“Her” Screenplay Wins Top Writer’s Guild Award

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Hollywood: February 1, 2014

Spike Jonze’s screenplay,  “Her” won a major victory at the Writers Guild of America Awards on Saturday night, taking home the award for the best original screenplay of 2013.

By beating “Blue Jasmine,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Nebraska” and particularly “American Hustle,” Jonze’s script showed that it has the potential to be a spoiler on Oscar night. And it deprived “American Hustle” of what would have been a big win as it heads into the Oscar voting period locked in a tight race with “Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave.”

"Her" screenwriter, Spike Jonze
“Her” screenwriter, Spike Jonze

With the former film not nominated by the WGA and the latter film ineligible under guild rules, the “Her” win meant that none of the Oscar leaders could gain any advantage from the last of the four major guild ceremonies.

In the adapted screenplay category, Billy Ray’s win for “Captain Phillips” was a nice boost for a film that didn’t do as well in Oscar nominations as expected. But with frontrunner “12 Years a Slave” not in the running, its victory was less important as an Oscar predictor.

As usual, the two affiliated guilds, the WGA, West and the WGA, East handed out awards at separate ceremonies in different orders — and as a result, most of the major awards were announced in New York long before the categories came up in Los Angeles.

The failure of the two guilds to work out a way to coordinate their shows has long been a source of frustration in Los Angeles, where nominees frequently learn that they’ve won or lost by hearing the news from New York. On Saturday, the East Coast show had ended well before the West Coast one even got to the top film categories, with the award to Spike Jonze announced in New York nearly 90 minutes before he took the stage to accept it in L.A.

Here’s a complete list of winners.

SCREEN

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Her, Written by Spike Jonze; Warner Bros.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Captain Phillips, Screenplay by Billy Ray; Based on the book A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty; Columbia Pictures

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY: Stories We Tell, Written by Sarah Polley; Roadside Attractions

TV-NEW MEDIA-RADIO

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

COMEDY SERIES: Veep, Written by Simon Blackwell, Roger Drew, Sean Gray, Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, Georgia Pritchett, David Quantick, Tony Roche, Will Smith; HBO

NEW SERIES: House of Cards, Written by Kate Barnow, Rick Cleveland, Sam Forman, Gina Gionfriddo, Keith Huff, Sarah Treem, Beau Willimon; Netflix

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

EPISODIC COMEDY: “Hogcock!” (30 Rock), Written by Jack Burditt & Robert Carlock; NBC

LONG FORM – ADAPTED: Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, Written by Shawn Slovo, Based on the book by Howard Bingham and Max Wallace; HBO

SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA – ORIGINAL: “Episode 4: The Collected Sylvia” (Sylvia Plath: Girl Detective), Written by Mike Simses

ANIMATION: “A Test Before Trying” (The Simpsons), Written by Joel H. Cohen; Fox

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

COMEDY / VARIETY – MUSIC, AWARDS, TRIBUTES – SPECIALS: Blake Shelton’s Not So Family Christmas, Head Writers: Jay Martel, Ian Roberts; Writers: Alex Rubens, Charlie Sanders; NBC

QUIZ AND AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: Jeopardy!, Written by John Duarte, Harry Friedman, Mark Gaberman, Debbie Griffin, Michele Loud, Robert McClenaghan, Jim Rhine, Steve D. Tamerius, Billy Wisse; ABC

DAYTIME DRAMA: Days of Our Lives, Written by Lorraine Broderick, David Cherrill, Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, Rick Draughon, Christopher Dunn, Janet Iacobuzio, David A. Levinson, Ryan Quan, Dave Ryan, Melissa Salmons, Christopher J. Whitesell; NBC

CHILDREN’S – EPISODIC & SPECIALS: “influANTces” (A.N.T. Farm), Written by Vincent Brown; Disney Channel

DOCUMENTARY – CURRENT EVENTS: “Egypt in Crisis” (Frontline), Written by Marcela Gaviria & Martin Smith; PBS

DOCUMENTARY – OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS: (tie) “The Abolitionists” (American Experience), Written by Rob Rapley; PBS and “Silicon Valley” (American Experience), Telescript by Randall MacLowry and Michelle Ferrari; Story by Randall MacLowry; PBS

NEWS – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT: “Tragedy at Newtown” Special Edition (ABC World News with Diane Sawyer), Written by Lisa Ferri and Matt Negrin; ABC

NEWS – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY: “Lethal Medicine” (60 Minutes), Written by Michael Rey, Oriana Zill de Granados, Michael Radutzky; CBS

RADIO

DOCUMENTARY: “2012 Year in Review,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS Radio News

NEWS – REGULARLY SCHEDULED OR BREAKING REPORT: “Afternoon Drive,” Written by Bill Spadaro; CBS Radio/1010 WINS

NEWS – ANALYSIS, FEATURE OR COMMENTARY: “Remembrances,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS Radio News

PROMOTIONAL WRITING AND GRAPHIC ANIMATION

ON-AIR PROMOTION (TELEVISION, NEW MEDIA OR RADIO: “The Crazy Ones – Building a Better Comedy,” Written by Erial Tompkins; CBS

TELEVISION GRAPHIC ART AND ANIMATION: CBS News Animations: “Brain Injury,” “Pills,” “Bionic Leg,” “Midland Parade,” “Concordia Salvage;” Animation by David Rosen; CBS News