Although best known for Friends, which aired from 1994-2004 on NBC, the longtime writing partners also co-created Veronica’s Closet, The Powers That Be and the HBO series Dream On.
Separately, Crane has co-created several other series with his writing partner Jeffrey Klarik, including The Class for CBS and Showtime’s Episodes, starring Friends alum Matt LeBlanc.
Kauffman, meanwhile, co-created Netflix’s 2015 comedy series Grace And Frankie, starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston. She recently produced the Lifetime series Five, an anthology about the impact of breast cancer, and is developing We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves for HBO.
“Marta Kauffman and David Crane have quietly and triumphantly created amazing television,” said WGAW President Howard Rodman. “From Dream On to Grace And Frankie and Episodes, they have individually and in partnership raised the bar for smart, funny writing. And then there’s Friends, whose cleverness of storytelling, clarity of character development, consistent wisdom and wit made it one of the most memorable television series in history. It inhabited our living rooms for a decade and will inhabit the culture forever. We salute them for what they have done and for raising the bar for the rest of us.”
The honored will be presented at the Writers Guild Awards’ West Coast ceremony on February 13 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.
Named after one of the most influential writers in entertainment history, the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement is the WGAW’s highest award for television writing, given to writers who have advanced the literature of television throughout the years and made outstanding contributions to the profession of the television writer. Past recipients include Steven Bochco, Susan Harris, Stephen J. Cannell, David Chase, Larry David, Diane English, Marshall Herskovitz & Ed Zwick, Joshua Brand & John Falsey, Garry Marshall and Shonda Rhimes.