Award Season

2018 WGA Awards

Brendan McCarthy – Grace and Frankie

By: Pete Borreggine

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 2/14/18 – What a wonderful night it was for writers!  The Writers Guild Awards were given out on Saturday, February 11. This was my very first time covering a red carpet event and it was fun!

  • FILM:

o   ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Get Out, Written by Jordan Peele; Universal Pictures – WINNER

o   ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Call Me by Your Name, Screenplay by James Ivory; Based on the Novel by André Aciman; Sony Pictures Classics – WINNER

o   DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY: Jane, Written by Brett Morgen; National Geographic – WINNER


o   DRAMA SERIES: The Handmaid’s Tale, Written by Ilene Chaiken, Nina Fiore, Dorothy Fortenberry, Leila Gerstein, John Herrera, Lynn Renee Maxcy, Bruce Miller, Kira Snyder, Wendy Straker Hauser, Eric Tuchman; Hulu – WINNER

o   COMEDY SERIES:  Veep, Written by Gabrielle Allan, Rachel Axler, Ted Cohen, Jennifer Crittenden, Alex Gregory, Steve Hely, Peter Huyck, Erik Kenward, Billy Kimball, David Mandel, Ian Maxtone-Graham, Dan Mintz, Lew Morton, Georgia Pritchett, Will Smith; HBO – WINNER

Jordan Peele, Veep, Last Week Tonight win at the 2018 WGA Awards

o   NEW SERIES: The Handmaid’s Tale, Written by Ilene Chaiken, Nina Fiore, Dorothy Fortenberry, Leila Gerstein, John Herrera, Lynn Renee Maxcy, Bruce Miller, Kira Snyder, Wendy Straker Hauser, Eric Tuchman; Hulu – WINNER

o   LONG FORM ORIGINAL: Flint, Written by Barbara Stepansky; Lifetime – WINNER

o   LONG FORM ADAPTED: Big Little Lies, Teleplay by David E. Kelley, Based on the Novel by Liane Moriarty; HBO – WINNER

Jordan Peele, Veep, Last Week Tonight win at the 2018 WGA Awards

o   SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA ADAPTED: “Starboy” (Zac & Mia), Teleplay by Allen Clary and Andrew Rothschild, Based on the novel Zac & Mia by A.J. Betts; – WINNER

o   ANIMATION: “Time’s Arrow” (BoJack Horseman), Written by Kate Purdy;

James Ivory, co-writer of the film “Call Me By Your Name,” poses with his Outstanding Adapted Screenplay award backstage at the 2018 Writers Guild Awards at the Beverly Hilton, in Beverly Hills, Calif
2018 Writers Guild Awards, Beverly Hills, USA – 11 Feb 2018 (Photo: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Netflix – WINNER

o   EPISODIC DRAMA: “Chicanery” (Better Call Saul), Written by Gordon Smith; AMC – WINNER

o   EPISODIC COMEDY: “Rosario’s Quinceanera” (Will & Grace), Written by Tracy Poust & Jon Kinnally; NBC – WINNER

o   COMEDIC/VARIETY TALK-SERIES: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Writers: Tim Carvell, Josh Gondelman, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeff Maurer, John Oliver, Scott Sherman, Will Tracy, Jill Twiss, Juli Weiner, Ben Silva, Seena Vali; HBO – WINNER

Jordan Peele
70th Annual Writers Guild Awards, Show, Los Angeles, USA – 11 Feb 2018 (Photo: Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock)

o   COMEDY/VARIETY SKETCH SERIES: Saturday Night Live, Head Writers: Chris Kelly, Sarah Schneider, Bryan Tucker, Writers: James Anderson, Kristen Bartlett, Jeremy Beiler, Neal Brennan, Zack Bornstein, Joanna Bradley, Megan Callahan, Michael Che, Anna Drezen, Fran Gillespie, Sudi Green, Steve Higgins, Colin Jost, Erik Kenward, Rob Klein, Nick Kocher, Michael Koman, Dave McCary, Brian McElhaney, Dennis McNicholas, Drew Michael, Lorne Michaels, Josh Patten, Katie Rich, Pete Schultz, Streeter Seidell, Will Stephen, Kent Sublette, Julio Torres; NBC Universal – WINNER

o   COMEDY/VARIETY SPECIALS: 39th Annual Kennedy Center Honors, Written by Dave Boone; CBS – WINNER

o   QUIZ AND AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: Hollywood Game Night, Head Writer: Grant Taylor; Writers: Michael Agbabian, Alex Chauvin, Ann Slichter, Dwight D. Smith; NBC – WINNER

o   DAYTIME DRAMA: General Hospital, Head Writers: Shelly Altman, Jean Passanante; Writers: Anna Theresa Cascio, Suzanne Flynn, Charlotte Gibson, Lucky Gold, Kate Hall, Elizabeth Korte, Daniel James O’Connor, Dave Rupel, Katherine Schock, Scott Sickles, Christopher Van Etten, Christopher Whitesell; ABC – WINNER

o   CHILDREN’S EPISODIC AND SPECIALS: “An American Girl Story – Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance” (American Girl), Written by May Chan; Amazon – WINNER

o   DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS: “The Great War” Part II (American Experience), Written by Stephen Ives; PBS – WINNER

o   NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY: “Chief of Chobani” (60 Minutes), Written by Steve Kroft, Oriana Zill de Granados; CBS News – WINNER

o   DIGITAL NEWS: “The Super Predators,” Written by Melissa Jeltsen, Dana Liebelson; – WINNER


o   RADIO/AUDIO DOCUMENTARY: “CBS Radio 90th Anniversary,” Written by Dianne E. James, Gail Lee; CBS News Radio – WINNER

o   RADIO/AUDIO NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT: “World News This Week: June 9, 2017,” Written by Tara Gimbel Tanis; ABC News Radio – WINNER


I also had the pleasure of interviewing the following wonderful people:

  • Debra Dean Davis (The Monster Project, Star Trek the Next Generation)
  • Karen Harris (The Bay, The Incredible Hulk)
  • Nina Fiore (A Handmaids Tale)
  • Brendan McCarthy (Grace and Frankie)
  • Jim Clemente (Manhunt: Unabomber)
  • Glenn Close (Basic Instinct)
  • Nina Fiore (A Handmaids Tale)

I was so impressed with what all these wonderful people had to say.

Debra Dean Davis, who has written for Knight Rider (1982), The Incredible Hulk (1979), Star Trek the Next Generation and more, is currently paying it forward.

As Debra puts it, “Usually if you’re passionate, you make more money!”

Karen Harris who wrote for General Hospital and a new show called “The Bay”, said “My very first show was the Incredible Hulk and I was very conscious of the fact that I was writing for 10 year old’s and 11 year old’s…”  Debra wrote for the “Fall Guy.”

Harris has a show going to Broadway called: “Part of the Plan,” which just had it’s premiere in Nashville, TN.  It’s based on Dan Folgelberg’s music.


Next, I had to the distinct pleasure of interviewing Nina Fiore, up for her first nomination for “A Handmaids Tale”, which won!

“When you’re a writer, you want to tell stories that you bring a different awareness to people, to bring a consciousness to how to think about something or how they think about themselves. Also, how you can inspire people to dig in deep to?  I don’t know maybe have some change in their lives?  I don’t know, there are some many reasons why I write.  For the show, just bringing the awareness of control, the control of a woman’s body, of the humanity that we have within us that you can’t stamp out, no matter how hard you try, especially if you’re a female and for women all over the world, that are going through horrific things.

“I mean, the things that happen in the show; Margaret and I took great care that the things that happen to the women… that they happen, either that they’ve happened in the past or they are happening now. They’re real, they’re not like made up crap!”

In speaking to me, I could feel her passion in the way she spoke. As the interview went on, Audrey Rock, my mentor with the Hollywood Times, felt that passion to with the upcoming statement she made which I will not HIDE or mask.

“The fact that systemic rape is still happening, that we still live in a ‘rape’ culture that is not acceptable. So that being a part of a show that brings that to light, in the particular time that we’re in… I don’t know, it’s kind of mind-blowing. They’re really are no words to describe what that feels like to be a part of that, that swirl of energy fighting for change and that.  TIME’S UP!”

Then Audrey Rock asked, “Do you believe that change will last?”

“It better! It better!”

“if I have anything to say about it! I mean, FUCK!” Nina continued with her passionate speech.  “I’m a fighter. I’m a lover and a fighter and I’m a New Yorker and I don’t take shit. I want to keep fighting in anyway that I can, because you know, the stuff that goes on is bullshit.”


We had the pleasure of speaking with Brendan McCarthy, (“The Burglary” (Grace and Frankie), Written by McCarthy & David Budin). I was standing right next to his father.

He spoke about his father, Mike McCarthy. “My dad, a bleeding heart, union side labor lawyer that has spent his profession protecting and defending labor unions. And to be here as a member of this Guild and to be recognized by my brother’s and sisters is such an honor and makes me very proud. You know, every meal I had as a child, was at ‘labor’s’ table, so to be a part of a vibrant and boisterous of an organized wing of labor in America, is a unique source of pride for me.”

“My writing partner, David Budin, and I were hired by Marta Hoffman and Howard J. Morris for the show and we really just their lead as well as the Executive Producers, Billy Finnigan and John Hoffman. We’re lucky to learn from and be inspired by such a creative group of people. It worked out!”


We then spoke to Jim Clemente, former FBI Profiler and creator of Manhunt: Unabomber.  He wemt on to tell us a little bit about that. “I wrote and created ‘Manhunt: Unabomber’, a series on Discovery, now on Netflix, with my partner who worked with me side-by-side for 22 years in the FBI.  Clemente draws inspiration from his experiences.

“I think that what’s really important, what my goal is, is to bring authenticity to Hollywood, depictions of crime and everyday life! The fact is, because I’ve lived this experience, I can actually tell about it in a truthful way, what the FBI does, what the FBI is like and the kind of investigations that they do.”


It was a brief discussion as she was moving from person to person, and yes, I was slightly nervous, but I believe I got the essence of what she was trying to say.   Although she said that she doesn’t wake up every day thinking how I’m going to be an influence on the world, but rather how to be true to oneself and in what you value. She joked that we’re always trying to figure out who we are which drew a healthy laugh from her.  She concluded that we have a visceral connection with the projects we do and that the support from her family is most important.


o   ON-AIR PROMOTION (RADIO or TELEVISION): “CBS Comedy,” Written by Dan Greenberger; CBS Television – WINNER


o   OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN VIDEOGAME WRITING: Horizon Zero Dawn, Narrative Director John Gonzalez; Lead Writer Benjamin McCaw; Writing by Ben Schroder, Anne Toole; Additional Writing by Dee Warrick, Meg Jayanth; Guerrilla Games – WINNER

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