For the upcoming awards season, Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have changed awards eligibility and submission guidelines for the television and new media categories, and have added a new Quiz & Audience Participation writing award.
Due to this revision, online series such as Netflix’s House of Cards, Orange is the New Block and Hemlock Grove will be eligible for nominations. As new media, these shows would not have been eligible to compete against similar programs produced for TV. The new guidelines will allow online series to compete with TV series in the script and series categories.
This also allows The OnLine Network’s All My Children and One Life to Live, which moved to online this year, to compete in the Daytime Drama category along with series produced for television. Although they are continuations of programs previously produced for TV, the old rules would have placed them in the separate Derivative New Media award category.
“Whether you’re watching content on a TV screen, online on a laptop, or with a hand-held device, outstanding writing and great storytelling deserve the same recognition,” said WGAW President Christopher Keyser and WGAE President Michael Winship. “These changes in eligibility and submission guidelines reflect the evolution of distribution models in the entertainment industry. We are also looking forward to giving out the new Quiz & Audience Participation Award in 2014.”
Specific changes to Writers Guild Awards rules are as follows:
- Both the Original and Adapted New Media categories remain intact but will be limited to programs 15 minutes or less in length and will now be referred to as Short Form New Media – Original and Short Form New Media – Adapted. The “adapted” category is open to new media programs based on any source material, whether a TV series, motion picture or written work.
- All programs over 15 minutes in length will compete in existing TV categories (i.e., overall series, episodic drama, episodic comedy, etc.), which have been expanded to encompass made-for new media programming.
- All daytime serials will compete in the Daytime Drama category, which has also been broadened to include made-for new media programming.
- The WGA’s three series awards categories – Drama, Comedy, and New Series – will be open to all programs over 15 minutes and under one hour in duration, regardless of the platform for which they were created.
Submissions are now open for select categories for the 2014 Writers Guild Awards.