The Writers Guild of America West has tapped veteran writer-producer Susan Harris to receive its Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television.
Kudos will be presented at the 57th annual WGA Awards ceremonies, to be held at the Hollywood Palladium and the Pierre Hotel in Gotham on Feb. 19.
“Of all genres of writing, comedy is the trickiest act to pull off,” said WGA West president Daniel Petrie Jr. “Susan Harris has made it look easy. Her groundbreaking contributions helped revolutionize TV’s landscape and demonstrated that comedy can open minds as well as entertain.”
Harris broke into the business by selling her first teleplay to “Then Came Bronson” in 1969, followed by writing for “Love, American Style” and “All in the Family.” Her “Maude’s Abortion” episode for “All in the Family” won the Humanitas Award.
Harris also formed Witt/Thomas/Harris with her husband Paul Junger Witt and Tony Thomas, leading to her creating, exec producing and writing on “Soap,” “Benson,” “I’m a Big Girl Now,” “Hail to the Chief,” “Empty Nest,” “Good and Evil” and “The Golden Girls.”
Previous award recipients include Steven Bochco, Jess Oppenheimer, Larry Gelbart, Rod Serling, Carl Reiner, David E. Kelley and Loring Mandel.