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‘The Descendants,’ ‘Midnight In Paris’ Win Top Honors At Writers Guild Awards

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Writer/director Alexander Payne accepts the Outstanding Writing (Adapted Screenplay) Award from the Writers Guild Sunday in Hollywood. (credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images Entertainment)

Writer/director Alexander Payne accepts the Outstanding Writing (Adapted Screenplay) Award from the Writers Guild Sunday in Hollywood. (credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images Entertainment)

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Woody Allen’s romantic fantasy “Midnight in Paris” and Alexander Payne’s family drama “The Descendants” have won top screenplay honors from the Writers Guild of America.

With his biggest hit in decades, writer-director Allen earned the guild’s prize Sunday for original screenplay for “Midnight in Paris.” The film stars Owen Wilson as a modern Hollywood writer who gets a chance to hang with his literary idols in the 1920s Paris of Hemingway and Fitzgerald.

Director Payne shared the adapted screenplay honor with co-writers Nat Faxon and Jim Rash. Based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings, “The Descendants” stars George Clooney as a Hawaiian dad struggling to tend to his two daughters after a boating accident puts his wife in a coma.

The wins boost the prospects for both films to earn the same prizes at next Sunday’s Academy Awards, where both movies also are in the running for best picture.

But not all key Academy Awards contenders were eligible for the Writers Guild honors, including Oscar best-picture front-runner “The Artist.” The black-and-white silent film is competing against “Midnight in Paris” for original screenplay, but “The Artist” was ineligible at the Writers Guild awards because it was not made under the union’s contract guidelines.

The guild’s prize for big-screen documentary writing went to Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega for “Better This World.”

TV WINNERS

• Drama series: “Breaking Bad,” Sam Catlin, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Gennifer Hutchison, George Mastras, Thomas Schnauz and Moira Walley-Beckett.

• Comedy series: “Modern Family,” Cindy Chupack, Paul Corrigan, Abraham Higginbotham, Ben Karlin, Elaine Ko, Carol Leifer, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Dan O’Shannon, Jeffrey Richman, Brad Walsh, Ilana Wernick, Bill Wrubel and Danny Zuker.

• New series: “Homeland,” Henry Bromell, Alexander Cary, Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Chip Johannessen, Gideon Raff and Meredith Stiehm.

EPISODIC DRAMA (TIE)

• “Box Cutter (Breaking Bad)”, Written by Vince Gilligan; AMC

• “The Good Soldier (Homeland),” Written by Henry Bromell; Showtime

EPISODIC COMEDY

• “Caught in the Act (Modern Family),” Written by Steven Levitan & Jeffrey Richman; ABC

LONG FORM – ORIGINAL

• “Cinema Verite,” Written by David Seltzer; HBO

LONG FORM – ADAPTED

• “Too Big to Fail,” Written by Peter Gould, Based on the book written by Andrew Ross Sorkin; HBO

ANIMATION

• “Homer the Father (The Simpsons),” Written by Joel H. Cohen; Fox

COMEDY / VARIETY – (INCLUDING TALK) SERIES

• “The Colbert Report,” Writers: Michael Brumm, Stephen Colbert, Rich Dahm, Paul Dinello, Eric Drysdale, Rob Dubbin, Glenn Eichler, Dan Guterman, Peter Gwinn, Jay Katsir, Barry Julien, Frank Lesser, Opus Moreschi, Tom Purcell, Meredith Scardino, Scott Sherman, Max Werner; Comedy Central

COMEDY / VARIETY – MUSIC, AWARDS, TRIBUTES – SPECIALS

• “After the Academy Awards,” Head Writers: Gary Greenberg, Molly McNearney; Writers: Tony Barbieri, Jonathan Bines, John N. Huss, Sal Iacono, Eric Immerman, Jimmy Kimmel, Jonathan Kimmel, Jacob Lentz, Danny Ricker, Richard G. Rosner; ABC

DAYTIME DRAMA

• “General Hospital,” Written by Meg Bennett, Nathan Fissell, David Goldschmid, Robert Guza Jr., Karen Harris, Elizabeth Korte, Mary Sue Price, Michele Val Jean, Susan Wald, Tracey Thomson; ABC

CHILDREN’S – EPISODIC & SPECIALS

• “Hero of the Shadows (Supah Ninjas),” Written by Leo Chu, Eric S. Garcia; Nickelodeon

DOCUMENTARY – CURRENT EVENTS

• “Top Secret America (Frontline),” Written by Michael Kirk, Mike Wiser; PBS

DOCUMENTARY – OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS

• “Wiki Secrets (Frontline),” Written by Marcela Gaviria & Martin Smith; PBS

NEWS – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT

• “An American Tragedy in Joplin (ABC World News with Diane Sawyer),” Written by Lisa Ferri, Julia Kathan; ABC

• “Educating Sergeant Pantzke (Frontline),” Written by John Maggio, Martin Smith; PBS

NEWS – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY

• “Doctor Hot Spot (Frontline),” Written by Thomas Jennings; PBS

ON-AIR PROMOTION (RADIO OR TELEVISION)

• “Fairytale (Today Show),” Written by Carol M. Sullivan; NBC News

TELEVISION GRAPHIC ANIMATION

• “CBS News Animations (CBS News),” Graphic Animation by David Rosen; CBS News

RADIO WINNERS

DOCUMENTARY

• “2010 Year in Review,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS Radio News

NEWS – REGULARLY SCHEDULED OR BREAKING REPORT

• “Portraits of a Terrorist: Who is Osama Bin Laden?,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS Radio News

NEWS – ANALYSIS, FEATURE OR COMMENTARY

• “Justice in a Time of Terror,” Written by Andrew Cohen & Rob Mank; CBS Radio News

NEW MEDIA WINNERS

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN WRITING ORIGINAL NEW MEDIA

• “Aim High,” Written by Heath Corson & Richie Keen

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN WRITING DERIVATIVE NEW MEDIA

• “The Walking Dead,” Teleplay by John Esposito, Story by John Esposito and Greg Nicotero

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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