'Breaking Bad' & 'Modern Family' Dominate 2013 Writers Guild Awards TV Nominations

Last year’s WGA Awards winners for best drama series and best comedy series, AMC’s Breaking Bad and ABC’s Modern Family, are back in full force this year, leading the list of TV nominees announced today. Breaking Bad landed five writing nominations — for best drama series as well as four of the six noms for individual drama episodes. Modern Family followed with four — best comedy series and three of the six episodic noms. The new series field, topped by Emmy winner Homeland last year, includes HBO’s Girls, Veep and The Newsroom, as well as Fox’s The Mindy Project and ABC’s Nashville. Girls snagged both best new series and comedy series nominations, the only new show to land multiple noms. Another freshman cable series, USA’s Political Animals, got a mention in the long-form category for Greg Berlanti’s pilot. The WGA Awards are set for February 17 at ceremonies in LA and New York. Here is a full list of the TV nominees:

TELEVISION NOMINEES
DRAMA SERIES
Boardwalk Empire, Written by Dave Flebotte, Diane Frolov, Chris Haddock, Rolin Jones, Howard Korder, Steve Kornacki, Andrew Schneider, David Stenn, Terence Winter; HBO

Breaking Bad, Written by Sam Catlin, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Gennifer Hutchison, George Mastras, Thomas Schnauz, Moira Walley-Beckett; AMC

Game of Thrones, Written by David Benioff, Bryan Cogman, George R. R. Martin, Vanessa Taylor, D.B. Weiss; HBO

Homeland, Written by Henry Bromell, Alexander Cary, Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Chip Johannessen, Meredith Stiehm; Showtime

Mad Men, Written by Lisa Albert, Semi Chellas, Jason Grote, Jonathan Igla, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Brett Johnson, Janet Leahy, Victor Levin, Erin Levy, Frank Pierson, Michael Saltzman, Tom Smuts, Matthew Weiner; AMC

COMEDY SERIES
30 Rock, Written by Jack Burditt, Kay Cannon, Robert Carlock, Tom Ceraulo, Vali Chandrasekaran, Luke Del Tredici, Tina Fey, Lauren Gurganous, Matt Hubbard, Colleen McGuinness, Sam Means, Dylan Morgan, Nina Pedrad, John Riggi, Josh Siegel, Ron Weiner, Tracey Wigfield; NBC

Girls, Written by Judd Apatow, Lesley Arfin, Lena Dunham, Sarah Heyward, Bruce Eric Kaplan, Jenni Konner, Deborah Schoeneman, Dan Sterling; HBO

Louie, Written by Pamela Adlon, Vernon Chatman, Louis C.K.; FX

Modern Family, Written by Cindy Chupack, Paul Corrigan, Abraham Higginbotham, Ben Karlin, Elaine Ko, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Dan O’Shannon, Jeffrey Richman, Audra Sielaff, Brad Walsh, Bill Wrubel, Danny Zuker; ABC

Parks and Recreation, Written by Megan Amram, Greg Daniels, Nate Dimeo, Katie Dippold, Daniel J. Goor, Norm Hiscock, Dave King, Greg Levine, Joe Mande, Aisha Muharrar, Nick Offerman, Chelsea Peretti, Amy Poehler, Alexandra Rushfield, Michael Schur, Mike Scully, Harris Wittels, Alan Yang; NBC

NEW SERIES
Girls, Written by Judd Apatow, Lesley Arfin, Lena Dunham, Sarah Heyward, Bruce Eric Kaplan, Jenni Konner, Deborah Schoeneman, Dan Sterling; HBO

The Mindy Project, Written by Ike Barinholtz, Jeremy Bronson, Linwood Boomer, Adam Countee, Harper Dill, Mindy Kaling, Chris McKenna, B.J. Novak, David Stassen, Matt Warburton; Fox

Nashville, Written by Wendy Calhoun, Jason George, David Gould, David Marshall Grant, Dee Johnson, Todd Ellis Kessler, Callie Khouri, Meredith Lavender, Nancy Miller, James Parriott, Liz Tigelaar, Marcie Ulin; ABC

The Newsroom, Written by Brendan Fehily, David Handelman, Cinque Henderson, Paul Redford, Ian Reichbach, Amy Rice, Aaron Sorkin, Gideon Yago; HBO

Veep, Written by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Roger Drew, Sean Gray, Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, Tony Roche, Will Smith; HBO

EPISODIC DRAMA
“Buyout” (Breaking Bad), Written by Gennifer Hutchison; AMC

“Dead Freight” (Breaking Bad), Written by George Mastras; AMC

“Fifty-One” (Breaking Bad), Written by Sam Catlin; AMC

“New Car Smell” (Homeland), Written by Meredith Stiehm; Showtime

“The Other Woman” (Mad Men), Written by Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner; AMC

“Say My Name” (Breaking Bad), Written by Thomas Schnauz; AMC

EPISODIC COMEDY
“The Debate” (Parks and Recreation), Written by Amy Poehler; NBC

“Episode 9” (Episodes), Written by David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik; Showtime

“Leap Day” (30 Rock), Written by Luke Del Tredici; NBC

“Little Bo Bleep” (Modern Family), Written by Cindy Chupack; ABC

“Mistery Date” (Modern Family), Written by Jeffrey Richman; ABC

“Virgin Territory” (Modern Family), Written by Elaine Ko; ABC

LONG FORM – ORIGINAL
Hatfields and McCoys, Nights Two and Three, Teleplay by Ted Mann and Ronald Parker, Story by Bill Kerby and Ted Mann; History Channel

Hemingway & Gelhorn, Written by Jerry Stahl and Barbara Turner; HBO

“Pilot” (Political Animals), Written by Greg Berlanti; USA

LONG FORM – ADAPTED
Coma, Nights 1 and 2, Teleplay by John McLaughlin, Based on the book by Robin Cook; A&E

Game Change, Written by Danny Strong, Based on the book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann; HBO

ANIMATION
“A Farewell to Arms” (Futurama), Written by Josh Weinstein; Comedy Central

“Forget-Me-Not” (Family Guy), Written by David A. Goodman; Fox

“Holidays of Future Passed” (The Simpsons), Written by J. Stewart Burns; Fox

“Ned and Edna’s Blend Agenda” (The Simpsons), Written by Jeff Westbrook; Fox

“Treehouse of Horror XXIII” (The Simpsons), Written by David Mandel & Brian Kelley; Fox

COMEDY / VARIETY (INCLUDING TALK) – SERIES
The Colbert Report, Writers: Michael Brumm, Stephen Colbert, Rich Dahm, Paul Dinello, Eric Drysdale, Rob Dubbin, Glenn Eichler, Dan Guterman, Peter Gwinn, Barry Julien, Jay Katsir, Frank Lesser, Opus Moreschi, Tom Purcell, Meredith Scardino, Scott Sherman, Max Werner; Comedy Central

Conan, Writers: Jose Arroyo, Andres du Bouchet, Deon Cole, Josh Comers, Dan Cronin, Michael Gordon, Brian Kiley, Laurie Kilmartin, Rob Kutner, Todd Levin, Brian McCann, Conan O’Brien, Matt O’Brien, Jesse Popp, Andy Richter, Brian Stack, Mike Sweeney; TBS

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Writers: Rory Albanese, Kevin Bleyer, Richard Blomquist, Steve Bodow, Tim Carvell, Hallie Haglund, J.R. Havlan, Elliott Kalan, Dan McCoy, Jo Miller, John Oliver, Zhubin Parang, Daniel Radosh, Jason Ross, Jon Stewart; Comedy Central

Jimmy Kimmel Live, Writers: Tony Barbieri, Jonathan Bines, Joelle Boucai, Sal Iacono, Eric Immerman, Gary Greenberg, Josh Halloway, Bess Kalb, Jimmy Kimmel, Jeff Loveness, Molly McNearney, Bryan Paulk, Danny Ricker, Rick Rosner; ABC

Key & Peele, Writers: Jay Martel, Ian Roberts, Keegan Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Sean Conroy, Colton Dunn, Charlie Sanders, Alex Rubens, Rebecca Drysdale; Comedy Central

Portlandia, Writers: Fred R. Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Karey Dornetto, Jonathan Krisel, Bill Oakley; IFC

Real Time with Bill Maher, Writers: Scott Carter, Adam Felber, Matt Gunn, Brian Jacobsmeyer, Jay Jaroch, Chris Kelly, Mike Larsen, Bill Maher, Billy Martin; HBO

Saturday Night Live, Head Writer: Seth Meyers, Writers: James Anderson, Alex Baze, Neil Casey, Jessica Conrad, James Downey, Shelly Gossman, Steve Higgins, Colin Jost, Zach Kanin, Chris Kelly, Joe Kelly, Erik Kenward, Rob Klein, Lorne Michaels, John Mulaney, Christine Nangle, Mike O’Brien, Josh Patten, Paula Pell, Marika Sawyer, Sarah Schneider, Pete Schultz, John Solomon, Kent Sublette, Bryan Tucker, Additional Sketch By Emily Spivey, Jorma Taccone, Additional Material By Frank Sebastiano; NBC Universal

COMEDY / VARIETY – MUSIC, AWARDS, TRIBUTES – SPECIALS
66th Annual Tony Awards, Written by Dave Boone; Special Material by Paul Greenberg; Opening and Closing Songs by David Javerbaum, Adam Schlesinger; CBS

2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards, Written by Billy Kimball, Wayne Federman; IFC

After the Academy Awards, Head Writers Gary Greenberg, Molly McNearney; Writers Tony Barbieri, Jonathan Bines, Sal Iacono, Eric Immerman, Jimmy Kimmel, Jeffrey Loveness, Bryan Paulk, Danny Ricker, Richard G. Rosner; ABC

National Memorial Day Concert, Written by Joan Meyerson; PBS

DAYTIME DRAMA
Days of Our Lives, Written by Lorraine Broderick, Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, Rick Draughon, Christopher Dunn, Lacey Dyer, Janet Iacobuzio, David A. Levinson, Ryan Quan, Dave Ryan, Melissa Salmons, Roger Schroeder, Elizabeth Snyder, Christopher J. Whitesell, Nancy Williams Watt; NBC

One Life to Live, Written by Lorraine Broderick, Ron Carlivati, Anna Theresa Cascio, Daniel J. O’Connor, Elizabeth Page, Jean Passanante, Melissa Salmons, Katherine Schock, Scott Sickles, Courtney Simon, Chris Van Etten; ABC

The Young & The Restless, Written by Amanda Beall, Jeff Beldner, Brent Boyd, Susan Dansby, Janice Ferri Esser, Jay Gibson, Scott Hamner, Maria Kanelos, Natalie Minardi Slater, Beth Milstein, Michael Montgomery, Anne Schoettle, Linda Schreiber, Lisa Seidman, Sarah K. Smith, Christopher J. Whitesell, Teresa Zimmerman; CBS

CHILDREN’S – EPISODIC & SPECIALS
“The Good Sport” (Sesame Street); Written by Christine Ferraro; PBS
CHILDREN’S – LONG FORM OR SPECIAL
Girl vs. Monster,” Story by Annie De Young; Teleplay by Annie De Young and Ron McGee; Disney Channel

DOCUMENTARY – CURRENT EVENTS
“The Anthrax Files” (Frontline), Written by Michael Kirk; PBS
“A Perfect Terrorist” (Frontline); Written by Thomas Jennings; PBS
“Lost in Detention” (Frontline), Written by Rick Young; PBS
“Money, Power and Wall Street: Episode One” (Frontline), Written by Martin Smith and Marcela Gaviria; PBS
“Money, Power and Wall Street: Episode Three” (Frontline), Written by Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser; PBS
“Money, Power and Wall Street: Episode Four” (Frontline), Written by Marcela Gaviria and Martin Smith; PBS

DOCUMENTARY – OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS
“The Amish” (American Experience), Written by David Belton; PBS
“Clinton” (American Experience), Written by Barak Goodman; PBS
“Death and the Civil War” (American Experience), Written by Ric Burns; PBS
“The Fabric of the Cosmos: The Illusion of Time” (Nova), Written by Randall MacLowry; PBS
“The Fabric of the Cosmos: Quantum Leap” (Nova), Telescript by Josh Rosen and Julia Cort, Story by Joseph McMaster and Josh Rosen; PBS
“Johnny Carson: King of Late Night” (American Masters), Written by Peter T. Jones; PBS

NEWS – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT
“Tragedy In Colorado: The Movie Theatre Massacre,” Written by Lisa Ferri, Joel Siegel; ABC News

NEWS – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY
“The Ghost of Joe McCarthy” (Moyers & Company), Written by Bill Moyers, Michael Winship; Thirteen/ WNET
“Making History at Ole Miss,” Written by Polly Leider; CBS News
“The Regime Responds” (Frontline), Written by Marcela Gaviria; PBS
“Stem Cell Fraud” (60 Minutes), Written by Scott Pelley, Michael Rey and Oriana Zill de Granados, CBS News

RADIO NOMINEES
NEWS – REGULARLY SCHEDULED OR BREAKING REPORT
“CBS Radio News,” Written by Duane Tollison; CBS Radio News
“Local and National News,” Written by Mark Hugh Miller; CBS Radio News
“Remembering Andy Williams,” Written by Arlene Lebe; CBS Radio News
“World News This Year 2011,” Written by Darren Reynolds; ABC News Radio

NEWS – ANALYSIS, FEATURE OR COMMENTARY
“Dishin Digital,” Written by Robert Hawley; WCBS-AM
“Pre-existing Conditions and the Affordable Care Act,” Written by Scott J. Saloway; CBS Radio News
“Tributes,” Written by Gail Lee, CBS Radio News

PROMOTIONAL WRITING AND GRAPHIC ANIMATION NOMINEES
ON-AIR PROMOTION (RADIO OR TELEVISION)
“Partners”, Written by Dan A. Greenberger; CBS

TELEVISION GRAPHIC ANIMATION
“CBS News Animations,” Animation by David Rosen; CBS News
“The Oscars” (Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood), Animation by Bob Pook; CBS

(*Editor Note: There were no nominees in the Documentary – Radio category this year.)

  1. This is but one more example of the disconnect between the creative community and the rest of the country!! It is truly outrageous that comedies like Big Bang Theory and dramas like NCIS are ignored by that community. I realize that ATAS doesn’t care but I’d hoped that the WGA would stand up and be counted… I was wrong!

    1. The difference between the creative community and the rest of the country is that we have taste. We study the craft, immerse ourselves in it, and know the difference between the dregs and the cream.

      To even bother to mention NCIS in the same sentence as Homeland or Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones is a joke. It’s like comparing McDonald’s to a 5 Star restaurant. Yes, more people at eat McDonalds. But there is a huge difference between a Big Mac and a Kobi Steak.

      Unless of course, your post was intended as sarcasm and if so I apologize.

      1. “The difference between the creative community and the rest of the country is that we have taste. We study the craft, immerse ourselves in it, and know the difference between the dregs and the cream.”

        Funniest thing I have ever read on Deadline. I showed this to a friend in the business and she’s still laughing.

        1. Agreed. Watched “Suburgatory” the other evening. In it, an Afican-American family is driving down a road and one says, “Look at that white boy running in the road.” As an African-American, I cringed at yet another stupid stereotype. I have tons of black friends, for many years, and never once did I hear one refer to a white American as a “white boy.” Writers in Hollywood and environs are pathetically out of touch… so much so that it’s remarkable. Nor does every black teenager spew profanity every other word.

          1. Writers have been having black men call white men “white boys” on TV and in film since the 70s. Very stupid and out of touch. And profanity, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys II has to set a record from most overused and stereotypical, out-of-touch excessive profanity ever. Embarrassing to the writing community… and yet it continues.

          2. I think many non-black writers fail to realize that millions of black Americans live in suburbs and rural communities. They associate black teens with urban cities like Chicago and use that as a creative well-spring. Lazy and ridiculous. Thus, you get stupid writing like “white boy” and characterizations of black teens that only speak like Lil’ Wayne, smoke weed, chase white girls and rap. And some joker wrote that the writers are “creative?” Yes, somewhat, but absolutely out of touch.

          3. “Taste.” Does “taste” mean the continuation of stereotypes of minorities? Or is it simply due to the fact that this “taste” means only taste in white male written shows? Oh, and of course the token female writer. How many writing staffs actually include persons of color? Not one, but more than a few. The answer is sadly, very very few. Which continues to perpetuate unfounded stereotypes. The next time you make an absurd comment that people in Hollywood have so-called “taste”, first look around, and ask yourself what “taste” you’re referring to.

    2. We did stand up and be counted. Big Bang and NCIS suck and we acknowledged this by not voting for them. Yes, they make nice numbers for people who want braindead entertainment and they make all involved rich. But these awards are about quality. Not writing for the asses, I mean masses.

  2. I completely agree with this selection. Even if I love The big bang theory, its writers rely a lot on Parsons ‘s acting.

    Only surprise for me is the “Episodes” nomination, but it’s a good thing, this show is really clever. Only down side is Louie not being nominated for Episodic Comedy (I thought “Duckling” was brilliant).

    Again, the awesome trifecta Mad Men/ Breaking Bad/ Homeland proves that drama is way better on cable.
    Cheers !

    1. Breaking Bad and Homeland make me proud to be in this business. Two and Half Men and Big Bang make me ashamed of it. And I too, am souring on Modern Family. Once brilliant, now… not so much. Same old, same old each week. Sophia screams so much now it isn’t funny anymore. And what’s with the excessive gayness? Cam is magnificent, but good Lord, is everyone on the show gay now? I know every boyfriend is… weak.

      1. Actually, the Big Bang Theory should make you proud to be in the business. Lorre and Prady created a sitcom that features experimental and theoretical physicists as leads. *That* must’ve been one hell of a pitch meeting!

        It’s easy to condemn the show now because the humor has gotten much more generic. But when it began, it easily had some of the smartest and most original jokes on television. Even to this day, not many writers rooms can pull off punchlines based on particle physics research.

        1. No, actually Big Bang Theory is embarassing to the entertainment industry. It’s cheesy laugh track punchlines straight out of 1992. No one cares about the effort it takes to write “science-y” jokes, because ultimately they are downright corny. Chuck Lorre shows, while drawing in huge ratings, are flat, unbelievably cheesy and unwatchable for a cerebral and discerning audience.

          1. I had exactly your attitude when it first came on the air. Then, several friends who taught physics told me how much they loved it. The first two seasons were brilliant in their combination of serious science and character-based humor. They got the science so right that if you were a college professor, you could liven up your lectures with clips from the show.

            Then the show became more generic, more about the romantic lives of a group of twentysomethings, than the professional lives of young scientists. And the horrible result? It shot up from being a cult hit to a monster hit. Is Chuck Lorre really to blame?

  3. How awesome that ONE LIFE TO LIVE nabbed a writing nom! Daytime drama is a special thing indeed, and OLTL was the best. Please let God smile on what was an excellent program for mroe than four decades!

  4. Finally, there’s justice in the world. No “Big Bang Theory” — a show with wild popularity… and execrable writing. If “Big Bang” exudes wit and writing proclivity, then God help us all toiling in television because it feels like the show is produced with “vomit drafts” seeing as how it lacks thematic integrity and sustaining humor.

    Congrats, too, on these well deserving nominees, especially the writing staff of “Breaking Bad,” a fabulous and wrenching show. Would have been nice to see “Southland” sneak in because that show quietly has had solid writing for a couple of years now.

  5. Great shows in this category but Boardwalk Empire is best drama series. I never thought I’d say this… it’s possibly better than The Sopranos. Season 4 will tell.

  6. Modern Family, this season, has been especially poor. The storylines have been horrible with no discernible character arcs. I know two of the principles are gay, but the dependence on gay storylines seeping into the other two families have made the show one-dimensional, and not so funny. First season was brilliant, but a rapid descent since.

    1. Modern Family has been especially brilliant this season. Each family member and each separate family unit regularly have their own creative, and outrageously hilarious storylines playing out every week. There is no dependence on gay storylines seeping into the other families. However, Cam & Mitchell do have their own zany situations and crazy resolutions just as the other families. The first season was brilliant and so was the second, and the third, and even now. Nothing has changed beyond the coming addition to the family and the continuing far superior comedic writing and acting that envelops this powerhouse program. And if there really had been a rapid descent in quality, I doubt you would still be watching the show at this point along with the huge numbers of Americans that tune in every week. For someone who thinks the show is that bad, you apparently still keep tuning in, so your words are saying one thing and your actions are doing quite the opposite. Common sense says that when you don’t like something, you don’t watch it, but according to your comment you’ve been watching the entire season. Nice try, but you made it all too easy to sniff out that jealous lie, for whatever reason you felt compelled to put it out there. It made no difference in the fact that the nominations have been given out and Modern Family has 4 of them, ratings are still huge, and it’s going into syndication soon.

      1. To each his own, but I think it’s much worse. Clair and Phil are still cartoon characters and the writing is flat. The gay story line is expanding into other factions of the show, and adds nothing… and Ed is getting less face time, although he’s the most seasoned actor on the show.

      2. Ratings are dropping, know-it-all. The show is not as good this year. No comedy is consistently hysterical… never will be.

        1. Are you sure about that? Perhaps in the demo, but overall viewer average is still higher than last season.

    1. You will very glad you did. It is a brilliant show. I almost wish I was in your shoes, seeing it for the very first time.

      1. After dipping in once and having seen what turns out to be one of the weakest episodes and never trying it again,I finally gave in to critical acclaim and tried again from the start, ended up watching all 5 seasons in 8 weeks. It is a mesmerizing experience or writing, acting, plotting, directing, casting…..and I imagine would have been much more frustrating if I’d had to wait week to week. (I even paid for season 5, pricey considering it was 8 episodes.)

        Enjoy.

  7. Still a good show, but this is clearly the worst season of “Modern Family.” And I am a faithful fan… and the gay storyline is going overboard. Ryan Murphy is well-pleased.

      1. All the boyfriends are either gay, act gay or are suspected to be gay… and Phil kissing a man? C’mon. Enough. Be a bit more original.

    1. I agree. Boss is excellent. I DVR’d it, but found myself looking forward to each next episode so much that I watched it “live” on Friday nights.

  8. Congrat’s to One Life To Live. The writing on that show was always great. I miss it dearly, and it’s sister soap, All My Children, too.

  9. these nominations are better than most but i still have some complaints. probably the biggest being no community. much much better than 30 rock and i still haven’t seen girls. at least you didn’t stoop to the low level of nominating big bang theory!

    also why no south park in the animated category? i’d say that deserves to be in the best comedy category. its not just a show about trash-talking kids as its portrayed to be, its actually very smart, and addresses social issues in a very funny way. granted it didn’t have the best season this year but still better than anything family guy, futurama or 30 rock could do and prolly better than anything the simpsons could do as well.

    no last resort for best new series?

    also i probably would of stuck boss in there instead of homeland or game of thrones but they’re all really good so it’s a close call.

    also kudos for nominating key and peele! such an underrated show!

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