WGA Awards TV: Netflix Dominant In Debut; 'Orange Is The New Black' & 'Breaking Bad' Lead, 'The Good Wife' Makes Big Return

Orange-is-the-New-Black-02-poster1-e1374452170612-959x1024The WGA Awards‘ TV nominations this morning provided a stark contrast to the PGA Award nominations on Tuesday, proving again how out of date the PGA Awards are on the TV side with their June-May eligibility window. The WGA Awards, on the other hand, are keeping things as current as possible, recognizing series that have aired between December 1, 2012-November 30, 2013. That’s why its list of nominees includes the three most well-received new shows of the past six months: mastersofsexNetflix’s Orange Is The New Black and Showtime’s Ray Donovan and Masters Of Sex. Orange Is The New Black was the most nominated series with 4 noms, tied with this year’s best drama series winner Breaking Bad — for best comedy series, best new series and best episodic comedy (for the pilot). Masters Of Sex and Ray Donovan also landed new series noms, with Masters Of Sex additionally recognized for its pilot. Also the-good-wife-hitting-the-fanrecognized by the WGA is the excellent current fifth season of CBS’ The Good Wife, which returned to the WGA Award nomination field after being left out last year with two noms, the first multiple nomination haul for the veteran series — for best drama and best episodic drama for the standout “Hitting The Fan” episode.

Related: WGA Awards TV Nominees Announced – Full List

After a strongnetflix_logo2 showing at the PGA Awards nominations, Netflix did one better in its WGA Awards debut today, ranking as the most nominated outlet in scripted series with six noms, including two for House Of Cards: best drama and best episodic drama for the pilot. It was followed by awards juggernaut AMC with five, including best drama noms for Breaking Bad and Mad Men. Breaking Bad dominated the episodic drama field with three noms, surprisingly none for the series finale. After placing two shows on the new series nominations list last year with The Mindy Project and Nashville last year, the broadcast networks were shut out completely this time, with FX’s The Americans rounding out the field alongside, House Of Cards, Orange, Ray Donovan and Masters Of Sex.

There are two new entries each in the best drama and comedy series categories. House Of Cards and The Good Wife joined returning Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Homeland, with the two HBO 2013 nominees, Boardwalk Empire and Game Of Thrones out. The latter was not in contention this year due to a clerical error in the submission process that the WGA refused to rectify. On the comedy side, Orange replaced last year’s winner Louie, which did not produce originals to qualify, while rising HBO comedy Veep took the spot of the HBO comedy it launched with, Girls. (Lena Dunham’s series was shut out completely this year.) Returning as best comedy series nominees is former winner Modern Family, which also landed two episodic noms,  including one for this year’s winner in the category Elaine Ko (episode “Farm Strong”). It was joined by NBC’s Parks & Recreation and departing 30 Rock, which also received an episodic nomination but not for the series finale, which netted creator Tina Fey and writer Tracey Wigfield an Emmy in September but for the “Hogcock!” episode, written by Jack Burditt and Robert Carlock, which also was nominated for an Emmy.

  1. Netfilx, a place where they find really talented creators and then support them and their vision. Networks,a place where they hire the same people who they are told are talented and then suffocate them with notes from multiple non creative people that don’t support a creators vision. Which one results in a better product.

    1. You are assuming that a network’s goal is to produce a “better product.” It isn’t. A network’s goal is to get as broad a viewership aged 18 to 49 as possible, to please their advertisers. How many advertisers does Netflix have to please? Yeah, exactly.

      1. You’re just explaining why Netflix is better: the viewer pays the piper, the advertiser doesn’t. No surprise that this serves the viewer well.

        The broader question is, given that networks are structurally unable to compete with premium cable and streaming, why should they continue to exist, except to deliver crap to people who like crap?

        1. @Captain Obvious… Most of the American public aren’t Tech nerds who have the time, or inclination, to figure out how to hook up their box to their computer.

          The networks do, still, compete, quite effectively with all of the other options that have arisen. So much so, that Netflix is trying to get in bed with cable operators, to offer the broader public the option to stream their content on their television sets.

          Netflix will NEVER have the broad reach that regular broadcasters or cable operators have. They’ve peaked and now have to find new streams of revenue because they’re not gaining large swaths of new subscribers.

  2. Can’t imagine Breaking Bad not winning in the drama category, but a big hats off to Netflix. They have become another great outlet for high quality work. House of Cards and Orange are both wonderful shows. C’mon Amazon, catch up!!

    1. Amazon needs to get their act together, and that silly show Alpha House is not it. That’s not much above network fodder.

      1. Amazon’s touted practice of relying on viewers to choose which shows to pick up reminds me of the Henry Ford quote: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

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