FX doesn't submit 'Fargo' as 'Transparent,' 'True Detective' lead WGA TV nominations
The Writers Guild of America announced the TV nominees for the 2015 WGA Awards on Thursday (December 4) morning and several new shows broke into the fields in a big way.
And, of course, there were a number of big WGA Award nomination head-scratchers. Specifically, where the heck was FX's "Fargo"? The answer is below.
Making perhaps the biggest splash was "Transparent," which earned three nominations and, since "Orange Is The New Black" earned two nods and "House of Cards" pick up one, that meant that Amazon Prime and Netflix are, at least for one award-giving organization, on equal footing as creators of original programming.
The Jill Soloway-created "Transparent" is nominated for New Series, where it will go against "The Affair," "The Knick," "Silicon Valley" and "True Detective."
"Transparent" and "Silicon Valley" are also up for Comedy Series, going against "Louie," "Veep" and "Orange Is The New Black."
Lest you panic that "Modern Family" has lost the love of the WGA, two "Modern Family" episodes are up for Episodic Comedy -- Abraham Higginbotham & Steven Levitan & Jeffrey Richman's "Three Dinners" and Rick Wiener & Kenny Schwartz's "The Cold" -- going against Rob Rosell's "New Girl" script "Landline," Nick Jones' "Orange Is The New Black" script "Low Self Esteem City," Louis CK's "Louie" script "So Did The Fat Lady" and Ethan Kuperberg's "The Wilderness" episode of "Transparent."
In addition to its New Series nod, "True Detective" is up for Drama Series against "House of Cards," "The Good Wife," "Game of Thrones" and "Mad Men," but Nic Pizzolatto didn't earn a nomination for any individual episode.
Just as "Modern Family" was nominated for two episodes but not as a series, "Boardwalk Empire" earned two Episodic Drama nominations -- Howard Korder's "Devil You Know" and Riccardo DiLoreto & Cristine Chambers and Howard Korder's "Friendless Child" -- without a Drama Series nomination. The Episodic Drama category also features George R.R. Martin's "The Lion and the Rose" for "Game of Thrones," Jonathan Igla and Matthew Weiner's "A Day's World" script for "Mad Men," Robert & Michelle King's "The Last Call" script for "The Good Wife" and "Donald the Normal," a "Rectify" script from Kate Powers and Ray McKinnon.
You may be doing the math and figuring that HBO had a pretty good day and, indeed, the network also scored three of five nominations in the Longform Adapted category, with "Olive Kitteridge" (Jane Anderson), "The Normal Heart" (Larry Kramer) and the "Leftovers" pilot (Damon Lindelof) going against History's "Houdini" (Nicholas Meyer) and Discovery's "Klondike" (Paul Scheuring, Josh Goldin & Rachel Abramowitz). There were only two nominees for Longform Original, Melissa Carter's "Deliverance Creek" and Sean Hanish's "Return to Zero," both on Lifetime.
All six Animation nominees came from FOX, with four "Simpsons" episodes and two "Bob's Burgers" installments represented.
A full list of nominees is below, but let's get a few thoughts/observations/quibbles out of the way:
*** For me, the biggest snubbing was FX's "Fargo," which seemed like a no-brainer for a nomination of some sort, be it in Drama Series or Longform, but the nominations released this morning had no "Fargo" to be seen. I asked FX if there was a reason for Noah Hawley's absence and, after a bit of a wait for proper network phrasing, I got the answer.
FX States: "When the WGA Award nominations were announced this morning, several news outlets commented about the notable omission of FX’s award-winning miniseries Fargo. The network initially submitted Fargo in the longform category based on the fact that the 10 one-hour scripts – all written by Noah Hawley – tell a single, close-ended story and therefore 'Fargo' is a miniseries. The WGA does not recognize 'Fargo' as a miniseries because Noah Hawley was accorded a ‘Created for Television By’ credit and said that 'Fargo' could only be considered in the drama series category. 'Fargo' won the Emmy Award this year for Outstanding Miniseries. It has been submitted as a miniseries for this year’s Golden Globe Awards. Since 'Fargo' is not in fact a drama series, and it is in fact a miniseries, FX made the decision not to submit Noah Hawley and his brilliant scripts for WGA Awards consideration."
So I guess that's an answer. It's sad. And it's especially sad because the more categories you have, the more inclusive your awards are supposed to be. If you're going to bother honoring TV's Best of 2014, you ought to find a categorical way to honor as many things as possible, even if you leave people scratching their heads. Mostly, you should honor "Fargo" and everybody should honor "Fargo" more than the "Sherlock"-silly Emmys did.
Speaking of head-scratching, though...
*** Like you, I was perplexed by how the "Leftovers" pilot ended up in "longform." The answer? The category has a 60-minute cutoff and the "Leftovers" pilot was 75 minutes and, as such, was submitted in longform and made the cut. The rest of the series was submitted in the Drama category, but was shut out.
*** Awesome to see the recognition for "Rectify" in the Episodic Drama category. That's a stacked field and the recognition is well-earned.
*** Sorry, "Modern Family," but those two Comedy Episodic slots had to go to "Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency" from "Silicon Valley" and basically any episode of "Veep."
*** "A Day's Work" was not one of the four or five best "Mad Men" episodes of last season. "The Strategy," one of the rare "Mad Men" episodes without a Matthew Weiner credit, really belonged here.
*** "Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl," this season's superb "Bob's Burgers" premiere earned a very deserved nomination for Nora Smith.
*** There were seven nominations in the Comedy/Variety (Including Talk) category, including "Daily Show," "Colbert Report" and "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver." Jimmy Kimmel and Bill Maher's staffs earned nominations. But EW Entertainer of the Year Jimmy Fallon and the "Tonight Show" staff weren't nominated. Make of that what you will.
And here's the full nomination list: