Writers Guild of America held its 2011 WGA Awards on Saturday night in simultaneous ceremonies at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel-Grand Ballroom in Los Angeles and the AXA Equitable Center in New York City. They recognize the writers craft in film, TV, radio, news, promotional, video-game, animation and variety-show writing.
The big surprise of the night was the upset victory by Christopher Nolan's original screenplay for Inception over the favoured nominees The Kids Are All Right and The Fighter. Oscar favourite The King's Speech was not eligible because it wasn't made under WGA rules.
On the other hand, the winner for adapted screenplay surprised no one. As expected, it went to Aaron Sorking for The Social Network. The previous night, he won the USC Libraries Scripter Award which honours the writers of both the screenplay and the source material of film adaptations.
The winner for documentary writing went to Charles Ferguson, Chad Beck and Adam Bolt for Inside Job.
The WGA also presented honourary awards to the following writers: previous WGA-award winner Steve Zaillian (Schindler's List) received the Laurel Award for Screen; writer-producer Diane English (Murphy Brown) received the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television; Mike Scully (The Simpsons) received the Animation Writers Caucus Animation Award; Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth received the Paul Selvin Award for their screenplay Fair Game; Tonino Guerra (Blow-Up) received the Jean Renoir Award; and Seth Freeman (Lou Grant) and Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich) each received a Valentine Davies Award.
Complete list of winners for the 2011 WGA Awards
Inception, Written by Christopher Nolan; Warner Bros.
Inception, Written by Christopher Nolan; Warner Bros.
The Social Network, Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin; Based on the book The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich; Sony Pictures
Inside Job, Written by Charles Ferguson; Co-written by Chad Beck, Adam Bolt; Sony Pictures Classics
Mad Men, Written by Jonathan Abrahams, Lisa Albert, Keith Huff, Jonathan Igla, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Brett Johnson, Janet Leahy, Erin Levy, Tracy McMillan, Dahvi Waller, Matthew Weiner; AMC
Modern Family, Written by Jerry Collins, Paul Corrigan, Alex Herschlag, Abraham Higginbotham, Elaine Ko, Joe Lawson, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Dan O'Shannon, Jeffrey Richman, Brad Walsh, Ilana Wernick, Bill Wrubel, Danny Zuker; ABC
Boardwalk Empire, Written by Meg Jackson, Lawrence Konner, Howard Korder, Steve Kornacki, Margaret Nagle, Tim Van Patten, Paul Simms, Terence Winter; HBO
EPISODIC DRAMA - any length - one airing time
"The Chrysanthemum and the Sword" (Mad Men), Written by Erin Levy; AMC
EPISODIC COMEDY - any length - one airing time
"When It Rains, It Pours" (30 Rock), Written by Robert Carlock; NBC
LONG FORM - ORIGINAL - over one hour - one or two parts, one or two airing times
The Special Relationship, Written by Peter Morgan; HBO
LONG FORM - ADAPTATION - over one hour - one or two parts, one or two airing times
The Pacific, "Part Eight," Written by Robert Schenkkan and Michelle Ashford, Based in part on the books Helmet for My Pillow by Robert Leckie and With The Old Breed by Eugene B. Sledge with additional material from Red Blood, Black Sand by Chuck Tatum and China Marine by Eugene B. Sledge; HBO
ANIMATION - any length - one airing time
"The Prisoner of Benda" (Futurama), Written by Ken Keeler; Comedy Central
COMEDY / VARIETY - (INCLUDING TALK) SERIES
The Colbert Report, Writers: Barry Julien, Dan Guterman, Eric Drysdale, Frank Lesser, Glenn Eichler, Jay Katsir, Max Werner, Meredith Scardino, Michael Brumm, Opus Moreschi, Peter Gwinn, Rich Dahm, Rob Dubbin, Scott Sherman, Stephen Colbert, Tom Purcell, Peter Grosz, Paul Dinello; Comedy Central
COMEDY / VARIETY - MUSIC, AWARDS, TRIBUTES - SPECIALS
National Memorial Day Concert 2010, Written by Joan Meyerson; PBS
As the World Turns, Written by Susan Dansby, Lucky Gold, Janet Iacobuzio, Penelope Koechl, David Kreizman, Leah Laiman, David A. Levinson, Leslie Nipkow, Jean Passanante, Gordon Rayfield, David Smilow; CBS
CHILDREN'S EPISODIC & SPECIALS
"Happy Ha-Ha Holidays" (Imagination Movers), Written by Michael G. Stern, Randi Barnes, Rick Gitelson, Scott Gray; Disney Channel
CHILDREN'S SCRIPT - LONG FORM OR SPECIAL
Avalon High, Teleplay by Julie Sherman Wolfe and Amy Talkington, Based on the novel by Meg Cabot; Disney Channel
DOCUMENTARY - CURRENT EVENTS
"Flying Cheap" (Frontline), Written by Rick Young; PBS
DOCUMENTARY - OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS
"Wyatt Earp" (American Experience), Written by Rob Rapley; PBS
NEWS - REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN OR BREAKING REPORT
"Sunday Morning Almanac" (CBS Sunday Morning), Written by Thomas A. Harris; CBS News
NEWS - ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY
"Resurrecting Eden" (60 Minutes), Written by Jenny Dubin; CBS
2009 Year in Review, Written by Gail Lee; CBS Radio News
NEWS - REGULARLY SCHEDULED OR BREAKING
CBS World News Roundup, Written by Paul Farry; CBS Radio News
NEWS - ANALYSIS, FEATURE OR COMMENTARY
"Passages," Written by Gail Lee; CBS Radio News
PROMOTIONAL WRITING AND GRAPHIC ANIMATION
ON-AIR PROMOTION (RADIO OR TELEVISION)
CSI Promos, Written by Anne de Vega; CBS
TELEVISION GRAPHIC ANIMATION
"Sunday Morning, By Design" (CBS Sunday Morning), Graphic Designer Bob Pook, Graphic Artist Diane Robinson; CBS News
VIDEOGAME WRITING WINNER
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Story by Patrice Desilets, Jeffrey Yohalem, Corey May; Lead Script Writer: Jeffrey Yohalem; Script Writers: Ethan Petty, Nicholas Grimwood, Matt Turner; Ubisoft
NEW MEDIA WRITING
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN WRITING - ORIGINAL NEW MEDIA
"The Real Thing," "Identity Crisis," "Girl Talk," "Naming Things," "Curtain Up" (Anyone But Me), Written by Susan Miller, Tina Cesa Ward; www.AnyoneButMeSeries.com
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN WRITING - DERIVATIVE NEW MEDIA
"Strip Pong," "Tear Jerks," "Brainstorm," (Frank vs. Lutz), Written by Jon Haller; 30 Rock New Media, www.nbc.com