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‘Severance,’ ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ Win Big at WGA Awards: Full Winners List

Yvette Lee Bowser, Charlie Kaufman impress; talk on both coasts is high of union solidarity and bracing for contract strife.

Pictured top: “Everything Everywhere All at Once” writer-directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, with host Janelle James at the 2023 Writers Guild Awards in Los Angeles.

Courtesy of Getty Images for WGAW


“Severance,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “Women Talking” took home top prizes at the Writers Guild of America Awards, Hollywood’s final major awards ceremony before the 95th Oscars.


But the bigger message that emerged from the night was how the industry’s scribe tribe is engaged and ready to back their guild in the upcoming contract talks for a new master film and TV contract.


“Welcome to the Writers Guild Awards and strike authorization vote,” said host Janelle James, star of “Abbott Elementary,” at the start of the Los Angeles ceremony, held at the Fairmont Century Plaza hotel. Comedian Michelle Buteau (“First Wives Club,” “The Circle”) led the New York festivities, which ran concurrently at New York’s Edison Ballroom.


Buteau kicked off New York’s night with a joke that broke the ice regarding the WGA’s looming contract negotiations: “I hope everyone enjoyed the cocktail hour. That was the studios’ counteroffer to streaming residuals.”


In Los Angeles, the evening started with several surprise winners, but first up was Sarah Polley taking the laurel for adapted screenplay for “Women Talking.” Polley thanked one of her early teachers who gave up trying to teach her math and agreed to “let me write stories all day.”


Polley noted that the themes of the “Women Talking” novel by Miriam Toews are similar to the issues the guild is facing in upcoming negotiations. “It is about collective action,” she said. “It’s about having the hard conversations, about envisioning and taking responsibility for having the vision of a better future. That is the definition of a union.”


Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, the co-writers (and co-directors) of this season’s awards juggernaut “Everything Everywhere,” spoke from the heart about the importance of their offbeat, set-in-the-metaverse film being recognized by their fellow writers. “Writing is confusing and hard, and we felt so lost so often,” Scheinert said. “Thank you to our therapists.”


Kwan called on his fellow union members to get involved in behind-the-scenes preparations for potential work stoppage. He pointed to the WGA strike captain who was sitting at his table and urged members to figure out who they should know when it comes to strike captain organizing.


“Every single benefit is something that has been hard fought and hard won,” Kwan said of the guild’s past successes. “The perverse incentives this industry has been boiling in is going to push against you in every single direction unless we stand together.”


The evening included fiery remarks about power in Hollywood from Charlie Kaufman, who was bestowed the guild’s Screenwriting Laurel career achievement award. WGA West president Meredith Stiehm also rallied the troops around what she called “the good sheriff” in the industry.

Yvette Lee Bowser at the 2023 Writers Guild Awards

(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for WGAW)Getty Images for WGAW


Veteran multi-hyphenate Yvette Lee Bowser drew a standing ovation in Los Angeles as she was feted with the television career achievement honor, the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing. The pioneering showrunner, who is more in-demand than ever amid the peak TV boom, spoke of her career and her early days getting started “in the war-torn trenches of ‘A Different World’ Season 1.”


Bowser also described a manic moment of sleepless rewriting during the birth of the pilot for her 1990s Fox sitcom “Living Single” that delighted the crowd of fellow writers and showrunners. “Some people go to therapy,” she said. “I write TV.”


With a catch in her voice, Bowser nodded to the important role that her early series, including the NBC/WB Network rom-com “For Your Love,” meant for other Black showrunners who followed.


“I am blessed to live in my purpose, telling authentic, resonant stories and creating new opportunities for new talent to break through,” she said. Bowser thanked her many colleagues in the ballroom who were on their feet in paying tribute. She also namechecked “Living Single” stars Kim Coles and Queen Latifah, who insisted that Fox hire a young Black female showrunner to steer the voice of a path-breaking ensemble comedy about young Black women navigating their professional and personal lives.

Bowser pointed to her role in recent years of putting major energy into mentoring young and less-experienced creative talent in the job of writing and producer TV series. At present Bowser is showrunner and executive producer of Hulu’s “UnPrisoned,” and she recently wrapped four seasons of Netflix’s “Dear White People.”


“You have helped me build a meaningful legacy of elevating others while you were simultaneously elevating me,” Bowser told her colleagues.


The writing team behind Amazon Prime Video adult animation series “Undone” were surprise winners in the episodic animated series category, besting three different episodes of “The Simpsons.” New series honors went to Apple TV+’s “Severance.” Writer Andrew Colville told the crowd that he would like to say that “the people on this show were like a work family – but I feel like we’ve ruined that phrase.” Later in the night, the “Severance” crew made another trip up to the podium to accept the trophy for best drama series.


The FX dramedy “The Bear” took the win for comedy series – a category decision that even the show’s scribes acknowledged was borderline given the dark material at the show’s core.


“We’ve finally answered the age-old question: Does comedy have to be funny,” said Rene Gube, a “Bear” writer who accepted for the group. “We feel so lucky to write this show. In a lot of ways it felt like we won the Lotto to be here and in a lot of ways we feel like we really earned it.”


“The Bear” beat out “Abbott Elementary,” as well as last year’s winner (“Hacks”), foreshadowing what should be a wild Emmy race for comedy.


Mike White picked up yet another trophy for his HBO dramedy “The White Lotus,” which won for limited series. He disclosed upfront that his career hasn’t always been so smooth – so much so that he has been hospitalized for mental health needs.


“It hasn’t always been like this. This is new to me,” White said. “I’m really appreciative. I love being a writer and I love living a writer’s life.”


It’s likely the last limited series win at an awards show for “The White Lotus,” which has been moved to the drama race at this year’s Emmys.


The nod for episodic TV drama went to “Better Call Saul” veteran Thomas Schnauz for “Plan and Execution” episode of the AMC drama’s final season (“It’s been an amazing ride,” Schnauz said.) This was the third WGA win for “Saul” in the category, after wins in 2016 and 2018.


HBO Max’s “Hacks” prevailed for episodic comedy, for “The One, The Only” installment of the Jean Smart starrer’s sophomore season, penned by creators Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky. In comedy/variety talk, HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” won the field, having previously won in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.


David Goodman, former WGA West president who is one of the leaders of the WGA’s negotiating committee, got a big laugh when he won for TV movie for Paramount+’s “Honor Society.” “I can’t believe I have to thank my agent,” Goodman said, a nod to his leadership during the guild’s successful fight with Hollywood’s top agencies that ended in early 2021 with a ban on agents taking packaging fees for assembling TV series and films.


On the other side of the country, memorable moments from the East Coast kudos were Donald Glover’s presentation of the Herb Sargent Award for Comedy Excellence to Paul Simms (“NewsRadio,” “What We Do In the Shadows,” “Atlanta”), who has been in-demand as a showrunner for auteur stars (Donald Glover, Sarah Jessica Parker). The presentation included more than one joke about Glover’s on-set issues with “Community” co-star Chevy Chase. Meanwhile, Spike Lee — who was very excited to be seated at a table with Steven Spielberg — interrupted his own acceptance of the Ian McLellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement to check the score of the New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics game, before realizing it was in overtime and saying, “Oh, we gotta go!”


Check out the full list of winners for the 2023 Writers Guild of America Awards below.


ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” “The Fabelmans” “The Menu” “Nope” “Tár”


ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” “She Said” “Top Gun: Maverick” “Women Talking”


DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY

“2nd Chance” “Downfall: The Case Against Boeing” “Last Flight Home” “Moonage Daydream” “¡Viva Maestro!”


DRAMA SERIES

“Andor” “Better Call Saul” “The Crown” “Severance” “Yellowjackets”


COMEDY SERIES

“Abbott Elementary” “Barry” “The Bear” “Hacks” “Only Murders in the Building”


NEW SERIES

“Abbott Elementary” “Andor” “Bad Sisters” “The Bear” “Severance”


LIMITED SERIES

“The Dropout” “Fleishman Is in Trouble” “Pam & Tommy” “The Staircase” “The White Lotus”


EPISODIC ANIMATION

“Girls Just Shauna Have Fun” – “The Simpsons” “The Pain Garden” – “Tuca & Bertie” “Pixelated and Afraid” – “The Simpsons” “Rectify” – “Undone” “The Sound of Bleeding Gums” – “The Simpsons”


EPISODIC DRAMA

“A Hard Way to Go” – “Ozark” “The End of Everything” – “The Good Fight” “Plan and Execution” – “Better Call Saul” “The Prick” – “Bad Sisters” “Rock and Hard Place” – Better Call Saul “The We We Are” – Severance


EPISODIC COMEDY

“The Beginning” – “Grace and Frankie” “Braciole” – “The Bear” “Private School” – “What We Do in the Shadows” “The One, The Only” – “Hacks” “Wide Net” – “Reservations Dogs”


COMEDY/VARIETY TALK SERIES

“Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” “Hell of a Week With Charlamagne Tha God” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” “Late Night With Seth Meyers” “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” “The Problem With Jon Stewart” “Stephen Colbert Presents Tooning Out the News”


COMEDY/VARIETY SKETCH SERIES

“Inside Amy Schumer” “Pause With Sam Jay” “Saturday Night Live”


COMEDY/VARIETY SPECIALS

“The National Memorial Day Concert” “Stand Out: an LGBTQ+ Celebration” “The Problem With Jon Stewart: Election Wrap-Up Special” “Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel”


TV & NEW MEDIA MOTION PICTURES

“Heart of the Matter” “Honor Society” “Ray Donovan: The Movie” “Torn Hearts” “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story”


QUIZ AND AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

“Baking It” “Capital One College Bowl” “Jeopardy!” “Weakest Link”


DAYTIME DRAMA

“Days of Our Lives”


CHILDREN’S EPISODIC, LONG FORM AND SPECIALS

“A Perilous Journey” – “The Mysterious Benedict Society” “Thursday” – “Life by Ella” “Pilot” – “Amber Brown” “Prison or Palace” – “Life by Ella” “Test Subject Thirteen” – “Circuit Breakers”


SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA

“Breakwater” “Carpool Karaoke: The Series” “Three Busy Debras”


DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT — CURRENT EVENTS

“Episode Two: Resilience” – “Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness,” PBS “Inside the Alleged Sexual Assault Cover Up in Charlotte Schools” – “Vice News Tonight” “Lies, Politics and Democracy” – “Frontline”


DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT — OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS

“Episode Two: An American (1775-1790)” – “Benjamin Franklin,” PBS “Episode One: The Golden Door (Beginnings-1938)” – “The U.S. and the Holocaust,” PBS “Lucy and Desi” “Ocean Invaders” – “Nova” “Pelosi’s Power” – “Frontline” “Plague at the Golden Gate” – “American Experience,” PBS


NEWS SCRIPT — REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT

“Massacre in Buffalo” – “CBS Weekend News” “Shooting at Robb Elementary” – “World News Tonight With David Muir” “Special Edition: From the Ukraine Border” – “World News Tonight With David Muir” “The Water Crisis in Jackson, Mississippi” – “CBS Evening News With Norah O’Donnell”


NEWS SCRIPT — ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY

“Battle for Ukraine” – “20/20” “City of Lions” – “60 Minutes” “The Green Jacket – Golf’s Ultimate Prize” – “CBS Saturday Morning” “Harvest of War” – “60 Minutes” “The Longest Running Oil Spill” – “60 Minutes” “Targeting Americans” – “60 Minutes”


DIGITAL NEWS

“America’s Only LGBTQ Historic District Is Falling Apart,” Vice “How Oregon’s Prison System Retaliated Against Its Most Effective Jailhouse Lawyer,” HuffPost “I Spent 72 Depraved Hours Searching for the Gnarliest Dive Bar in Las Vegas,” Vice “The Most Unexpected Consequence of the Texas Abortion Ban,” Slate “What’s So Scary About a Transgender Child,” Vox


RADIO/AUDIO DOCUMENTARY

“Dr. GIFT” – “One Year: 1995” “Like a Lion with No Teeth” – “Crime Show” “Making Sense: How Sound Becomes Hearing” – “Unexplainable” “The Most Famous Poet No One Remembers” – “Decoder Ring” “No Peace” – “Slow Burn: The L.A. Riots” “The Ultimate Field Trip” – “One Year: 1986” “The War in Jennifer Weiss” – “Crime Show”


RADIO/AUDIO NEWS SCRIPT: REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN OR BREAKING REPORT

“CBS World News Roundup” “Hail And Farewell: Saluting 5 Who Made a Difference,” CBS Radio “Newsline – 11am 9/9/22,” CBS Radio “World News This Week – Week of September 9, 2022,” ABC Radio “World News This Year 2021,” ABC News Radio


RADIO/AUDIO NEWS SCRIPT — ANALYSIS, FEATURE OR COMMENTARY

“2021 Law and Justice Year End Reports” – ABC News Radio “Was the Women’s March Successful?” – “The Waves” “WCBS Author Talks Summer Reads” – WCBS Radio “What I Wish I Knew Before I Started IVF” – “The Waves” “You Will Be Found: The Impact of Dear Evan Hansen” – (“Somalia Suffering From Starvation” – “Perspective”) ABC Audio


ON-AIR PROMOTION

“Amazon Bessemer Campaign: This Time I’m Voting Yes; Union Difference; Union Yes,” Facebook “CBS Celebrates Juneteenth,” CBS News





Variety's Cynthia Littleton, Ethan Shanfeld, and Jennifer Maas contributed to this post.


https://variety.com/2023/film/news/2023-writers-guild-america-awards-winners-list-1235543511/

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