A quick examination of the WGA’s television nominations solidifies one sure thing: Networks desperately need something new.
As proof, this year’s nom slates in the series categories are dominated by a single franchise (“Law & Order”) and familiar titles (“Frasier,” “Sex and the City”); only one freshman show, “The O.C.,” got a nod.
In the episodic drama category, NBC scored four out of five, with three coming for Dick Wolf’s collective. “The O.C.” and “The West Wing” rounded out the quintet.
In the episodic comedy category, years-old shows took all of the slots, with four noms spread between “Malcolm in the Middle,” “Frasier” and “Sex.” Certainly a solid group, but the lack of any shows in their first or even second year is too notable.
But probably the most debatable issue when it comes to the WGA TV honors is the cutoff date. Since shows had to air between Dec. 1, 2002, and Nov. 30, a major contender like “Angels in America” will have to wait a year, and that will certainly strike casual observers as more than a little dated.
Other nuggets of interest:
- Cable shows took complete control of the long-form nominations. Both adapted and original categories contained nothing from broadcast television.
- “The Simpsons” is still relevant. The Fox Sunday staple has spawned countless animation hit wannabes, but Matt Groening’s family still scored three of the six noms.
- Edge ruled latenight. While Leno, Letterman and “SNL” continue to be the mass appeal faves, “Mad TV” and “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” got the variety nods.