prods., NBC;

“Dennis Miller Live,” written by Eddie Feldmann, David Feldman, Jose Arroyo, Leah Krinsky, Dennis Miller, Jim Hanna and David Weiss, Happy Family Prods., HBO.

DAYTIME SERIALS

“All My Children,” written by Agnes Nixon, Megan McTavish, Lorraine Broderick, Hal Corley, Frederick Johnson, Peggy Sloane, Victor Miller, Craig Carlson, N. Gail Lawrence, Juliet Law Packer, Karen Lewis, Michelle Patrick, Bettina F. Bradbury, Judith Donato, Kathleen Klein, Caroline Franz, Charlotte Gibson, Elizabeth Page and Sharon Epstein, ABC;

“General Hospital,” written by Stephen Demorest, Robert Guza Jr., Craig Heller, Janet Iacobuzio, Elizabeth Korte, Bill Levinson, Shelly Moore, Patrick Mulcahey, Lynda Myles, Michael Quinn, Mary Ryan, Courtney Simon, Michele Val Jean, Chris Whitesell and Garin Wolf, ABC;

“As the World Turns,” written by Hal Corley, Addie Walsh, Lisa Connor, Jeff Beldner, Christina Covino, Leah Laiman, David Cherrill, Patti Dizenzo, Penelope Koechl, Melissa Salmons, Louise Shaffer, Peter Webb, Jessica Klein, Mel Brez and Lorraine Broderick, CBS;

“Guiding Light,” written by James Harmon Brown, Barbara Esensten, Tita Bell, Michael Conforti, Sharon Epstein, Jeanne Glynn, Jill Lorie Hurst, Frederick Johnson, Kathleen Kennedy, David Kreizman, Tony Lang, N. Gail Lawrence, Roger Newman, Pete T. Rich, Loren Segan, Donna Swajeski and Nancy Williams Watt, CBS.

DOCUMENTARY — CURRENT EVENTS

“Busted: America’s War On Marijuana,” written by Elena Mannes, Frontline/Elena Mannes Prods., PBS;

“The McCaughey Seven: A Homecoming, (Primetime Live),” written by Lori A. Bores, ABC;

“Once Upon A Time In Arkansas,” written by Michael Kirk and Peter J. Boyer, Kirk Documentary Group, PBS.

DOCUMENTARY — OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS

“Truman (The American Experience),” written by David Grubin, David Grubin Prods., PBS;

“Long Journey Home (The Irish in America, Episode 1),” written by Thomas N. Brown and Thomas Lennon, Lennon Documentary Group, PBS;

“Surviving the Dust Bowl (The American Experience),” written by Chana Gazit, Steward/Gazit Prods., PBS;

“Reagan, Part 1 (The American Experience),” written by Adriana Bosch, WGBH Educational Foundation, PBS;

“In Search of Ourselves,” written by Alice Markowitz, WGBH Television, PBS;

“Murder on the Atlantic (Lusitania),” written by Kelly McPherson and Melissa Jo Peltier, MPH Entertainment, A&E;

“The Doomed Voyage of the St. Louis (Sea Tales),” written by Christopher Meindl & Melissa Jo Peltier, MPH Entertainment, A&E.

NEWS — REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN OR BREAKING REPORT

“Farewell to a Princess,” written by Jerry Cipriano and L. Franklin DeVine, CBS.

NEWS — ANALYSIS, FEATURE OR COMMENTARY

“Amy Biehl Story (Good Morning America),” written by Margaret Traub-Aguirre, ABC;

“Theodore Kaczynski’s Brother (Good Morning America),” written by Edmund Levin, ABC.

CHILDREN’S SCRIPT

“The Case of the Macbeth Mystery (The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo),” written by Susan Kim, Out of My Mind Prods., Nickelodeon;

“The Cat In the Hat’s First First-Day (The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss),” written by John Martel, Jim Henson Prods., Nickelodeon;

“Telly As Jack (Sesame Street),” written by Christine Ferraro, Children’s Television Workshop, PBS;

“First Time (Shaquille O’Neal’s Sports Theater),” written by Jeff Stetson, Jowestworks Development Corp., Nickelodeon;

“Rodgers And Hammerstein’s ‘Cinderella,’ ” written by Robert L. Freedman, Walt Disney Television, ABC;

“Brink!,” written by Jeff Schechter, Bigwood Films, Disney Channel;

“My Date With the President’s Daughter,” written by William Robertson & Alex Zamm, Touchstone Television, ABC.

RADIO NOMINEES

DOCUMENTARY

“The Nature of Giving,” written by Ruth Davis, ABC Radio Network;

“The Great Chicago Fire (The Osgood File),” written by Gail Lee, CBS Radio Network.

NEWS — REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN OR BREAKING REPORT

“World News This Week,” written by Stuart H. Chamberlain, Jr., ABC Radio Network;

“Alan Shepard, Death of An American Hero,” written by Steve Kathan, CBS Radio Network;

“Airstrikes,” written by Kathy Kiernan, CBS Radio Network.

NEWS — ANALYSIS, FEATURE OR COMMENTARY

“Goodnight Moon,” written by Andrea Smith Stapleton, ABC Radio Network;

“Sinatra (Dan Rather Reporting),” written by Greg Kandra, CBS Radio Network;

“Frank Sinatra: the Final Curtain,” written by Hank Weinbloom, ABC Radio Network;

“Predictions (Dan Rather Reporting),” written by Gail Lee, CBS Radio Network;

“The Vision Quest,” written by Miriam Cabral, ABC Radio Network.

ON-AIR PROMOTION

“WCBS Newsradio 88,” written by William Tynan III, WCBS;

“CBS Promotions,” written by Nancy McColgan, CBS.

GRAPHIC ANIMATION

“CBS Graphic Animation,” Designed by Beth Leudesdorf, CBS.

GRAPHIC DESIGN FOR PACKAGE/CAMPAIGN/SERIES

“60 Minutes At 30,” designed by Beth Leudesdorf, CBS.

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