'Argo,' 'Zero Dark Thirty,' 'Sugar Man,' 'Mad Men' and 'Breaking Bad' win WGA Awards

Posted by · 6:45 pm · February 17th, 2013

Hey, you know that film “Argo?” It won another award. That’s right, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) has handed the film the prize for Best Adapted Screenplay over heavyweights such as “Lincoln” and “Silver Linings Playbook,” and surely no one is shocked by this turn of events, right? I know everyone has been holding out expectation that respect for Tony Kushner might carry him and his brilliant work on through to a win there and at the Oscars, but that’s just not been the tone of the season.

“I feel like if I left my window open this bird thing would fly out the window and go live with David (O. Russell) and David (Magee) and Stephen (Chbosky) and Tony (Kushner),” Terrio said of his winged trophy. “And that would be fine. I’m so honored to be in the category with you guys…Ben Affleck, WGA member, this is yours. You’re a kind and brilliant and a very, very good man.”

In the original screenplay category, after dealing with controversy since dominating the early critics circuit, the embattled “Zero Dark Thirty” took the prize. Writer Mark Boal is also nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars, but it’s worth keeping in mind the two films that are leading the pack there — “Amour” and “Django Unchained” were not eligible for WGA Awards and therefore were not nominated.

“This is really lovely,” Boal said, “but thanks to Twitter I found out I was winning it five minutes ago…As Tom Stoppard said, it’s a unique thing to be honored by your peers, and I do love this guild. And I’m very grateful that they let me in, actually. Writing is a lonely process and the guild brings us together in many ways.”

Indeed, as Boal notes, the WGA didn’t exactly get it together this year as the WGA East ceremony sped ahead of the WGA West ceremony again and the winners made their way out early (hence the early post here). They really might want to figure that out for next year.

Finally, another dominating presence on the precursor circuit this year, much like “Argo,” is the documentary “Searching for Sugar Man.” And you guessed it, the film won in the documentary category for WGA.

Check out the full list of winners below, and as always, keep track of all the ups and downs of the film awards season via The Circuit.


Outstanding Achievement in Writing – Adapted Screenplay
Screenplay by Chris Terrio
Based on a selection from The Master of Disguise by Antonio J. Mendez and the Wired Magazine article “The Great Escape” by Joshuah Bearman

Outstanding Achievement in Writing – Original Screenplay
“Zero Dark Thirty”
Written by Mark Boal

Outstanding Achievement in Writing – Documentary Screenplay
“Searching for Sugar Man”
Written by Malik Bendjelloul


Outstanding Achievement in Writing Drama Series
“Breaking Bad”
Written by Sam Catlin, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Gennifer Hutchison, George Mastras, Thomas Schnauz, Moira Walley-Beckett

Outstanding Achievement in Writing Comedy Series
Written by Pamela Adlon, Vernon Chatman, Louis C.K.

Outstanding Achievement in Writing New Series
Written by Judd Apatow, Lesley Arfin, Lena Dunham, Sarah Heyward, Bruce Eric Kaplan, Jenni Konner, Deborah Schoeneman, Dan Sterling

Outstanding Achievement in Writing Long Form – Original
“Hatfields & McCoys” – “Nights Two and Three”
Teleplay by Ted Mann and Ronald Parker; Story by Bill Kerby and Ted Mann

Outstanding Achievement in Writing Long Form – Adapted
“Game Change”
Written by Danny Strong
Based on the book by Mark Halperin and John Hellemann

Outstanding Achievement in Writing Episodic Drama
“Mad Men” – “The Other Woman”
Written by Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner

Outstanding Achievement in Writing Episodic Comedy
“Modern Family” – “Virgin Territory”
Written by Elaine Ko

Outstanding Achievement in Writing Animation
“The Simpsons” – “Ned ‘N Edna’s Blend Agenda”
Written by Jeff Westbrook

Outstanding Achievement in Writing Daytime Drama
“The Young and the Restless”
Written by Amanda Beall, Jeff Beldner, Susan Dansby, Janice Ferri Esser, Jay Gibson, Scott Hamner, Marla Kanelos, Natalie Minardi Slater, Beth Milstein, Michael Montgomery, Anne Schoettle, Linda Schreiber, Sarah K. Smith, Christopher J. Whitesell, Teresa Zimmerman

Outstanding Achievement in Writing News – Regularly Scheduled, Bulletin or Breaking Report
“Tragedy In Colorado: The Movie Theatre Massacre”
Written by Lisa Ferri, Joel Siegel

Outstanding Achievement in Writing News – Analysis, Feature or Commentary
“Moyers & Company” – “The Ghost of Joe McCarthy”
Written by Bill Moyers, Michael Winship

Outstanding Achievement in Writing Documentary – Current Events
“Frontline” – “Money, Power and Wall Street: Episode One”
Written by Martin Smith and Marcela Gaviria

Outstanding Achievement in Writing Documentary – Other Than Current Events
“Nova” – “The Fabric of the Cosmos: Quantum Leap”
Telescript by Randall MacLowry
Story by Joseph McMaster and Randaall MacLowry

Outstanding Achievement in Writing Children’s Television – Episodic & Specials
“Sesame Street” – “The Good Sport”
Written by Christine Ferraro

Outstanding Achievement in Writing Children’s Television – Long Form or Special
“Girl vs. Monster”
Story by Annie DeYoung
Teleplay by Annie DeYoung and Ron McGee

Outstanding Achievement in Writing Comedy/Variety (Including Talk) – Series
Writers: Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Karey Dornetto, Jonathan Krisel, Bill Oakley

Outstanding Achievement in Writing 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


Outstanding Achievement in Writing Regularly Scheduled or Breaking Report
“World News This Year 2011”
Written by Darren Reynolds

Outstanding Achievement in Writing News – Analysis, Feature or Commentary
“Dishin Digital”
Written by Robert Hawley


On-Air Promotion (Radio or Television)
Written by Dan A. Greenberger

Television Graphic Animation
“Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood” – “The Oscars”
Animation by Bob Pook


Outstanding Achievement in Writing Derivative New Media
“The Walking Dead: Cold Storage” – “Parting Shots”
Written by John Esposito

Outstanding Achievement in Writing Original New Media
“Jack in a Box” – “The Future, Episode 7/Series Finale”
Written by Michael Cyril Creighton


Outstanding Achievement in Writing Video Games
“Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation”
Scriptwriting by Richard Farrese, Jill Murray


Paul Selvin Award
Tony Kushner

Valentine Davies Humanitarian Award
Phil Rosenthal

Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television
Joshua Brand, John Falsey

Lifetime Achievement Award
Tom Stoppard

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