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'Don't Look Up', 'CODA', 'Hacks', 'Succession' Win Big at the 2022 WGA Awards

This year's WGA Awards featured some of the best film and TV writing of the year.
by Shanee Edwards on March 23, 2022

Hosted by comedian Ashley Nicole Black, the 2022 WGA Awards went off without any reported panic attacks.

Considering most writers identify as introverts and prefer not to leave the house – even to receive an award ­– Hollywood’s best TV and film writers were more than happy to accept their prestigious 2022 WGA award in sweatpants via a stress-free virtual ceremony.

Award speeches were pre-taped and sent in ahead of time – allowing writers to bypass the nerve-wracking pressure of having to join on Zoom live, figure out how to unmute, and give an acceptance speech with thousands watching from their laptops.

The emotional family drama CODA (Apple TV) took home Best Adapted Screenplay, written by Siân Heder. Adam McKay won for Best Screenplay for his end-of-the-world satire, Don’t Look Up (Netflix). As McKay spoke effusively about his, “Real, legitimate excitement,” in his prerecorded acceptance speech, many writers at home also felt legitimately excited as they dug out their old apocalyptic black comedy scripts their managers once told them were “too dark,” hoping to find they’ll finally be in hot demand.

The dysfunctional family drama Succession (HBO/HBO Max) won for Best Drama Series, while the smart, female-driven comedy Hacks (HBO/HBO Max) triumphed with twin trophies for Best Comedy Series and Best New Series.

With the two main streamers, Netflix and Apple TV, taking home so many big awards in both the film and TV categories, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to predict whether the film industry’s box office will ever return to normal levels in the post-pandemic era. Bigger clues may come from the Oscars which are set for March 28th.

Below is the full list of WGA award winners, but keep in mind that due to the WGA's rules, only members can compete, so  a number of films that are nominated for Oscars, like The Power of the Dog, The Lost Daughter, Passing, and Belfast, were not considered.

FILM

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Don’t Look Up, Screenplay by Adam McKay, Story by Adam McKay & David Sirota; Netflix

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

CODA, Screenplay by Siân Heder, Based on the Original Motion Picture La Famille Belier Directed by Eric Lartigau, Written by Victoria Bedos, Stanislas Carree de Malberg, Eric Lartigau, and Thomas Bidegain; Apple TV

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY

Exposing Muybridge, Written by Marc Shaffer; Inside Out Media

TELEVISION

DRAMA SERIES

Succession, Written by Jesse Armstrong, Jon Brown, Jamie Carragher, Ted Cohen, Francesca Gardiner, Lucy Prebble, Georgia Pritchett, Tony Roche, Susan Soon He Stanton, Will Tracy; HBO/HBO Max

COMEDY SERIES

Hacks, Written by Genevieve Aniello, Lucia Aniello, Joanna Calo, Jessica Chaffin, Paul W. Downs, Jess Dweck, Cole Escola, Janis Hirsch, Ariel Karlin, Katherine Kearns, Andrew Law, Joe Mande, Pat Regan, Samantha Riley, Michael Schur, Jen Statsky; HBO/HBO Max

NEW SERIES

Hacks, Written by Genevieve Aniello, Lucia Aniello, Joanna Calo, Jessica Chaffin, Paul W. Downs, Jess Dweck, Cole Escola, Janis Hirsch, Ariel Karlin, Katherine Kearns, Andrew Law, Joe Mande, Pat Regan, Samantha Riley, Michael Schur, Jen Statsky; HBO/HBO Max

ORIGINAL LONG FORM

Mare of Easttown, Written by Brad Ingelsby; HBO/HBO Max

ADAPTED LONG FORM

Maid, Written by Bekah Brunstetter, Marcus Gardley, Michelle Denise Jackson, Colin McKenna, Molly Smith Metzler, Inspired by the book by Stephanie Land; Netflix

ORIGINAL & ADAPTED SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA

Debunking Borat, Written by Robyn Adams, Paul Hogan, Jack Youngelson; Prime Video

ANIMATION

“Planteau” (Tuca & Bertie), Written by Lisa Hanawalt, Cartoon Network

EPISODIC DRAMA

“Retired Janitors of Idaho” (Succession), Written by Tony Roche & Susan Soon He Stanton; HBO/HBO Max

EPISODIC COMEDY

“Alone At Last” (The Great),Written by Tony McNamara; Hulu

COMEDY/VARIETY TALK SERIES

Conan, Head Writer: Matt O’Brien Writers: Jose Arroyo, Glenn Boozan, Daniel Cronin, Andres du Bouchet, Jessie Gaskell, Skyler Higley, Brian Kiley, Laurie Kilmartin, Todd Levin, Levi MacDougall, Conan O’Brien, Andy Richter, Frank Smiley, Mike Sweeney; TBS

COMEDY/VARIETY SKETCH SERIES

I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, Writers: Zach Kanin, Tim Robinson, John Solomon; Netflix

COMEDY/VARIETY SPECIALS

Full Frontal Wants to Take Your Guns, Head Writers: Kristen Bartlett, Mike Drucker Writers: Samantha Bee, Pat Cassels, Sean Crespo, Miles Kahn, Chris Thompson, Holly Walker, Alison Zeidman Writing Supervised by Joe Grossman, Sahar Rizvi Special Material by Michael Rhoa; TBS

QUIZ AND AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

Baking It, Writers: Neil Casey, Jessica McKenna, Zach Reino, Niccole Thurman; Peacock

DAYTIME DRAMA

Days of Our Lives, Head Writer: Ron Carlivati Writers: Lorraine Broderick, Joanna Cohen, Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, Jamey Giddens, David Kreizman, Rebecca McCarty, Ryan Quan, Dave Ryan, Katherine D. Schock, Elizabeth Snyder; NBC

CHILDREN’S EPISODIC, LONG FORM, AND SPECIALS

“The Tale of the Midnight Magic” (Are You Afraid of the Dark?), Written by JT Billings and Alex Ebel; Nickelodeon

DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – CURRENT EVENTS

“The Healthcare Divide” (Frontline), Written by Rick Young; PBS

DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS

“Citizen Hearst, Part One” (American Experience), Written by Gene Tempest; PBS

NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT

“The Unequal Recession” (60 Minutes)

, Written by Katie Kerbstat Jacobson, Scott Pelley, Nicole Young; CBS News

NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY

“Handcuffed to the Truth” (60 Minutes), Written by Katie Kerbstat Jacobson, Scott Pelley, Nicole Young; CBS News

DIGITAL NEWS

“‘Men’s Rights Asians’ Think This Is Their Moment”, Written by Aaron Mak; Slate.com

RADIO/AUDIO WINNERS

RADIO/AUDIO DOCUMENTARY

“One Year: 1977 ‘The Miracle Cure’”, Written by Evan Chung; Slate Podcast

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

“Surfside Condo Collapse” (CBS World News Roundup Late Edition), Written by Kathleen M. Biggins; CBS News Radio

RADIO/AUDIO NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY

“The Tasmanian Devil Tattoo” (Decoder Ring), Written by Benjamin Frisch; Slate Podcast

PROMOTIONAL

ON-AIR PROMOTION

“Celebrating Powerful Female Leads: Trailers for The Equalizer & Why Women Kill”, Written by Molly Neylan; CBS


Shanee Edwards is a screenwriter, journalist and author. After receiving her MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA, she was hired to adapt various stories for the screen including Apes or Angels, the true story of naturalist Charles Darwin, and Three Wishes, based on the New York Times best selfing novel by Kristen Ashley. You can listen to her interview Oscar-winning screenwriters on The Script Lab Podcast, or read her book Ada Lovelace: the Countess who Dreamed in Numbers. Follow her on Twitter: @ShaneeEdwards

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