The Coen brothers could be adding a third Writers Guild of America Award to their impressive trophy case next month if they can nab best original screenplay for their quirky comedy Burn After Reading. The WGA, who announced their nominees today, presented Joel and Ethan Coen with best adapted screenplay last year for No Country for Old Men and best original screenplay in 1997 for Fargo.
Rounding out the contenders this year are Dustin Lance Black for Milk, Woody Allen for Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Tom McCarthy for The Visitor and Robert Siegel for The Wrestler.
The WGA’s best adapted screenplay noms include Eric Roth for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with story by Roth and Robin Swicord; Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight with story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer; John Patrick Shanley for Doubt, based on the stage play; Peter Morgan for Frost/Nixon, based on his stage play; and Simon Beaufoy for Slumdog Millionaire.
WGA members will meet simultaneously in New York and Los Angeles for the award ceremony on Feb. 7.
Burn After Reading, Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, Focus Features
Milk, Written by Dustin Lance Black, Focus Features
Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Written by Woody Allen, The Weinstein Company
The Visitor, Written by Tom McCarthy, Overture Films
The Wrestler, Written by Robert Siegel, Fox Searchlight Pictures
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Screenplay by Eric Roth; Screen Story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord; Based on the Short Story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures
The Dark Knight, Screenplay by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan; Story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer; Based on Characters Appearing in Comic Books Published by DC Comics; Batman Created by Bob Kane, Warner Bros. Pictures
Doubt, Screenplay by John Patrick Shanley, Based on his Stage Play, Miramax Films
Frost/Nixon, Screenplay by Peter Morgan, Based on his Stage Play, Universal Pictures
Slumdog Millionaire, Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy, Based on the Novel Q and A by Vikas Swarup, Fox Searchlight Pictures
Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story, Written by Stefan Forbes and Noland Walker, InterPositive Media
Chicago 10, Written by Brett Morgen, Roadside Attractions
Fuel, Written by Johnny O'Hara, Greenlight Theatrical / Intention Media
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, Screenplay by Alex Gibney, From the Words of Hunter S. Thompson, Magnolia Pictures
Waltz with Bashir, Written by Ari Folman, Sony Pictures Classics
Dramatic Series Dexter, Written by Scott Buck, Daniel Cerone, Charles H. Eglee, Adam E. Fierro, Lauren Gussis, Clyde Phillips, Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, Tim Schlattmann; Showtime
Friday Night Lights, Written by Bridget Carpenter, Kerry Ehrin, Brent Fletcher, Jason Gavin, Carter Harris, Elizabeth Heldens, David Hudgins, Jason Katims, Patrick Massett, Aaron Rahsaan Thomas, John Zinman; NBC
Lost, Written by Carlton Cuse, Drew Goddard, Adam Horowitz, Christina M. Kim, Edward Kitsis, Damon L. Lindelof, Greggory Nations, Kyle Pennington, Elizabeth Sarnoff, Brian K. Vaughan; ABC
Mad Men, Written by Lisa Albert, Jane Anderson, Rick Cleveland, Kater Gordon, David Isaacs, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Marti Noxon, Robin Veith, Matthew Weiner; AMC
The Wire, Written by Ed Burns, Chris Collins, David Mills, David Simon, William F. Zorzi, Richard Price, Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos; HBO
30 Rock, Written by Jack Burditt, Kay Cannon, Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Donald Glover, Andrew Guest, Matt Hubbard, Jon Pollack, John Riggi, Tami Sagher, Ron Weiner; NBC
Entourage, Written by Doug Ellin, Jeremy Miller, Ally Musika, Steve Pink, Rob Weiss; HBO
The Office, Written by Steve Carell, Jennifer Celotta, Greg Daniels, Lee Eisenberg, Anthony Farrell, Brent Forrester, Dan Goor, Charlie Grandy, Mindy Kaling, Ryan Koh, Lester Lewis, Paul Lieberstein, Warren Lieberstein, B.J. Novak, Michael Schur, Aaron Shure, Justin Spitzer, Gene Stupnitsky, Halsted Sullivan; NBC
The Simpsons, Written by J. Stewart Burns, Daniel Chun, Joel H. Cohen, Kevin Curran, John Frink, Tom Gammill, Valentina Garza, Stephanie Gillis, Dan Greaney, Reid Harrison, Ron Hauge, Al Jean, Brian Kelly, Billy Kimball, Rob LaZebnik, Tim Long, Ian Maxtone-Graham, David Mirkin, Bill Odenkirk, Carolyn Omine, Don Payne, Michael Price, Max Pross, Mike Reiss, Mike Scully, Matt Selman, Matt Warburton, Jeff Westbrook, Marc Wilmore, William Wright; Fox
Weeds, Written by Roberto Benabib, Mark A. Burley, Ron Fitzgerald, David Holstein, Rolin Jones, Brendan Kelly, Jenji Kohan, Victoria Morrow, Matthew Salsberg; Showtime
Breaking Bad, Written by Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Patty Lin, George Mastras, J Roberts; AMC
Fringe, Written by JJ Abrams, Jason Cahill, Julia Cho, David H. Goodman, Felicia Henderson, Brad Caleb Kane, Alex Kurtzman, Darin Morgan, J.R. Orci, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Zack Whedon; Fox
In Treatment, Written by Rodrigo Garcia, Bryan Goluboff, Davey Holmes, William Meritt Johnson, Amy Lippman, Sarah Treem; HBO
Life on Mars, Written by Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Scott Rosenberg, Becky Hartman Edwards, David Wilcox, Adele Lim, Bryan Oh, Tracy McMillan, Sonny Postiglione, Phil M. Rosenberg, Meredith Averill; ABC
True Blood, Written by Alan Ball, Brian Buckner, Raelle Tucker, Alexander Woo, Nancy Oliver, Chris Offutt; HBO
Episodic Drama - any length - one airing time
“Don’t Ever Change” (House), Written by Doris Egan & Leonard Dick; Fox
“Double Booked” (Burn Notice), Written by Craig O’Neill & Jason Tracey; USA
“Gray Matter” (Breaking Bad), Written by Patty Lin; AMC
“Pilot” (Breaking Bad), Written by Vince Gilligan; AMC
“Pilot” (Eli Stone), Written by Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim; ABC
“There’s Something About Harry” (Dexter), Written by Scott Reynolds; Showtime
Episodic Comedy - any length - one airing time
“Believe in the Stars” (30 Rock), Written by Robert Carlock; NBC
“Cooter” (30 Rock), Written by Tina Fey; NBC
“Crime Aid” (The Office), Written by Charlie Grandy; NBC
“Crush’d” (Ugly Betty), Written by Tracy Poust & Jon Kinnally; ABC
“Succession” (30 Rock), Written by Andrew Guest & John Riggi; NBC
“Vote for This and I Promise to Do Something Crazy at the Emmys” (My Name is Earl), Written by Greg Garcia; NBC
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Forbes tags Gibson as most powerful celeb
Forbes magazine's Celebrity 100 power list ranks actor/director Mel Gibson at the top this year, Reuters reports. Gibson, who directed, produced and co-wrote The Passion of the Christ, about the last hours of Jesus, earned $210 million as well as huge media buzz from the film. Forbes magazine factors in media attention, i.e. magazine covers, press clippings, TV and radio coverage and Internet hits. Others on the list included golf star Tiger Woods, talk show host Oprah Winfrey, actor/producer Tom Cruise and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Those missing from the list included singer/actress Jennifer Lopez, who ranked fifth last year and her former fiancé Ben Affleck, who ranked seventh, as well as Eminem and Dr. Dre, who held the No. 2 spot and former reality show darlings the Osbournes (12th).
Andy Dick pleads not guilty
Comic actor Andy Dick, best known for his NBC series NewsRadio, pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge, The Associated Press reports. Dick, who currently appears in the ABC comedy Less Than Zero, was arrested by Indio, Calif., police on May 2 after a security guard at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival reportedly saw the actor trying to light a joint. Dick's latest drug-related run-in follows another incident three years ago when a Los Angeles judge dismissed felony drug charges of possession of cocaine and misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and a smoking device against the comedian after he successfully completed an 18-month diversion program.
Bono violates Ireland's smoking ban
Here's something different: U2 frontman Bono apologized for having a smoke. According to Reuters, the Irish rocker was spotted last week lighting up during a late-night bash at a Dublin restaurant with rock band the Red Hot Chili Peppers, thus breaching Ireland's recent ban on smoking in the workplace. "It was the wee small hours. I was in the company of people from out of town who didn't know about the ban and for a moment nor did I," newspapers quoted Bono as saying Friday. "I was quickly reminded by the staff and a few friends. I apologized then and I apologize now."
Call her Esther
That's the Hebrew name Kabbalah follower Madonna has chosen for herself, AP reports. In an interview with ABC's 20/20, airing this Friday, the singer explained, "I was named after my mother. My mother died when she was very young, of cancer, and…I wanted to attach myself to another name. This is in no way a negation of who my mother is…I wanted to attach myself to the energy of a different name." Madonna also said her Jewish beliefs are not a trend and that she does not take them lightly. "I'm a little bit irritated that people think that it's like some celebrity bandwagon that I've jumped on, or that, say, somebody like Demi (Moore) has jumped on," the 45-year-old singer said. "We don't take it lightly."
Madonna praises Fahrenheit 9/11
Madonna urged fans during her concert Wednesday night at New York's Madison Square Garden to go see Michael Moore's latest film, the anti-Bush documentary Fahrenheit 9/11. Moore screened Fahrenheit 9/11, which opens in New York two days earlier than its nationwide opening June 25, to a crowd of celebrities and members of the press Monday at New York's Ziegfeld Theater. In what MTV News describes as "a genuine, unscripted moment," Madonna told the audience--which included Moore--that she had just seen the film and that it had really affected her. "Not only is it inspiring and educating, but it's proof that people can make a difference, that we can make a difference," she said. "So, Michael, I know you're out there tonight, and I just wanted to publicly thank you for sticking your neck out, for going against the establishment, for giving us hope."
Conservatives slam Fahrenheit 9/11
While Madonna is singing Michael Moore's praises for his anti-Bush documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, conservative groups have organized campaigns condemning the film and its maker.
One group, Move America Forward, has launched an anti-Moore letter-writing campaign alerting theater chains that they don't support the showing of Fahrenheit 9/11. "(Moore) is critical of what's happening right now, and there's no problem with being critical--but his movie is not a documentary, it's a piece of propaganda," Siobhan Guiney, the executive director for the pro-Bush group, says on the group Web site. Another independent conservative group, Citizens United, is making video ads for TV and the Internet denouncing Moore. The group's head, David Bossie, said the ads would target Moore and George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist who donated nearly $13 million to various groups seeking to defeat Bush.
Kelly Ripa gets $40 million in new Live contract
Kelly Ripa will host Live with Regis and Kelly for five more years in a contract purportedly worth millions. The syndicated TV entertainment show Extra reported the co-host will be paid about $40 million under her new Live contract, or $8 million a year. Ripa, a former cast member on the ABC soap All My Children, landed in the chair next to Regis Philbin in February 2001, replacing Kathie Lee Gifford. Philbin, 72, has two more years on his current contract on Live, which enters its 17th season this fall. Ripa, 33, will also continue to appear on her primetime ABC sitcom Hope & Faith, which begins its second season in the fall.
Hawaii Five-O star honored in Hawaii
Hawaii Five-O star Jack Lord, who died in 1998 from congestive heart failure, is being honored with a bronze bust at one of his favorite walking spots in Honolulu, the AP reports. The 40-pound sculpture, by Hawaii artist Lynn Weiler Liverton, is scheduled to go on display Saturday during a ceremony at Kahala Mall in East Oahu. "We decided on Kahala Mall because it was the place where you could always see Jack," said Doug Mossman, who had recurring roles as Lt. George Kealoha and Frank Kamana on the show. "He'd stroll through the mall in shorts, aloha shirt and straw hat, smiling." Lord, who portrayed detective Steve McGarrett on the series that ran from 1968-80, is credited with being the first star to require local actors be given roles because he believed they captured the flavor of Hawaii. His wife, Marie, still lives in the couple's Kahala residence.
Guylaine Cadorette contributed to this report.