The 2013 nominees for the Writers Guild of America awards have been announced. Writers, you say? Yes, writers! The people that make words dance on pages to create the worlds in which our favorite shows flourish. Some people, when confronted with a brilliant episode of television automatically assume the credit for its general goodness should go to the actors. But what about the writers? They are often just as (if not more so) likely to be the reason you laughed, cried, gasped, guffawed, or squirmed in your seat during last week's episode of your favorite show.
These makers of televised scripts carry a good chunk of a show's success (and failure) on their shoulders, and leading the pack of successful witty wordsmiths? Lena Dunham and her HBO darling Girls. Overall, it seems as though cable dramas fared better than broadcast (which, duh), but on the flip-side, broadcast comedies outdid their cable brethren. Breaking Bad cleaned up in the episodic drama category, and comedy lady hero Amy Poehler got herself a nod for the episode of Parks and Recreation she penned, "The Debate."
Check out the full list of nominees below!
Boardwalk Empire written by Dave Flebotte, Diane Frolov, Chris Haddock, Rolin Jones, Howard Korder, Steve Kornacki, Andrew Schneider, David Stenn, Terence Winter; HBO
Breaking Bad written by Sam Catlin, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Gennifer Hutchison, George Mastras, Thomas Schnauz, Moira Walley-Beckett; AMC
Game of Thrones written by David Benioff, Bryan Cogman, George R. R. Martin, Vanessa Taylor, D.B. Weiss; HBO
Homeland written by Henry Bromell, Alexander Cary, Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Chip Johannessen, Meredith Stiehm; Showtime
Mad Men written by Lisa Albert, Semi Chellas, Jason Grote, Jonathan Igla, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Brett Johnson, Janet Leahy, Victor Levin, Erin Levy, Frank Pierson, Michael Saltzman, Tom Smuts, Matthew Weiner; AMC
30 Rock written by Jack Burditt, Kay Cannon, Robert Carlock, Tom Ceraulo, Vali Chandrasekaran, Luke Del Tredici, Tina Fey, Lauren Gurganous, Matt Hubbard, Colleen McGuinness, Sam Means, Dylan Morgan, Nina Pedrad, John Riggi, Josh Siegel, Ron Weiner, Tracey Wigfield; NBC
Girls written by Judd Apatow, Lesley Arfin, Lena Dunham, Sarah Heyward, Bruce Eric Kaplan, Jenni Konner, Deborah Schoeneman, Dan Sterling; HBO
Louie written by Pamela Adlon, Vernon Chatman, Louis C.K.; FX
Modern Family written by Cindy Chupack, Paul Corrigan, Abraham Higginbotham, Ben Karlin, Elaine Ko, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Dan O’Shannon, Jeffrey Richman, Audra Sielaff, Brad Walsh, Bill Wrubel, Danny Zuker; ABC
Parks and Recreation written by Megan Amram, Greg Daniels, Nate Dimeo, Katie Dippold, Daniel J. Goor, Norm Hiscock, Dave King, Greg Levine, Joe Mande, Aisha Muharrar, Nick Offerman, Chelsea Peretti, Amy Poehler, Alexandra Rushfield, Michael Schur, Mike Scully, Harris Wittels, Alan Yang; NBC
Girls written by Judd Apatow, Lesley Arfin, Lena Dunham, Sarah Heyward, Bruce Eric Kaplan, Jenni Konner, Deborah Schoeneman, Dan Sterling; HBO
The Mindy Project written by Ike Barinholtz, Jeremy Bronson, Linwood Boomer, Adam Countee, Harper Dill, Mindy Kaling, Chris McKenna, B.J. Novak, David Stassen, Matt Warburton; Fox
Nashville written by Wendy Calhoun, Jason George, David Gould, David Marshall Grant, Dee Johnson, Todd Ellis Kessler, Callie Khouri, Meredith Lavender, Nancy Miller, James Parriott, Liz Tigelaar, Marcie Ulin; ABC
The Newsroom written by Brendan Fehily, David Handelman, Cinque Henderson, Paul Redford, Ian Reichbach, Amy Rice, Aaron Sorkin, Gideon Yago; HBO
Veep written by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Roger Drew, Sean Gray, Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, Tony Roche, Will Smith; HBO
“Buyout” (Breaking Bad), written by Gennifer Hutchison; AMC
"Dead Freight” (Breaking Bad), written by George Mastras; AMC
“Fifty-One” (Breaking Bad), written by Sam Catlin; AMC
“New Car Smell” (Homeland), written by Meredith Stiehm; Showtime
“The Other Woman” (Mad Men), written by Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner; AMC
“Say My Name” (Breaking Bad), written by Thomas Schnauz; AMC
“The Debate” (Parks and Recreation), written by Amy Poehler; NBC
“Episode 9” (Episodes), written by David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik; Showtime
“Leap Day” (30 Rock), written by Luke Del Tredici; NBC
“Little Bo Bleep” (Modern Family), written by Cindy Chupack; ABC
“Mistery Date” (Modern Family), written by Jeffrey Richman; ABC
“Virgin Territory” (Modern Family), written by Elaine Ko; ABC
LONG FORM – ORIGINAL
Hatfields and McCoys, Nights 2 and 3, teleplay by Ted Mann and Ronald Parker, Story by Bill Kerby and Ted Mann; History Channel
Hemingway & Gelhorn written by Jerry Stahl and Barbara Turner; HBO
Pilot (Political Animals), written by Greg Berlanti; USA
LONG FORM – ADAPTED
Coma, Nights 1 and 2, teleplay by John McLaughlin, based on the book by Robin Cook; A&E
Game Change written by Danny Strong, based on the book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann; HBO
“A Farewell to Arms” (Futurama), written by Josh Weinstein; Comedy Central
“Forget-Me-Not” (Family Guy), written by David A. Goodman; Fox
“Holidays of Future Passed” (The Simpsons), written by J. Stewart Burns; Fox
“Ned and Edna’s Blend Agenda” (The Simpsons), written by Jeff Westbrook; Fox
“Treehouse of Horror XXIII” (The Simpsons), written by David Mandel & Brian Kelley; Fox
COMEDY / VARIETY (INCLUDING TALK) – SERIES
The Colbert Report writers: Michael Brumm, Stephen Colbert, Rich Dahm, Paul Dinello, Eric Drysdale, Rob Dubbin, Glenn Eichler, Dan Guterman, Peter Gwinn, Barry Julien, Jay Katsir, Frank Lesser, Opus Moreschi, Tom Purcell, Meredith Scardino, Scott Sherman, Max Werner; Comedy Central
Conan writers: Jose Arroyo, Andres du Bouchet, Deon Cole, Josh Comers, Dan Cronin, Michael Gordon, Brian Kiley, Laurie Kilmartin, Rob Kutner, Todd Levin, Brian McCann, Conan O'Brien, Matt O'Brien, Jesse Popp, Andy Richter, Brian Stack, Mike Sweeney; TBS
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart writers: Rory Albanese, Kevin Bleyer, Richard Blomquist, Steve Bodow, Tim Carvell, Hallie Haglund, J.R. Havlan, Elliott Kalan, Dan McCoy, Jo Miller, John Oliver, Zhubin Parang, Daniel Radosh, Jason Ross, Jon Stewart; Comedy Central
Jimmy Kimmel Live writers: Tony Barbieri, Jonathan Bines, Joelle Boucai, Sal Iacono, Eric Immerman, Gary Greenberg, Josh Halloway, Bess Kalb, Jimmy Kimmel, Jeff Loveness, Molly McNearney, Bryan Paulk, Danny Ricker, Rick Rosner; ABC
Key & Peele writers: Jay Martel, Ian Roberts, Keegan Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Sean Conroy, Colton Dunn, Charlie Sanders, Alex Rubens, Rebecca Drysdale; Comedy Central
Portlandia writers: Fred R. Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Karey Dornetto, Jonathan Krisel, Bill Oakley; IFC
Real Time With Bill Maher writers: Scott Carter, Adam Felber, Matt Gunn, Brian Jacobsmeyer, Jay Jaroch, Chris Kelly, Mike Larsen, Bill Maher, Billy Martin; HBO
Saturday Night Live Head writer: Seth Meyers. Writers: James Anderson, Alex Baze, Neil Casey, Jessica Conrad, James Downey, Shelly Gossman, Steve Higgins, Colin Jost, Zach Kanin, Chris Kelly, Joe Kelly, Erik Kenward, Rob Klein, Lorne Michaels, John Mulaney, Christine Nangle, Mike O’Brien, Josh Patten, Paula Pell, Marika Sawyer, Sarah Schneider, Pete Schultz, John Solomon, Kent Sublette, Bryan Tucker, Additional Sketch By Emily Spivey, Jorma Taccone, Additional Material By Frank Sebastiano; NBC Universal
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; CBS
2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards written by Billy Kimball, Wayne Federman; IFC
After the Academy Awards Head writers Gary Greenberg, Molly McNearney. Writers Tony Barbieri, Jonathan Bines, Sal Iacono, Eric Immerman, Jimmy Kimmel, Jeffrey Loveness, Bryan Paulk, Danny Ricker, Richard G. Rosner; ABC
National Memorial Day Concert written by Joan Meyerson; PBS
Days of Our Lives written by Lorraine Broderick, Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, Rick Draughon, Christopher Dunn, Lacey Dyer, Janet Iacobuzio, David A. Levinson, Ryan Quan, Dave Ryan, Melissa Salmons, Roger Schroeder, Elizabeth Snyder, Christopher J. Whitesell, Nancy Williams Watt; NBC
One Life to Live written by Lorraine Broderick, Ron Carlivati, Anna Theresa Cascio, Daniel J. O’Connor, Elizabeth Page, Jean Passanante, Melissa Salmons, Katherine Schock, Scott Sickles, Courtney Simon, Chris Van Etten; ABC
The Young and the Restless written by Amanda Beall, Jeff Beldner, Brent Boyd, Susan Dansby, Janice Ferri Esser, Jay Gibson, Scott Hamner, Maria Kanelos, Natalie Minardi Slater, Beth Milstein, Michael Montgomery, Anne Schoettle, Linda Schreiber, Lisa Seidman, Sarah K. Smith, Christopher J. Whitesell, Teresa Zimmerman; CBS
CHILDREN'S – EPISODIC & SPECIALS
“The Good Sport” (Sesame Street), written by Christine Ferraro; PBS
CHILDREN’S – LONG FORM OR SPECIAL
Girl vs. Monster story by Annie De Young; teleplay by Annie De Young and Ron McGee; Disney Channel
Winners will be announced on February 17th at events in New York and Los Angeles. What do you think of this year's nominees? Let us know in the comments!
[Photo Credit: Jojo Whilden/HBO]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
Drum Roll Please: The Nominees for the 2013 Grammy Awards
The Entire 'Freaks and Geeks' Cast Reunite — PHOTO
Stephen Tobolowsky Out, B.J. Novak to Guest on 'The Mindy Project'
From Our Partners:
Kate Middleton Pregnant: A Look Back at Famous Royal Baby Portraits (PHOTOS)
Pregnant Kate Middleton Leaves Hospital After Four-Day Stay
Using the formula so many unsuccessful romantic comedies have employed before it (looking at you Valentine's Day) What to Expect When You're Expecting wrangles a cast of big name stars but drops them in roles perfectly aligned with their sensibilities. Paired with a relatable central concept — one way or another we've all seen a side of pregnancy — director Kirk Jones (Waking Ned Devine) pulls off a comedy that's sweet poignant and most importantly funny. The experience of having a baby presented in the film isn't glorified or glamorized nor is it a one-person job resting on the women's shoulders making What to Expect a blockbuster comedy that delivers a little something for everyone.
Taking place primarily in Atlanta What to Expect bounces back and forth between a handful of couples with babies on the brain: Wendy (Elizabeth Banks) and Gary (Ben Falcone) are desperately trying to get pregnant while Gary's NASCAR legend father Ramsey (Dennis Quaid) is (frustratingly) having no problem with his trophy wife Skyler (Brooklyn Decker); Weight loss TV personality Jules (Cameron Diaz) takes home the top prize at a celeb dance-off at the same time she discovers she's carrying her dance partner Evan's (Matthew Morrison) child; Holly (Jennifer Lopez) and Alex (Rodrigo Santoro) are finally ready to take the plunge into the world of adoption but the actual process turns out to be an uphill battle; and Rosie (Anna Kendrick) a food truck owner has a wild night out with her competition (and former flame) Marco (Chace Crawford) that puts them both in a difficult situation. If you guessed she's pregnant you'd be correct.
What to Expect's DNA is a closer to match Woody Allen's Every Thing You Always Wanted to Know About Sex *But Were Afraid to Ask than anything out of the generic rom-com playbook. The screenplay from Heather Hach and Shauna Crossm is sharp with even the silliest and most expected gags landing thanks to the comedic talents of Banks Diaz Kendrick and the wicked rapport of the "Dude's Group " sporting Chris Rock Thomas Lennon Rob Huebel Amir Talai and Joe Manganiello. Even Decker who outshines her costars in Battleship holds her own taking the bubbly blonde to a whole other level
The movie makes a bold move to mix the less shiny moments of pregnancy in with the broad comedy and the results are mixed. Rosie and Marco's struggle with their accidental pregnancy takes a dramatic turn that doesn't feel earned in the grand scheme of things. Kendrick handles it with grace but pregnancy in its darkest moments require breathing room and with so many stories to juggle What to Expect can't afford it. Jennifer Lopez is the movie's biggest weakness a thread that never digs deep (or illicit laughs) from the roller coaster ride of adoption. The couple's predicament forces J.Lo to stick mostly to pouting and is completely overshadowed by the movie's highlights.
Thankfully those highlights are plentiful. Whether Diaz is spoofing Biggest Loser with her satirical take on TV personalities Banks is having a meltdown during her keynote at a baby expo or Rock is delivering a profanity-laden soliloquy on why dads need to man up What to Expect keeps laughs coming. Hollywood rarely gives birth to a comedy that's both hilarious and honest. What to Expect hits both chords defying expectations.
S11E14: After a gruelling night of more viable contestants than we know what to do with, American Idol’s top 12 girls night was a stark contrast. With the guys, almost every performance had a hook. Even when a singer, like Eben Franckewitz, proved that he’s not quite ready for the competition, he did it without making us regret tuning in. But this evening’s offering of ladies’ tunes made me wonder if I’d been watching a different show all season and if I could somehow convince the judges to give two of the girls’ slots to our guys. That’s the problem with the Idol system: we have to see this equal split of genders in the top 13. Instead of sending through the top 13 best possible performers, we send through the best girls and the best guys. It just so happens that this year, the girls aren’t the group with the best crop of singers.
But I can’t just throw these claims around, so I’ve prepared some proof. If the fact that two singers chose to perform the same Adele song and the fact that the judges weren’t simply singing praises all night isn’t proof enough, here are our ladies from the mind-blowing revelations to moments we wish we could un-witness.
Jessica Sanchez “Love You I Do”
For someone who only really sneaked into the competition during group week, Jessica is suddenly a frontrunner. This girl delivered the best song of the night, hands down. She says her voice is sore, but if that’s what she sounds like when she’s sick, I hope she never gets better. She belongs on that stage. Jennifer praises her use of dynamics and her stage presence - she’s performing at an almost professional level. Randy continues on his comparison tirade, calling her a young Beyonce. While I appreciate the sentiment, these comparisons aren’t good for the contestants - it’s pigeon-holing and pressure all at once.
Shannon Magrane “Go Light Your World”
Here’s how great a singer Shannon Magrane is: she picked a song no one knows in a genre outside of the pop music canon and she’s still a top performer of the night. To put it simply, her voice is phenomenal for a 16 year old. Jennifer says Shannon feels it in her soul like something terrible happened to her at a young age - though I’d hope that great music isn’t only borne of tragedy. Randy is fully on board and Steven spends his allotted time struggling to keep from saying how attractive she is in front of her father...again.
Hollie Cavanaugh “Reflection”
When she started singing, I would never have guessed she’d make into one of my top slots. But I can now say, without a doubt, that she’s one of the strongest, most surprising contestants on the show. She started off a little unsure, but as the song built up, she suddenly broke out with a huge voice that we never saw in auditions. The judges all say they want to see her let her hair down - a delicious prospect after as performance like this - but Jennifer goes far enough to say that Hollie could win this thing. It’s probably a little early to make these claims, but I’m certainly excited to see what she does next.
Hallie Day “Feeling Good”
When Hallie hit the stage after a few mediocre performances from her peers, she was a bit of a relief. She’s got an old soul of a voice and she’s a joy to watch - even though she has trouble working the stage and maintaining her strength. And in truth, she’s a great singer, but when Steven compared her to Adele I had an almost allergic reaction. Adele is the biggest singer in the world right now, the last thing we need is a slate of copy cats. Even if Hallie turns out to be the next Adele, calling her that would only hurt her.
Elise Testone “One and Only”
I always forget about Elise and when she ended up singing the same song as Jen Hirsh, I feared the worst. First, like I said about little Eben on guys’ night: never, ever start with Adele. Why two girls did the same song by an artist no one should cover is beyond me. Good thing for Elise, she delivered the better performance. She makes it her own, taking it into gospel territory - a little more old school than Adele does it. Jennifer says Elise didn’t quite hit the notes she could have because her emotions got in the way - but her emotions are what made this rendition work. Randy says it wasn’t her best performance, but it was great. They say she’s one of the best people in the competition, and I think it’s too soon to tell, but she’s certainly intriguing.
Skylar Laine “Stay With Me”
I’ve liked Skylar since the beginning. She’s an old school country singer with strong vocals, but her stage presences is a little manic this time around. I love this girl, but the shaking arms and vibrations need to scale back a little. Jennifer says she’s what it would be like if “Tina Turner went country.” Randy calls her Reba McEntire/Kelly Clarkson/Tina Turner. Once again, the judges are there to help qualify and all they do is compare unique talents to already established singers. Skylar is Skylar - let’s not put her in a box from the start.
Erika Van Pelt “What About Love”
While she was a favorite throughout auditions, her first live show was not impressive. She played it so incredibly safe and didn’t make use of her character or smokiness. Once again, Randy makes an outrageous comparison, saying she’s got an Adele vibe, which, as I’ve said multiple times in this recap, isn’t helping anyone. She’s got a strong voice but she didn’t really use it, and it could cost her a spot in the competition.
Jen Hirsh “One and Only”
STOP SINGING ADELE SONGS. Jen’s rendition of “One and Only” precedes Elise’s, but that didn’t help her. It’s simply not strong, unique, or emotional enough to let us forget what the original sounds like. I simply couldn’t stop hearing Adele and comparing Jen’s subpar performance to Adele’s heart-breaking one. Jennifer loves it and says she let loose - but it’s not enough, all I can hear is how she tried and failed to sound like Adele. It’s disappointing because in Hollywood, Jen was one who stood out. That original sound is long gone, but if she sticks around maybe she can find it again.
Chelsea Sorrell “Cowboy Casanova”
Chelsea is another contestant I constantly forget, and this song doesn’t really help. She lets the Carrie Underwood tune do the work for her and Randy rightfully questions coming out of the gate with Underwood’s song. It’s true, she floats along with the help of the song and she really doesn’t have her own identity. Plus, when we strip away the bounce of the tune, we’re just left with a slightly nasally country gal. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, and the other options are just so much better.
Brielle Von Hugel “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay”
Brielle has a bit of an issue going into this competition because we watched her turn into a bit of a diva during Hollywood week. Her onstage bravado is tainted by the attitude issues we saw during that tense week, and to boot, she picks a song that dips out of her range and at times reaches to high for her. Steven loves it because he loves everything. But Jennifer and Randy praise her too. They say she’s a true performer - she’s a ham, but I wouldn’t call her a performer. And Randy says she has Janis Joplin swag. They go a little easy on the girl if you ask me, but maybe my judgement is just a little clouded.
Baylie Brown “Amazed”
She doesn’t belong in the top 24. Not only is the song a terrible choice, but she alternates between going flat and sharp. But hey, she’s gorgeous. The judges rattle off harsh - but not harsh enough - criticisms about everything from her song choice, to her shaky performance, to her lack of oomph. Of course they all manage to tell her how pretty she looks. If her Barbie doll appearance gives her a top 13 slot, I’m going to be a very unhappy camper.
Haley Johnsen “Sweet Dreams”
I’m still not sure what happened here. Haley has no control. She’s off key. The song owned her in the worst possible way. Jennifer says she has so much skill and a unique voice, but I have to assume she’s pulling that from past performances because this sad rendition held none of those things. Steven says she wasn’t perfect, but “who is?” proving his commentary is just a side show. Randy thankfully says it was a bit of a nightmare. Sorry, Haley. I’m going to have to agree whole heartedly with Randy on this one.
Who are your top five? Do you think anyone could win it all? Are you afraid your favorite might be sent home? Let us know in the comments or get at me on Twitter @KelseaStahler