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December 08, 2008

WGA picks '30 Rock,' 'Mad Men,' 'Simpsons'


The 2009 nominees for the Writers Guild Awards look quite a bit like the 2008 nominees for the Writers Guild Awards. Not that we're complaining.

Any kudofest that recognizes "The Wire" is aces with us. Aces!

The annual WGA-sponsored awards have done just that today, after naming the HBO series best drama last year. "The Wire" competes this time around with "Dexter," "Friday Night Lights," "Lost" and Emmy champ "Mad Men." Except for "Lost," all these shows are veterans from last year.

Several comedies return, with Emmy winning "30 Rock" up against previous competitors "The Office" and "Entourage," along with "The Simpsons" and "Weeds." We're done with "Entourage," so in our minds this is a four-horse race, and a formidable one at that. While three of these are relative babies, anyone who might think "The Simpsons" is long in the tooth hasn't watched lately. Love that the episode called "E Pluribus Wiggum" is nominated in an animated category. Totally. Brilliant.

The writers have plucked a few gems out of semi-obscurity -- HBO's "Generation Kill" and AMC's "Breaking Bad" -- and gave our favorite new obsession, "True Blood," a nomination, while giving nods to nearly every sharp and funny late-night show on the air (sorry, Kimmel!).

Several film categories haven't been announced yet. Diablo Former Stripper!!! Cody won last year for "Juno," as did the Coen brothers for "No Country for Old Men." No repeats there.

The awards are handed out Feb. 7.

Full list of nominees here.


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Why doesn't The adventures of Old Christine get the respect that it deserves -- its such a funny, well written show but they always nominate the same dull shows and ignore the best comedy on television.

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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

On the list

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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