TV and feature scribe Don Payne has been tapped to receive the Writers Guild of America’s Paul Selvin Award for his “Fraudcast News” episode of “The Simpsons.”
The Selvin Award is aimed at honoring the script that “best embodies the spirit of the constitutional and civil rights and liberties which are indispensable to the survival of free writers everywhere.”
Previous recipients include Allison Cross, George Stevens Jr., Cynthia Whitcomb, Gary Ross, David E. Kelley, Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski, Eric Roth & Michael Mann, Tim Sexton and last year’s recipient, Jason Horwitch.
The award will be presented Feb. 19 at the 57th annual Writers Guild Awards, with simultaneous ceremonies at the Palladium in Hollywood and the Pierre Hotel in New York.
Payne’s script for “Fraudcast News,” which satirizes TV news and media consolidation, is one of four “Simpsons” episodes that’s up for the award in TV animation.
“To earn laughs is one thing, but to consistently challenge and inspire an audience to think while they’re laughing is quite another achievement,” said WGA West prexy Daniel Petrie Jr.
Payne was previously nominated for a WGA Award for animation in 2003 with frequent partner John Frink for “The Bart Wants What It Wants” episode of “The Simpsons.” He’s a five-time Emmy nominee and shared Emmy wins with the writing staff for “The Simpsons” in 2003, 2001, and 2000 for animated program.
Payne’s other TV credits include co-writing episodes for “Men Behaving Badly,” “Can’t Hurry Love” and “The Brian Benben Show.” He recently sold feature spec comedy “Super Ex” to Regency Enterprises and set it up with producer Gavin Polone through his Pariah shingle (Daily Variety, Dec. 8).