Serling's script scores, 30 years late
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HOLLYWOOD — NBC took the top spot with 10 program nominations for the 53rd annual Writers Guild of America awards for television writing, garnering three for episodes of “The West Wing” and two each for “Frasier” and “Saturday Night Live.”
And in an unprecedented development, the late Rod Serling was selected for a nomination in the children’s script category for “A Storm in Summer,” which aired on Showtime. Serling, who died in 1975, originally wrote the script for a 1970 Hallmark Hall of Fame program; the nominated version was based on that script plus additional material from earlier drafts he had written.
“Needless to say, I’m thrilled,” said Carol Serling, the writer’s widow. “The script obviously worked 31 years later.”
NBC also received nods for “Will & Grace,” “Passions” and “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” which won last year’s comedy/variety series category. Its “Frasier” won the WGA honor last year in the episodic comedy category.
PBS tops in docs
PBS grabbed nine nominations, dominating in documentaries with seven of the nine programs, including four for its “Frontline” series, while ABC snagged six nominations with two of the four nominations in TV news.
HBO led cable networks with five, including a pair each for “The Sopranos” and “Sex and the City,” and CBS took four, including two in TV news.
Disney was tapped for three of the five children’s script nominations, while Lifetime and Showtime each took a pair of nods. Bravo, FX, TCM and TNT each received a single nomination.
Cablers dominated the longform nominations, taking six of the eight slots in both the original and adapted categories with ABC and CBS tapped for the remaining nods. Lifetime’s “If You Believe” and “The Truth About Jane” received two of the four nominations in the original category.
Writers receiving double nominations included Aaron Sorkin, Lawrence O’Donnell and Rick Cleveland for “The West Wing”; Joe Keenan for “Frasier”; Christine Ferraro for a pair of PBS shows; Darcy Bonfils for ABC in TV news; Tina Fey, Steve Higgins, Lorne Michaels, Paula Pell and T. Sean Shannon for “Saturday Night Live”; and Paris Qualles for Showtime’s “A House Divided” and Disney’s “The Color of Friendship.”
“If you get one nomination, you have to peel yourself off the ceiling, so getting two is beyond description, especially since it’s recognition from your peers,” Qualles said.
CBS led in radio nominations with four, followed by ABC and NBC with three each.
Nominations in film categories will be announced Feb. 7.
The awards will be presented March 4 at simultaneous ceremonies at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills and at the Plaza Hotel in Gotham. Nominated scripts were originally broadcast between Sept. 1, 1999, and Aug. 31, 2000.
ORIGINAL LONG FORM
“Freedom Song,” written by Phil Alden Robinson and Stanley Weiser; Turner Pages, TNT
“If You Believe,” written by Anthea Sylbert & Richard Romanus; Hearst Entertainment, Lifetime
“Sally Hemings: An American Scandal (Part 1),” written by Tina Andrews, Ariel Acts, CBS
“The Truth About Jane,” written by Lee Rose, Hearst Entertainment, Lifetime
ADAPTED LONG FORM
“Deliberate Intent,” written by Andy Wolk & Lisa Mohan, based on the book by Rod Smolla, Fox TV Studios, FX
“A House Divided,” teleplay by Paris Qualles, based on the book “Woman of Color, Daughter of Privilege: Amanda Dickson” by Kent Anderson Leslie, Showtime, Paramount, an Avnet/Kerner Production, in association with Atkinson Way, Showtime.
“RKO 281,” written by John Logan, based in part on the documentary “The Battle Over Citizen Kane” from The American Experience, HBO Films/Scott Free Productions, HBO
“Tuesdays With Morrie,” written for television by Tom Rickman, based on the book by Mitch Albom, Harpo Films, ABC
“Big Girls Don’t Cry (The Sopranos),” written by Terence Winter, HBO Films, HBO
“Enemies (The West Wing),” teleplay by Ron Osborn & Jeff Reno, story by Rick Cleveland & Lawrence O’Donnell Jr. & Patrick Caddell, Warner Bros. Television, NBC
“In Excelsis Deo (The West Wing),” written by Aaron Sorkin and Rick Cleveland, Warner Bros. Television, NBC
“The Knight In White Satin Armor (The Sopranos),” written by Robin Green & Mitchell Burgess, HBO Films, HBO
“Strangers and Brothers (Once and Again),” written by Richard Kramer, Once Again Prods, ABC
“Take This Sabbath Day (The West Wing),” teleplay by Aaron Sorkin, story by Lawrence O’Donnell Jr. & Paul Redford and Aaron Sorkin, Warner Bros. Television, NBC
“Attack of the 5’10” Woman (Sex and the City),” written by Cindy Chupack, HBO Films/Sex and the City Prods., HBO
“Ex and the City (Sex and the City),” written by Michael Patrick King, HBO Films/Sex and the City Prods. HBO
“Hey La, Hey La, My Ex-Boyfriend’s Back (Will & Grace),” written by Jeff Greenstein, NBC Studios, NBC
“Out With Dad (Frasier),” written by Joe Keenan, Paramount TV, NBC
“Something Borrowed, Someone Blue (Frasier),” written by Christopher Lloyd & Joe Keenan, Paramount TV, NBC
COMEDY/VARIETY (MUSIC, AWARDS, TRIBUTES, SPECIALS)
“Saturday Night Live: The 25th Anniversary Special,” writing supervised by Tina Fey, written by Anne Beatts, Tom Davis, Tina Fey, Steve Higgins, Lorne Michaels, Marilyn Suzanne Miller, Paula Pell, Paul Shaffer, T. Sean Shannon, Michael Shoemaker, Robert Smigel, Broadway Video in association with SNL Studios, NBC
“Evening at Pops Special Featuring the Cast of “Sesame Street,” written by Christine Ferraro, WGBH, PBS
COMEDY/VARIETY (INCLUDING TALK)
“Dennis Miller Live,” writing supervised by Eddie Feldmann, written by Jose Arroyo, David Feldman, Jim Hanna, Leah Krinsky-Atkins, Dennis Miller, David Weiss, Happy Family Productions, HBO
“Late Night With Conan O’brien,” written by Jonathan Groff, Mike Sweeney, Jon Glaser, Roy Jenkins, Michael Gordon, Brian Kiley, Brian Stack, Chris Albers, Brian McCann, Ellen Barancik, Janine Di Tullio, Andy Blitz, Andy Richter, Conan O’Brien, Broadway Video, NBC
“Late Show With David Letterman,” written by Bill Scheft, Carter L. Bays, Chris Harris, David Letterman, Eric Stangel, Gabe Abelson, Gerry Mulligan, Jim Mulholland, Joe Toplyn, Justin Stangel, Lee H. Ellenberg, Michael Barrie, Rob Burnett, Rodney Rothman, Steve Young, Tom Ruprecht, Craig Thomas, Worldwide Pants, CBS
“Politically Incorrect,” writing supervised by Chris Kelly, Billy Martin, written by Kevin Bleyer, Brian Jacobsmeyer, Bill Kelley, Bill Maher, Jerry Nachman, Ned Rice, Danny Vermont, Douglas M. Wilson, Scott Carter, Incorrect, ABC
“Saturday Night Live,” writing supervised by Tina Fey, written by Kevin Brennan, Cindy Caponera, Robert Carlock, Jerry Collins, Steven Cragg, Tony Daro, Ali Farahnakian, Tina Fey, Hugh Fink, Richard Francese, Tim Herlihy, Steve Higgins, Adam McKay, Dennis McNicholas, Lorne Michaels, Paula Pell, J.J. Philbin, Matt Piedmont, Michael Schur, T. Sean Shannon, Andrew Steele, Scott Wainio, Broadway Video in association with SNL Studios, NBC
“All My Children,” written by Agnes Nixon, Jean Passanante, Craig Carlson, Frederick Johnson, N. Gail Lawrence, Victor Miller, Juliet Law Packer, Addie Walsh, Mimi Leahey, Bettina F. Bradbury, Caroline Franz, Charlotte Gibson, David Hiltbrand, Janet Iacobuzio, Royal Miller, John Piroman, Rebecca Taylor, ABC
“Passions,” written by James E. Reilly, Ethel Brez, Mel Brez, Shawn Morrison, Marlene Clark Poulter, Darrell Ray Thomas Jr., Peggy Schibi, Roger Newman, Pete T. Rich, Maralyn Thoma, Nancy Williams Watt, NBC
“A Berry Bear Christmas (Bear In the Big Blue House),” written by Mitchell Kriegman, Tadpole Productions, Disney
“The Big Bad Wolf Fills In for Goldilocks (Sesame Street),” written by Christine Ferraro, Sesame Workshop, PBS
“The Color of Friendship,” written by Paris Qualles, Alan Sacks Prods., Disney
“Miracle In Lane Two,” written by Joel Kauffmann and Donald C. Yost, Utica Prods., Disney
“A Storm In Summer,” written by Rod Serling, Showtime in association with Hallmark Entertainment, a Renee Valente production, Showtime
DOCUMENTARY — CURRENT EVENTS
“Holiday Inn Attempts to Deport Its Mexican Housekeepers for Organizing a Union (The Awful Truth),” Written by Michael Moore & Nick McKinney, United Broadcasting, Inc., Bravo
“John Paul II: The Millennial Pope (Frontline),” Written by Helen Whitney & Jane Barnes, Helen Whitney Productions, PBS
“Justice for Sale (Frontline),” Written by Stephen Talbot & Sheila Kaplan, Frontline/WGBH and the Center for Investigative Reporting, PBS
“The Killer at Thurston High (Frontline),” Written by Michael J. Kirk & Peter J. Boyer, Kirk Documentary Group, PBS
DOCUMENTARY — OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS
“Apocalypse! (Frontline),” Written by William Cran & Ben Loeterman, Ben Loeterman Productions, Inc./Invision Production Ltd., PBS
“Born to Trouble: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Culture Shock),” Written by Jill Janows & Leslie Lee, WGBH, PBS
“George Wallace: Settin’ the Woods on Fire (The American Experience),” Written by Steve Fayer and Daniel McCabe & Paul Stekler, Midnight Films, Big House Productions/The American Experience, WGBH, PBS
“Hitchcock, Selznick & the End of Hollywood (American Masters),” Written by Michael Epstein, American Masters, WNET, PBS
“Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Power of Women in Hollywood,” based in part on the book Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood, Written by Bridget Terry & Cari Beauchamp, Chaise Lounge Productions, LLC, TCM
NEWS — REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN OR BREAKING REPORT
“Sunday Morning Headlines,” Written by Gail Lee, CBS
NEWS — ANALYSIS, FEATURE OR COMMENTARY
“Hurricane: Eyewitness to a Storm,” Written by Glenn Steinfast & Darcy Bonfils, ABC
“How To Survive A Plane Crash,” Part II, Written by Darcy Bonfils, ABC
“Rudolph’s 60th Birthday,” Written by Jonathan W. Kaplan, CBS (WBBM-TV)
RADIO DOCUMENTARY — ANY LENGTH
“CBS News 20th Century Round-up,” Written by Paul Farry & Steve Kathan, CBS Radio Network
NEWS — REGULARLY SCHEDULED
“CBS News on the Hour,” Written by Steven Gosset, CBS Radio Network
“Romeo,” Written by Amy Nay, 1010 WINS
“Tom Landry: The Original Cowboy,” Written by Tom Sabella, CBS Radio Network
“World News This Week,” Written by Michelle Gillan Fisher, ABC News Radio
NEWS — ANALYSIS, FEATURE OR COMMENTARY
“Dan Rather Reporting: Housing.Com,” Written by Paul Farry, CBS Radio Network
“Diabetes Breakthrough, No More Needles,” Written by Scott L. Anderson, ABC News Radio
“The Wedding Dress,” Written by Mike Silverstein, ABC News Radio
ABC Promotions, Written by Scott V. Thompson, WABC
NBC Promotions, Written by Judie Henninger, NBC
NBC Promotions, Written by Miranda Patterson, NBC
NBC Promotions, Written by Lori Sunshine, NBC
WCBS Promotions, Written by William Tynan III, WCBS