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‘Moonlight,’ ‘Arrival’ Win Writers Guild Awards: Complete List of Winners

TV awards go to ”The Americans,“ ”Atlanta“ (twice), ”Confirmation“ and ”The People v. O.J. Simpson“


“Moonlight” has won the Writers Guild Award as the best original screenplay of 2016. “Arrival” won the award for adapted screenplay.

The WGA handed out awards simultaneously in Los Angeles and New York. “Arrival” won the adapted-screenplay award in New York before the category had been announced in Los Angeles, where “Arrival” screenwriter Eric Heisserer was. That timing problem has been common in recent years with the WGA, which is split between the WGA, West and WGA, East, each with its own ceremony.

The win for “Moonlight” was particularly impressive, because Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney’s film was classified as an original screenplay by the WGA, putting it in a head-to-head competition with “La La Land” and “Manchester by the Sea.”

At the Oscars, “Moonlight” is nominated in the less competitive adapted-screenplay category, where it is expected to beat “Arrival,” while “Manchester” and “La La Land” duke it out for original screenplay.

In other awards that were handed out in New York before their categories were announced in Los Angeles, “Atlanta” won awards for comedy series and for best new series, while “The People v. O.J. Simpson” won for adapted longform TV, and “Confirmation” won for original longform TV.

“The Americans” was named the best drama series.

“This Is Us” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” won awards for specific episodes of drama and comedy series, respectively. “Saturday Night Live” and “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” won awards for late-night television.

“Command and Control” won the award for feature film documentary screenplay.

The WGA is the last of the major guilds to announce its awards, this year holding its ceremony only one week before the Oscars. Because the guild restricts its nominees to films written under the guild’s Minimum Basic Agreement, or produced by signatories to that agreement or the agreements of affiliated international guilds, it is not always reliable in predicting Oscar nominees or winners.

Still, in the last 10 years, seven of the WGA’s original screenplay winners and eight of its adapted screenplay winners have gone on to take the Oscar.

This year, though, the difference between the WGA and the AMPAS is skewed even further by the fact that the Academy’s Writers Branch ruled that “Moonlight” is an adapted screenplay. The WGA considered it an original one, because the work from which it was adapted, Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue,” was never produced or published.

In honorary awards in Los Angeles, the Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement went to Oliver Stone; the Valentine Davies Award to Richard Curtis; the Jean Renoir Award for International Screenwriting Achievement to the late Abbas Kiarostami; the Paul Selvin Award to Susannah Grant; the Morgan Cox Award for guild service to Dan Wilcox; and the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing to Aaron Sorkin.

In New York, the Ian McLellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement was presented to John Waters; the Herb Sargent Award for Comedy Excellence to Steve O’Donnell; the Richard B. Jablow Award for Devoted Service to the Guild to Courtney Simon; and the Walter Bernstein Award to Jelani Cobb.

Winners are indicated with *WINNER.

“Hell or High Water,” Written by Taylor Sheridan; CBS Films
“La La Land,” Written by Damien Chazelle; Lionsgate
“Loving,” Written by Jeff Nichols; Focus Features
“Manchester by the Sea,” Written by Kenneth Lonergan; Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions
“Moonlight,” Written by Barry Jenkins, Story by Tarell McCraney; A24 *WINNER

“Arrival,” Screenplay by Eric Heisserer; Based on the Story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang; Paramount Pictures *WINNER
“Deadpool,” Written by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick; Based on the X-Men Comic Books; Twentieth Century Fox Film
“Fences,” Screenplay by August Wilson; Based on his Play; Paramount Pictures
“Hidden Figures,” Screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi; Based on the Book by Margot Lee Shetterly; Twentieth Century Fox Film
“Nocturnal Animals,” Screenplay by Tom Ford; Based on the Novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright; Focus Features

“Author: The JT LeRoy Story,” Written by Jeff Feuerzeig; Amazon Studios
“Command and Control,” Telescript by Robert Kenner and Eric Schlosser, Story by Brian Pearle and Kim Roberts; Based on the book Command and Control by Eric Schlosser; American Experience Films *WINNER
“Zero Days,” Written by Alex Gibney; Magnolia Pictures

“The Americans,” Written by Peter Ackerman, Tanya Barfield, Joshua Brand, Joel Fields, Stephen Schiff, Joe Weisberg, Tracey Scott Wilson; FX *WINNER
“Better Call Saul,” Written by Ann Cherkis, Vince Gilligan, Jonathan Glatzer, Peter Gould, Gennifer Hutchison, Heather Marion, Thomas Schnauz, Gordon Smith; AMC
“Game of Thrones,” Written by David Benioff, Bryan Cogman, Dave Hill, D.B. Weiss; HBO
“Stranger Things,” Written by Paul Dichter, Justin Doble, The Duffer Brothers, Jessica Mecklenburg, Jessie Nickson-Lopez, Alison Tatlock; Netflix
“Westworld, Written by Ed Brubaker, Bridget Carpenter; Dan Dietz, Halley Gross; Lisa Joy; Katherin”e Lingenfelter, Dominic Mitchell, Jonathan Nolan, Roberto Patino, Daniel T. Thomsen, Charles Yu; HBO

“Atlanta,” Written by Donald Glover, Stephen Glover, Stefani Robinson, Paul Simms; FX *WINNER
“Silicon Valley,” Written by Megan Amram, Alec Berg, Donick Cary, Adam Countee, Jonathan Dotan, Mike Judge, Carrie Kemper, John Levenstein, Dan Lyons, Carson Mell, Dan O’Keefe, Clay Tarver, Ron Weiner; HBO
“Transparent,” Written by Arabella Anderson, Bridget Bedard, Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster, Jessi Klein, Stephanie Kornick, Ethan Kuperberg, Ali Liebegott, Our Lady J, Faith Soloway, Jill Soloway; Amazon Studios
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” Written by Emily Altman, Robert Carlock, Azie Mira Dungey, Tina Fey, Lauren Gurganous, Sam Means, Dylan Morgan, Marlena Rodriguez, Dan Rubin, Meredith Scardino, Josh Siegal, Allison Silverman, Leila Strachan; Netflix
“Veep,” Written by Rachel Axler, Sean Gray, Alex Gregory, Peter Huyck, Eric Kenward, Billy Kimball, Steve Koren, David Mandel, Jim Margolis, Lew Morton, Georgia Pritchett, Will Smith, Alexis Wilkinson; HBO

“Atlanta,” Written by Donald Glover, Stephen Glover, Stefani Robinson, Paul Simms; FX *WINNER
“Better Things,” Written by Pamela Adlon, Louis C.K., Cindy Chupack, Gina Fattore; FX
“Stranger Things,” Written by Paul Dichter, Justin Doble, The Duffer Brothers, Jessica Mecklenburg, Jessie Nickson-Lopez, Alison Tatlock; Netflix
“This Is Us,” Written by Isaac Aptaker, Elizabeth Berger, Bekah Brunstetter, Dan Fogelman, Vera Herbert, Joe Lawson, Kay Oyegun, Aurin Squire, K.J. Steinberg, Donald Todd; NBC
“Westworld,” Written by Ed Brubaker, Bridget Carpenter, Dan Dietz, Halley Gross, Lisa Joy, Katherine Lingenfelter, Dominic Mitchell, Jonathan Nolan, Roberto Patino, Daniel T. Thomsen, Charles Yu; HBO

“American Crime,” Written by Julie Hébert, Sonay Hoffman, Keith Huff, Stacy A. Littlejohn, Kirk A. Moore, Davy Perez, Diana Son; ABC
“Confirmation,” Written by Susannah Grant; HBO *WINNER
“Harley and the Davidsons,” Written by Seth Fisher, Nick Schenk, Evan Wright; Discovery Channel
“Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le,” Written by Dianne Houston; Lifetime

“11.22.63,” Written by Bridget Carpenter, Brigitte Hales, Joe Henderson, Brian Nelson, Quinton Peeples, Based on the novel by Stephen King; Hulu
“American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson,” Written by Scott Alexander, Joe Robert Cole, D.V. DeVincentis, Maya Forbes, Larry Karaszewski, Wally Wolodarsky, Based on the book The Run of His Life by Jeffrey Toobin; FX *WINNER
“Madoff,” Written by Ben Robbins, Inspired by the Book The Madoff Chronicles: Inside the Secret World of Bernie and Ruth by Brian Ross; ABC
“The Night Of,” Written by Richard Price, Steve Zaillian, Based on the BBC Series Criminal Justice Created by Peter Moffat; HBO
“Roots,” Written by Lawrence Konner, Alison McDonald, Charles Murray, Mark Rosenthal, Based upon the Book by Alex Haley; History Channel

“Episode 101” (“Now We’re Talking”), Written by Tug Coker, Tommy Dewey; go90.com
“Escape the Room” (“Life Ends at 30”), Written by Michael Field; vimeo.com
“Itsy Bitsy Spider” Episode 1 (“Thug Passion”), Written by Motrya Tomycz; vimeo.com
“The Party” (“The Commute”), Written by Linsey Stewart & Dane Clark; youtube.com *WINNER

“Passage” Part 4 (“Fear the Walking Dead”), Written by Lauren Signorino & Mike Zunic; amc.com *WINNER
“Under Siege” (“The Strain”), Written by Bradley Thompson & David Weddle, Based on the novels by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan; fxnetworks.com

“Barthood” (“The Simpsons”), Written by Dan Greaney; Fox
“First Day of Rule” (“Elena of Avalor”), Written by Craig Gerber; Disney Channel
“Fish Out of Water” (“BoJack Horseman”), Written by Elijah Aron & Jordan Young; Netflix
“A Princess on Lothal” (“Star Wars Rebels”), Written by Steven Melching; Disney XD
“Stop the Presses” (“BoJack Horseman”), Written by Joe Lawson; Netflix *WINNER

“Gloves Off” (“Better Call Saul”), Written by Gordon Smith; AMC
“I Am a Storm” (“Shameless”), Written by Sheila Callaghan; Showtime
“Klick” (“Better Call Saul”), Written by Heather Marion & Vince Gilligan; AMC
“Switch” (“Better Call Saul”), Written by Thomas Schnauz; AMC
“The Trip” (“This Is Us”), Written by Vera Herbert; NBC *WINNER
“The Winds of Winter” (“Game of Thrones”), Written for Television by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss; HBO

“Kimmy Finds Her Mom!” (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), Written by Tina Fey & Sam Means; Netflix
“Kimmy Goes on a Playdate!” (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), Written by Robert Carlock; Netflix *WINNER
“Pilot” (“One Mississippi”), Written by Diablo Cody & Tig Notaro; Amazon Studios
“R-A-Y-C-Ray-Cation” (“Speechless”), Written by Carrie Rosen & Seth Kurland; ABC
“Streets on Lock” (“Atlanta”), Written by Stephen Glover; FX
“A Taste of Zephyria” (“Son of Zorn”), Written by Dan Mintz; Fox

“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” Writers: Dan Amira, David Angelo, Steve Bodow, Devin Delliquanti, Zach DiLanzo, Travon Free, Hallie Haglund, David Kibuuka, Matt Koff, Adam Lowitt, Dan McCoy, Lauren Sarver Means, Trevor Noah, Joe Opio, Zhubin Parang, Owen Parson, Daniel Radosh, Michelle Wolf; Comedy Central
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” Writers: Kevin Avery, Tim Carvell, Josh Gondelman, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeff Maurer, John Oliver, Scott Sherman, Will Tracy, Jill Twiss, Juli Weiner; HBO *WINNER
“Late Night with Seth Meyers,” Writers: Jermaine Affonso, Alex Baze, Bryan Donaldson, Sal Gentile, Matt Goldich, Jenny Hagel, Allison Hord, Mike Karnell, Andrew Law, John Lutz, Aparna Nancherla, Chioke Nassor, Seth Meyers, Ian Morgan, Conner O’Malley, Seth Reiss, Amber Ruffin, Mike Scollins, Mike Shoemaker, Ben Warheit, Michelle Wolf; NBC
“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Writers: Mike Brumm, Nate Charny, Aaron Cohen, Stephen Colbert, Cullen Crawford, Paul Dinello, Eric Drysdale, Ariel Dumas, Glenn Eichler, Gabe Gronli, Barry Julien, Jay Katsir, Daniel Kibblesmith, Matt Lappin, Opus Moreschi, Tom Purcell, Jen Spyra, Brian Stack; NBC

“Documentary Now!,” Writers: Bill Hader, John Mulaney, Seth Meyers; IFC
“Inside Amy Schumer,” Writers: Kim Carmele, Kyle Dunnigan, Jessi Klein, Michael Lawrence, Kurt Metzger, Christine Nangle, Claudia O’Doherty, Dan Powell, Tami Sagher, Amy Schumer; Comedy Central
“Maya and Marty in Manhattan,” Head Writers: Mikey Day, Matt Roberts, Bryan Tucker Writers: Eli Bauman, Jeremy Beiler, Chris Belair, Hallie Cantor, David Feldman, R J Fried, Melissa Hunter, Paul Masella, Tim McAuliffe, John Mulaney, Diallo Riddle, Maya Rudolph, Bashir Salahuddin, Marika Sawyer, Streeter Seidell, Martin Short; Emily Spivey, Steve Young; NBC
“Nathan For You,” Written by Leo Allen, Nathan Fielder, Adam Locke-Norton, Eric Notarnicola; Comedy Central
“Saturday Night Live,” Head Writers: Rob Klein, Bryan Tucker Writers: James Anderson, Fred Armisen, Jeremy Beiler, Chris Belair, Megan Callahan, Michael Che, Mikey Day, Jim Downey, Tina Fey, Fran Gillespie, Sudi Green, Tim Herlihy, Steve Higgins, Colin Jost, Zach Kanin, Chris Kelly, Erik Kenward, Paul Masella, Dave McCary, Dennis McNicholas, Seth Meyers, Lorne Michaels, Josh Patten, Paula Pell, Katie Rich, Tim Robinson, Sarah Schneider, Pete Schultz, Streeter Seidell, Dave Sirus, Emily Spivey, Andrew Steele, Will Stephen, Kent Sublette; NBC *WINNER

“68th Primetime Emmy Awards,” Written by Jack Allison, Tony Barbieri, Jonathan Bines, Joelle Boucai, Robert Cohen, Gary Greenberg, Josh Halloway, Sal Iacono, Eric Immerman, Jimmy Kimmel, Bess Kalb, Jeff Loveness, Jon Macks, Molly McNearney, Danny Ricker, Jeff Stilson, Joe Strazzullo, Alexis Wilkinson; ABC
“73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards,” Written by Barry Adelman; Special Material Written by Dave Boone, Ricky Gervais, Jon Macks, Matthew Robinson; NBC
“88th Annual Academy Awards,” Written by Dave Boone, Billy Kimball; Special Material Written by Scott Aukerman, Rodney Barnes, Neil Campbell, Matthew Claybrooks, Lance Crouther, Mike Ferrucci, Langston Kerman, Jon Macks, Steve O’Donnell, Nimesh Patel, Vanessa Ramos, Chris Rock, Frank Sebastiano, Chuck Sklar, Jeff Stilson, Michelle Wolf; CBS
“Triumph’s Election Special,” Written by Andy Breckman, Josh Comers, David Feldman, R J Fried, Jarrett Grode, Ben Joseph, Matthew Kirsch, Michael Koman, Mike Lawrence, Brian Reich, Craig Rowin, Robert Smigel, Zach Smilovitz, Andrew Weinberg; Hulu *WINNER

“Hollywood Game Night,” Head Writer: Grant Taylor; Writers: Michael Agbabian, Alex Chauvin, Ann Slichter, Dwight D. Smith; NBC *WINNER
“Jeopardy!”, Written by John Duarte, Harry Friedman, Mark Gaberman, Deborah Griffin, Michele Loud, Robert McClenaghan, Jim Rhine, Steve D. Tamerius, Billy Wisse; ABC

“General Hospital,” Writers: Shelly Altman, Anna Theresa Cascio, Andrea Archer Compton, Suzanne Flynn, Janet Iacobuzio, Elizabeth Korte, Daniel James O’Connor, Jean Passanante, Dave Rupel, Katherine Schock, Scott Sickles, Chris Van Etten, Christopher Whitesell; ABC *WINNER

“Girl Meets Commonism” (“Girl Meets World”), Written by Joshua Jacobs & Michael Jacobs; Disney Channel
“Just Add Mom” (“Just Add Magic”), Written by John-Paul Nickel; Amazon Studios
“Mel vs. The Night Mare of Normal Street” (“Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street”), Written by Laurie Parres; Amazon Studios *WINNER
“Mucko Polo, Grouch Explorer” (“Sesame Street”), Written by Belinda Ward; HBO

“Dance Camp,” Teleplay by Nick Turner & Rex New and Cameron Fay, Story by Nick Turner & Rex New; youtube.com
“Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas,” Written by Geri Cole & Ken Scarborough; HBO *WINNER
“R.L. Stine’s Monsterville: Cabinet Of Souls,” Written by Billy Brown & Dan Angel; Freeform

“Chasing Heroin” (“Frontline”), written by Marcela Gaviria; PBS
“The Choice 2016” (“Frontline”); Written by Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser; PBS *WINNER
“Inside Assad’s Syria” (“Frontline”), Written by Martin Smith; PBS *WINNER

“American Reds,” Written by Richard Wormser; WPTS Dayton
“Jackie Robinson, Part One,” Written by David McMahon & Sarah Burns; PBS *WINNER
“Netanyahu at War” (“Frontline”), Written by Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser; PBS

“Ambush In Dallas” (“World News Tonight With David Muir”), Written by David Bloch, Karen Mooney, David Muir, David Schoetz; ABC News
“Brussels Under Attack” (“World News Tonight With David Muir”), Written by David Bloch, Karen Mooney, David Muir, David Schoetz; ABC News
“Muhammad Ali: Remembering A Legend” (“48 Hours”), Written by Jerry Cipriano, John Craig Wilson; CBS News *WINNER

“CBS Sunday Morning Almanac” June 12, 2016 (“CBS Sunday Morning”), Written by Thomas A. Harris; CBS *WINNER

“Chernobyl: 30 Years Later,” Written by Andrew Evans; ABC News Radio *WINNER 
“Summer of 2016,” Written by David Shapiro; CBS News Radio

“6:40am News” November 13, 2015, Written by Philip Pilato; CBS Radio Network/1010 WINS
“Legends of the Game,” Written by Thomas A. Sabella; CBS News Radio
“Muhammad Ali: A Tribute to Greatness,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS Radio Network
“World News This Week” August 26, 2016, Written by Tara Gimbel Tanis; ABC News Radio *WINNER

“Dishin Digital on WCBS-AM,” Written by Robert Hawley; WCBS-AM Radio
“Morley Safer: A Journalist’s Life,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS Radio Network *WINNER 
“Vin Scully”, Written by Jerry Edling; CBS News Radio
“Vin Scully Hangs Up The Mic,” Written by Andrew Evans; ABC News Radio

“Big Brother Over The Top Launch & NCIS: Special Agent Tony Dinozzo’s Top Moments,” Written by Erial Tompkins; CBS
“CBS On-Air Reel,” Written by Brian Retchless; CBS On-Air Promotion *WINNER
“The Dollmaker, Halloween,” Written by Jennifer H. Kaas; NBC
“Limitless Promos 15/16” (CBS), Written by Jessica Katzenstein; CBS On-Air Promotion
“Mom,” Written by Dan Greenberger; CBS

“The Real History of Cinco de Mayo,” (Gawker Media Group), Graphic Animation by Elisa Solinas; youtube.com *WINNER

“Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare,” Written by Brian Bloom; Activision
“Far Cry Primal,” Story by Jean-Sébastien Décant, Ian C. Ryan, Kevin Shortt; Lead Writers Ian C. Ryan, Kevin Shortt; Writers Lynne Kamm, Susan Patrick; Ubisoft
“MR. ROBOT 1.51exfiltratiOn,” Story by Adam Hines, Kor Adana; Written by Adam Hines; Night School Studio
“Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End,” Written by Neil Druckmann, Josh Scherr; Additional Writing Tom Bissell, Ryan James; Naughty Dog *WINNER

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