The WGA Awards wrapped its 2015 edition with the big winners being The Grand Budapest Hotel for best original screenplay and The Imitation Game receiving the adapted screenplay award. Unlike the DGA, WGA Awards are not a good predictor of Oscar winners given how they strictly nominate those in their union. This year’s New York ceremony at the Edison Ballroom didn’t get excruciatingly ahead in announcing key winners before L.A. — rather Gotham’s edition was delayed. Here’s how both ceremonies went down with Deadline’s Jeremy Gerard at the Edison, and Anthony D’Alessandro and Ross Lincoln at the Hyatt.

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20155:02 pm

They’re still chowing down on dinner here in the west. What has happened, and become worse, in the last two years at the WGA Awards is that the NYC ceremony gets ahead of the Hollywood one in terms of announcing the winners. Both ceremonies try in earnest to announce in sync, even though they are produced separately. 

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20155:05 pm

2012’s ceremony was pretty well synced except toward the end when NYC announced Woody Allen as the winner for best original screenplay, Midnight in Paris. 

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20155:08 pm

Wisely, WGAW is eating BEFORE the ceremony.  Why is this important? Well, back in 2012, they decided to eat AFTER the ceremony. This resulted in a wave of vacancies after each awards was announced.  After each category’s winner was announced, the losers would stand up and leave the room. By the end of the WGAW ceremony, half the room was empty. 

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20155:11 pm

Also, it’s vital that both ceremonies stay in sync in announcing winners.  Whenever NYC gets ahead of LA, discomfort sets in.  Writers at the LA ceremony start learning that they lost –before their category is announced–just by checking out email alerts on their blackberry.

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20155:11 pm

Show is in the west with Lisa Kudrow.

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20155:14 pm

Kudrow on Boyhood: “It [it] wins, technically we’ll be honoring the best writing of 2002.”

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20155:15 pm

Kudrow says it’s liberating to know that “you’re not on TV and that nobody is watching…it’s like being on network TV. You could get a blow or get a hooker tonight.”

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20155:16 pm

Kudrow on the Sony hack: it was very troubling “because Scott Rudin and Amy Pascal thought that was witty banter.”

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20155:16 pm

Kudrow is absolutely killing it tonight, every line in her monologue is landing hard, and it’s hilarious.

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20155:20 pm

Kudrow is an interesting choice this year as host, but she stumbled out of the gate. Last year, Brad Garrett killed it with his blue stand-up.  He was so fierce, he was doing Woody Allen jokes.  Some great jokes from Garrett last year: “I think I was starting off on the wrong foot when I went over to the writer of Gravity and ask him to valet my car. I had a feeling that it was written by Mexicans when the spaceship wouldn’t start.” “Everyone, hold  your groans until my dance routine for Fruitvale Station.” “Excuse me if I’m under the weather, I caught an STD while watching Wolf Of Wall Street.” “I understand Nebraska was shot in color, but Bruce Dern is so old, the film came out black and white.” “One thing about American Hustle, I want to be buried in Jennifer Lawrence when I die. What I meant is head-first. For those of you not following me — up to my sack.” 

Denise Petski February 14, 20155:22 pm

First award — Episodic drama. Winner is “The Last Call” (The Good Wife), Written by Robert King &
Michelle King; CBS

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20155:26 pm

Chris Addison’s tweet to Veep creator Armando Ianucci:

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20155:27 pm

Lisa Kudrow…warns room about NY announcing in advance. “We’re going to go around and collect cell phones so that no one finds out if they won or lost in LA on social media.”

Denise Petski February 14, 20155:28 pm


“Haunted Heartthrob” (Haunted Hathaways), Written by Bob Smiley;

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20155:28 pm

Bob Smiley accepted for with a joke about children’s television as a gateway drug, and the importance of that for his guild members’ careers. “You’re welcome… Children’s shows are important for getting children addicted to TV… so they can grow up and binge watch the shows you really care about.”

Denise Petski February 14, 20155:29 pm


General Hospital, Written by Ron Carlivati, Anna Theresa Cascio,
Suzanne Flynn, Kate Hall, Elizabeth Korte, Daniel James O’Connor, Elizabeth
Page, Katherine Schock, Scott Sickles, Chris Van Etten; ABC

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20155:30 pm

Per Jeremy Gerard, it sounds like NY is being intentionally delayed: They haven’t even set up the press tables at the Edison, but they’re about to start.

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20155:42 pm

Scandal’s Scott Foley “It is my great honor and privilege to introduce to you my boss.. This year’s Paddy Chayefsky award winner Shonda Rhimes. I first heard the name Shonda Rhimes in 2004. It was pilot season…about scripts were being sent my way. One of the script was a for a medical show with a female protagonist. My agent said it was a long shot to make it to series.”

“I had heat behind me,” joked Foley, “I was on the 124th ranked show on the 6th ranked network, having played a 3rd lead in four person ensemble. I decided that I would pass reading. I guess Patrick Dempsey didn’t have the WB heat behind him like me.  11 season later, Grey’s Anatomy is still on the air.”

Patrick Hipes February 14, 20155:43 pm

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20155:48 pm

Said Rhimes receiving her awards, “I get nervous that I’m getting a lifetime achievement award now. I’ve only been doing TV for 12 years and I’m not evena teenager.” What she loves most are her writing staffs.  “I love the community that is formed, the dark and twisty writers room, the
ideas that are generated. On Grey’s there is the new and the old writers who I know one day I’m going to be begging for jobs.  On Scandal, I have a murderer’s row.  On How to Get Away With Murder, it’s not me, it’s all Peter Nowalk. 
I’m just a proud mom.”

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20155:49 pm

Winner of episodic comedy, Louis C.K. is not in the house here…

Denise Petski February 14, 20155:49 pm


“So Did the Fat Lady” (Louie), Written by Louis C.K.; FX

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20155:51 pm

The “In Loving Memory” segment turned out to be a hilarious tribute to the shows cancelled after only a few episodes in 2014. Nervous laughter greeted the appearance of shows like A-Z and Bad Teacher, but the biggest reaction was for Mulaney, lamented as living from “Oct 5 – ???”. Ouch.

Denise Petski February 14, 20155:54 pm


“Brick Like Me” (The Simpsons), Written by Brian Kelley; Fox

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20155:59 pm

Affleck started his acceptance speech for the Valentine Davies Humanitrian award with a joke: “that’s what happens when you make friends with the president, the fix was in. I was reasonably confident I was going to get this award, but they texted me on the way and told me Damon won.” 

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20156:01 pm

WGAW President Chris Keyser presents the Valentine Davies award to Ben Affleck.  He sheds on light on the fact that Affleck has made a difference in the Congo in ways that no one in Hollywood has in his founding of the Congo Initiative. Through Affleck’s work in the Congo, the country’s prime export is cocoa. They have a deal with a company in Seattle and the generate enough to make 10 million chocolate bars. Now, Congo is turning its eye to coffee as a cash crop. Keyser quotes Walt Whitman in praising Affleck’s charitable efforts: “Behold I do not give lectures or a little charity, When I give I give myself.”

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20156:03 pm

“Any philanthropy is selfish,” Ben Affleck said, accepting the Valentine Davies Award, “because it brings more to your life than anyone it might help.”

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20156:08 pm

Affleck is using his acceptance speech as a chance to wax philosophic on his left wing beliefs, his affinity for the Jewish American community, and interestingly, to discuss, as politely as possible, the Israel-Palestine conflict and the war on terror. You could almost feel the audience holding its breath a little when he started to wade into that topic, but he used it to make a point about understanding between various religions, including his own misconceptions about Christianity. It’s a moving monologue.

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20156:08 pm

Affleck is using his acceptance speech as a chance to wax philosophic on his left wing beliefs, his affinity for the Jewish American community, and interestingly, to discuss, as politely as possible, the Israel-Palestine conflict and the war on terror. You could almost feel the audience holding its breath a little when he started to wade into that topic, but he used it to make a point about understanding between various religions, including his own misconceptions about Christianity. It’s a moving monologue.

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20156:10 pm

Ben Affleck: “I studied Middle Eastern Studies in collge in order to undersstand Arabs and Islam better…I looked at Christianity and they were a judgemental bunch against…all the good things in life.  Then I married a woman who went  to church every Sunday and
now we have children who are baptized Methodist and I’ve come to understand Christianity.”

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20156:11 pm

Chelsea Peretti was out to present the award for Quiz and Audience Participation. “I’m both a writer and an actor,” she joked, “which means deep down I’m deeply insecure, but on the surface I’m also deeply insecure.” 

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20156:12 pm

Affleck on his Congo efforts: “.The best thing to do is support the people in their own communities. Sometimes is good for the celebrity to do something good, but also the celebrity needs to know when to get out of the way…Don’t tell any director I just said that. We’re not gonna love all our neighbors, but we can respect each other.”

Denise Petski February 14, 20156:12 pm


Hollywood Game Night, Head Writer: Grant Taylor; Writers: Alex
Chauvin, Ann Slichter; NBC

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20156:15 pm

Adam Scott paid tribute to the increasing lack of stigma associated with actors taking commercial roles when he came out to present for Best New Series, saying “So, as the star of a series of vodka commercials, I think I know a thing or two about good writing. One: brevity is the soul of wit. Two: vodka is delicious. Please everybody, drink more vodka. With this knowledge I am honored to hand out [this award].”

Denise Petski February 14, 20156:15 pm


True Detective, Written by Nic Pizzolatto; HBO

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20156:18 pm

Scott notes the fast-changing television landscape, pointing out that none of the Best Comedy Series nominees air on network TV. (All appear on cable, or online services like Netflix and Amazon.)

Denise Petski February 14, 20156:19 pm


Louie, Written by Louis CK; FX

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20156:21 pm

Transparent creator Jill Soloway: “I was brought back three times backstage to do this bit” She then makes as though the mike isn’t working.

Patrick Hipes February 14, 20156:24 pm

From Jeremy at the NY show: Host Larry Wilmore is digging into Sony, saying maybe if you spent less time talking about black movies for black presidents and more time on your screeners they’d look better.

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20156:28 pm

Bill Lawerence presents the Morgan Cox award to Jeff Melvoin, who stated the WGA show runners program.  “(My) late mentor Gary David Goldberg talked about our obligation to teach the next generation. No one has embraced that more than tonight’s honoree, Jeff Melvoin. The Morgan Cox award goes to a person who shows the best service to the guild. I look out at so many people in the room tonight who won’t win this award.”

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20156:29 pm

They have several tributes and awards to hand out; they’re not wrapping this up at 7pm.  

Denise Petski February 14, 20156:32 pm

Comedy/Variety Special 

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards, Written by Barry Adelman; Special
Material by Alex Baze, Dave Boone, Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Jon Macks, Sam
Means, Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler, Mike Shoemaker; NBC

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20156:32 pm

Steve Carell presenting best adapted screenplay. “In 1947, Jack Warner said an actor is schmuck and a screenwriter is a schmuck with a typewriter. We can take way from this that Jack Warner was an asshole!”

Denise Petski February 14, 20156:33 pm


The Imitation Game
Written by Graham Moore; Based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew
Hodges; The Weinstein Company

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20156:33 pm


Winner; The 71st Annual Golden Globes.

Written by Barry Adelman; Special material by Alex Baze, Dave Boone, Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Jon Macks, Sam Means, Seth Meyers, Amy Poeher, and Mike Shoemaker.

Patrick Hipes February 14, 20156:33 pm

Jeremy from the WGA East venue the Edison, where the WiFi just crapped out: This is the most dysfunctional event I’ve ever attended. The video is terrible and the in-house screens don’t work.

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20156:35 pm

Graham Moore in receiving award for Imitation Game, “We made this movie for Alan Turing. I’m a screenwriter from Chicago. So standing here on stage, I should thank him. It’s on his shoulders of his genius that we made this film.”

Denise Petski February 14, 20156:40 pm

Patrick Hipes February 14, 20156:41 pm

NY Show: Larry Wilmore: “Who’s Kevin Spacey Talking To? is what House Of Cards should be called.”

Denise Petski February 14, 20156:42 pm


“Episode 113: Rachel” (High Maintenance), Written by Katja
Blichfeld & Ben Sinclair;

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20156:43 pm

Accepting their award, Ben Sinclair said “5 years ago, Katja and I were picked up off the street for smoking a joint, and now we’re accepting an award. And it happened on Valentine’s day too!” 

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20156:44 pm

Bob Saget: “I’m happy it’s Valentine’s Day and I’ve always been in love with Ben Affleck.” Then making fun of Affleck’s middle name Geza, “I just want to rub you down with Ben Gay. Can they put your speech back up here again?”

Denise Petski February 14, 20156:45 pm


“How I Met Your Mother,” Written by Dan Greenberger; CBS

Denise Petski February 14, 20156:47 pm


“League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis” (Frontline), Written by Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser; PBS

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20156:48 pm

Perhaps it’s because he was handed his award by a Bob Sagat firmly in his old-timey-zings mode, but accepting his award, Greenberger stuck to yuks. “I wish you could all see what I’m seeing now — a whole bunch of people in Hollywood, paying attention to a writer.” He then noted the weird place of his category, adding “it’s not as glamorous and not as difficult as some of the other categories here tonight, but we do use some of the same words.”

Denise Petski February 14, 20156:51 pm

From NY — Bill Moyers and Norman Lear

Patrick Hipes February 14, 20156:54 pm

In NY: Moyers introducing Lear, who is receiving the Evelyn F. Burkey Award. It recognizes a person or organization whose contributions have brought honor and dignity to writers. “Let’s petition to get Charlie Chaplin and Norman Lear on Mount Rushmore before Ronald Reagan.”

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20156:54 pm

This won’t come as a shock, but during the Ramis tribute reel, audience applause became as loud as the sound system for a couple of seconds when Ghostbusters appeared.  

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20156:58 pm

Analyze This screenwriter Peter Tolan presenting the Screen Laurel Award to the late Harold Ramis: “I don’t know where you are now, I hope you’re here tonight. I know what you’re thinking– they couldn’t get a bigger name to present the award….Everyone knew he was wildly gifted, subversive, but he was always  gentle, thoughtful, centered and kind…He was unquestionably spiritual and undeniably lazy.”

“He was a rudder for whole new film. His comedy scripts were built around big ideas. Animal House isn’t about toga parties. It’s about the individual vs. society or in this case fraternity vs. society. Multiplicity is about identity and reinvention as well as Analyze This.  His mater work Groundhog Day was the Buddhist path to enlightenment. 

“His daughter Violet said at his funeral ‘He was the campfire we all gathered around for light, warmth and knowledge.”

Patrick Hipes February 14, 20156:58 pm

More Moyers on Lear in NY: “No patriot I know has done more to uphold the guarantee of bot freedom of religion and freedom from religion.”

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20156:59 pm

Harold Ramis’ family accepted the 2015 Screen Laurel Award on his behalf. His son, tearing up, delivered an emotional tribute. “I couldn’t be more honored to accept this prestigious award on behalf of my father. I just want to say thank you to the writer’s guild for recognizing the humor, humanity and talent my father brought to all of his work,” he said. “We all know how much my dad would have loved to be here to accept this, and he would have said something far more profound than we could here… Thank you”

Patrick Hipes February 14, 20156:59 pm

Denise Petski February 14, 20157:00 pm

Documentary Screenplay

The Internet’s Own Boy

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20157:02 pm

Tonight marks the first time Lifetime has won a WGA award, so the current presenters note. The network has both nominations in the Long Form Original category. 

Denise Petski February 14, 20157:03 pm


Deliverance Creek, Written by Melissa Carter; Lifetime

Denise Petski February 14, 20157:08 pm


Olive Kitteridge, Teleplay by Jane Anderson, Based on the novel by Elizabeth Strout; HBO

Patrick Hipes February 14, 20157:09 pm

Ben Affleck accepting the Valentine Davies Award in LA:

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20157:10 pm

Nine minutes past two hour point….they have yet to honor in LA Pedro Almodovar and Margaret Nagle.

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20157:13 pm

To Anthony’s previous post, the ceremony is being padded out, perhaps a bit needlessly, by testimonials delivered via mic by guild members. Some funny, some touching, but these segments are taking up 5 min. or more every time.

Denise Petski February 14, 20157:16 pm


“World News This Week,” Written by Andrew Evans; ABC News Radio

Denise Petski February 14, 20157:19 pm

Margaret Nagle arriving at the LA ceremony to receive the 2015 Paul Selvin Award for her screenplay The Good Lie.

Denise Petski February 14, 20157:20 pm

From NY —

“Three Shots Rang Out: The JFK Assassination 50 Years Later,” Written by Darren Reynolds; ABC News Radio

Denise Petski February 14, 20157:22 pm


“Civil Rights at 50,” Written by Jane Tillman Irving; WCBS Radio

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20157:24 pm

Margaret Nagle, who is receiving the Paul Selvin award for Good Lie, says it was because of the WGA and Selvin’s rules that she was able to make the film. She originally wrote it for Paramount 10 years ago.  She called WGA and Selvin “like water in the desert”.  She was ble to use a WGA requisition rule, take an 18 month free option after a five year wating period and rescue Good Lie from turnaround. “I was able to set it up with new producers and financing.” “Someone like Selvin cared about Bill of Rights and created a safety net for writers.”

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20157:25 pm

Nagle on Good Lie: “The film didn’t get the release it was suppose to. No screeners went out, but the Int’l Rescue commitee screened it for the entire Congress and UNICEF is using it to raise money for South Sudan.”

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20157:26 pm

Before his death, Mike Nichols was so moved by Good Lie, he screened it for his family. 

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20157:27 pm

Good Lie was one of the few films recently to get an A+ Cinemascore. Selma and American Sniper were others. 

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20157:27 pm

Zach Levi is an apt choice to present the award for Outstanding Achievement in Video Game Writing. The category is somewhat limited by the paucity of game writers who are members of the guild (blame game industry culture), but tonight’s winner, The Last of Us: Left Behind, would deserve to be nominated regardless of other competitors.

Denise Petski February 14, 20157:30 pm

DRAMA SERIES winner is 

True Detective, Written by Nic Pizzolatto; HBO

Denise Petski February 14, 20157:32 pm


The Last of Us: Left Behind, Written by
Neil Druckmann; Sony Computer Entertainment

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20157:32 pm

Nagle says it was b/c of her writing credit on Good Lie that she joined WGAW.  She landed the assignment 10 years ago at Paramount. Talking about her inspiration to write the story, “I was born in Berkeley and I saw free speech on every street corner when I went to the candy store and the playground. I believe
in the power of film and TV to effect social and political change. The one language we all speak in this room is story and our ability to reach people in one place. Story unlocks the key to who we are and how we’re connected to one another.” The Good Lie was about Sudanese orphans who walked 100 miles to reach Kenya.  4,000 lost boys were brought to the US, then Sept. 11 happened and the U.S. refugee program was shut down.

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20157:35 pm

Pedro Almodovar sent in a videotaped acceptance Thank you for the Jean Renoir award.

Denise Petski February 14, 20157:40 pm


Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Writers: Kevin Avery, Tim
Carvell, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeff Maurer, John Oliver, Scott
Sherman, Will Tracy, Jill Twiss, Juli Weiner; HBO

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20157:41 pm

Lawrence Kasdan is announcing original screenplay….

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20157:42 pm

Annnd Last Week Tonight with John Oliver wins a very deserved WGA award for Comedy/Variety (Including Talk). With Jon Stewart’s impending departure from The Daily Show and Oliver, the obvious person to replace him, having been snatched up by HBO, you gotta wonder how much aspirin and whisky is being shipped to Comedy Central HQ this weekend.

Patrick Hipes February 14, 20157:43 pm

In NY, Paul Haggis is accepting the Ian McClellan Hunter Award, a lifetime achievement honor: “I f*cking love awards!”

Ross A. Lincoln February 14, 20157:45 pm

Annnd Last Week Tonight with John Oliver wins a very deserved award for Comedy/Variety (Including Talk). With Jon Stewart’s impending departure from The Daily Show and Oliver, the obvious person to replace him, having been snatched up by HBO, you gotta wonder how much aspirin and whisky is being shipped to Comedy Central HQ this weekend.

Denise Petski February 14, 20157:45 pm


The Grand Budapest Hotel
Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness; Fox

Anthony D'Alessandro February 14, 20157:48 pm

Wes Anderson’s hysterical acceptance speech for Grand Budapest Hotel, “I wrote the script with my old friend Hugo who joined the alternative branch on the east coast. He is probably simultaneously giving a speech over there. I’m pleased to be here on this soil of Century City formerly one of the back lots of the great cinema studios.  It’s now home to this wonderful Hyatt and a large community of entertainment attorneys. I lived here once with my collaborator Owen Wilson. We were at The Century City Inn which now the Century City Holiday Inn Express. We chopped 250 pages out of our first script which we described as an epic comedy. So, I have the whole neighborhood to thank for Patricia called this coveted Bird of Prey statue.”

Patrick Hipes February 14, 20157:57 pm

That’s the BAFTA and now the WGA Award for Anderson. Does that make him the Oscar frontrunner?