×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

WGA ogles ‘Beauty’

'Election' shares top screenwriting honors for pics

The scribes behind “American Beauty” and “Election” carried away the top honors in motion picture screenwriting Sunday from the Writers Guild of America.

Alan Ball won for “Beauty” in the original screenplay category as the awards season front-runner continued to rack up honors. Ball’s script — his first produced screenplay — about a suburban family unraveling topped Charlie Kaufman for “Being John Malkovich”; Paul Thomas Anderson, “Magnolia”; M. Night Shyamalan, “The Sixth Sense”; and David O. Russell, story by John Ridley, “Three Kings.”

The “Election” team of Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor won the prize for best adapted screenplay. Their script was based on the novel by Tom Perrotta about a high school teacher interfering in the election for student body president. The duo, who also received the film’s only Academy Awards nomination, beat out John Irving for “The Cider House Rules”; Michael Mann and Eric Roth, “The Insider”; Lewis Colick, “October Sky”; and Anthony Minghella, “The Talented Mr. Ripley.”

The honors, marking the 52nd year for the awards, were presented in joint ceremonies at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills and the Plaza Hotel in New York. Of the 13 movie nominees, Roth had been the only previous winner, having taken the prize for “Forrest Gump.”

Payne also directed “Election,” which was released last spring by Paramount and generated less than $15 million domestic gross despite critical acclaim. DreamWorks’ “Beauty” has grossed $93.1 million.

‘Sopranos’ encore

Jason Cahill won this year’s award for episodic television drama for HBO’s “The Sopranos” with the “Meadowlands” script, while Jay Kogen took the episodic comedy prize for the “Merry Christmas, Mrs. Moskowitz” episode of NBC’s “Frasier.” Jerry Ludwig won for best original telefilm script for A&E’s “Dash and Lilly,” while David Black was the victor in the adapted TV movie category for Cinemax’s “The Confession.”

NBC led the TV awards with three. Besides the “Frasier” nod, the network also won the comedy/variety category for “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” which honored the star and 16 other writers, and the daytime serials category with “Days of Our Lives,” which honored 13 scribes.

CBS took a single award for “The Kennedy Center Honors” in the “comedy/variety — music, awards, tributes — specials” category, and Showtime’s “Sea People” won the children’s script award. PBS won both documentary awards and ABC took both news awards and all three radio awards.

Comedienne Caroline Rhea emceed the show from Beverly Hills.

Previously announced honorary awards presented in Los Angeles included Jean-Claude Carriere for the Screen Laurel Award; Paul Monash, the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television; Alan Alda, the Valentine Davis Award; Ann Marcus, the Morgan Cox Award; and Michael Mann and Eric Roth, the Paul Selvin Award for “The Insider.”

Honorary awards in New York included Vaclav Havel, the Evelyn F. Burkey Award; Herb Gardner, the Ian McLellan Hunter Award; and Ruth Gallo, the Richard B. Jablow Award.

(Angelina Chen in New York contributed to this report.)

A complete list of winners follows:

FILM AWARDS

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

“American Beauty,” written by Alan Ball; DreamWorks.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

“Election,” screenplay by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor; basedon the novel by Tom Perrotta; Paramount

TELEVISION AWARDS

ORIGINAL LONGFORM

“Dash and Lilly,” written by Jerry Ludwig; A&E Network and Granada Entertainment; A&E

ADAPTED LONGFORM

“The Confession,” screenplay by David Black, based on the novel “Fertig” by Sol Yurick; Paramount Pictures; Cinemax

EPISODIC DRAMA

“Meadowlands (The Sopranos),” written by Jason Cahill; HBO Films; HBO

EPISODIC COMEDY

“Merry Christmas, Mrs. Moskowitz (Frasier),” written by Jay Kogen; Network Television Division, Paramount Pictures; NBC

COMEDY/VARIETY (MUSIC, AWARDS, TRIBUTES, SPECIALS)

“The Kennedy Center Honors,” written by Bob Shrum and George Stevens Jr., film sequences written by Sara Lukinson; Kennedy Center Television; CBS

COMEDY/VARIETY (INCLUDING TALK SERIES)

“Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” written by Jonathan Groff, Jon Glaser, Conan O’Brien, Andy Richter, Mike Sweeney, Michael Gordon, Brian Kiley, Brian Stack, Chris Albers, Brian McCann, Ellen Barancik, Janine Di Tullio, Andy Blitz, Tommy Blacha, Brian Reich, Vernon Chatman and Ray Jenkins; NBC

DAYTIME SERIALS

“Days of Our Lives,” written by Sally Sussman Morina, Dena Higley, Marlene Clark Poulter, Dorothy Ann Purser, Victor Gialanella, Meredith Post, Peter Brash, Peggy Schibi, Fran Myers, Maralyn Thoma, Joyce Rosenblad, Bruce Neckels and Sofia Landon Geier; NBC

CHILDREN’S SCRIPT

“Sea People,” written by Wendy Biller & Christopher Hawthorne; Temple Street Prods.; Showtime

DOCUMENTARY (CURRENT EVENTS)

“Give War a Chance (Frontline),” written by Michael Kirk & Peter J. Boyer; Kirk Documentary Group; PBS

DOCUMENTARY (OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS)

“Hoover Dam (The American Experience),” written by Stephen Stept; WGBH Educational Foundation; PBS

NEWS (REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, BREAKING REPORT)

“20/20 Wednesday,” written by Lori A. Bores; Capital Cities/ABC; ABC

NEWS (ANALYSIS, FEATURE, COMMENTARY)

“A Special Delivery (20/20),” written by Lori A. Bores; Capital Cities/ABC; ABC

RADIO AWARDS

RADIO DOCUMENTARY

“The Drug Score,” written by Julia Kathan; ABC News Radio

NEWS (REGULARLY SCHEDULED)

“World News This Week,” written by Ruth Stein Davis; ABC News Radio

NEWS (ANALYSIS, FEATURE OR COMMENTARY)

“The Last Polka in Cleveland (Perspective),” written by Mike Silverstein; ABC News Radio

ON-AIR PROMOTION

“NBC Promotions,” written by Christian McLaughlin; NBC

GRAPHIC ART

“CBS News/Time 100,” written by Beth Leudesdorf & John Haubrich; CBS

More Film

  • Aaron Paul attends the 2019 Sun

    Aaron Paul, Chelsea Handler and Meg Ryan Topline Sun Valley Film Fest

    Aaron Paul is an Idaho boy at heart. The three-time Emmy winning star of “Breaking Bad” and producer and actor on Nickelodeon’s bawdy, subversive animated series “Bojack Horseman” currently makes his home in Los Angeles, but Paul was born in Emmett, a sleepy city about 30 miles outside of Boise, and escapes to the spud [...]

  • Writers Guild Blasts CAA, WME for

    Writers Guild Blasts Talent Agencies CAA, WME for 'Soaring' Profits

    The Writers Guild of America has singled out Hollywood’s largest talent agencies, William Morris Endeavor and Creative Artists Agency, for allegedly soaring profits. The WGA, in an acrimonious negotiation over proposed new rules about how agencies represent writers, issued a report called “agencies for sale” on Monday morning — a few hours before a fifth [...]

  • MGM logo

    MGM Hires Robert Marick to Expand Consumer Products

    Metro Goldwyn Mayer has hired industry veteran Robert Marick as executive VP of global consumer products and experiences. In his new role, Marick is responsible for overseeing the expansion of MGM’s traditional merchandise, interactive and consumer products business. He’s also developing a global strategy with a focus on core consumer products licensing, digital and gaming, [...]

  • Robert Iger and Rupert Murdochcredit: Disney

    Wall Street Applauds as Disney Nears Finish Line on Fox Acquisition

    Wall Street is rooting for Disney as the media giant reaches the finish line this week in its 15-month quest to acquire most of Rupert Murdoch’s film and TV empire. Fox shareholders, on the other hand, are being a little more cautious. Disney is poised to close the $71.3 billion deal that took many twists [...]

  • Personal Tales From Hong Kong, China

    Personal Tales From Hong Kong and China Among the Asia Film Financing Forum Projects

    A brace of personal tales from China and Hong Kong are among the 23 projects vying for attention at the 17th Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum. Liu Miaomiao is a rare female ethnic Hui Muslim filmmaker. She came to international prominence with 1993’s “Chatterbox” that won the President of the Italian Senate’s Gold Medal [...]

  • Josie Ho Makes 2019 the Year

    Josie Ho Makes 2019 the Year She Takes Risks in Her Film Choices

    Josie Ho vows to master the art of calculated risk in the year 2019. As an actress and film producer, she is conscious of the choices of projects she makes: appearing in the new film by Japanese hotshot director Shinichiro Ueda, producing a new documentary feature while developing some 10 titles in the pipeline of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content