In Film, Writers Pick ‘Bull Durham’; TV, ‘thirtysomething,’ ‘Wonder Years’

The Writers Guild of America concurred with its brethren at the Directors Guild in handing out its annual awards for outstanding achievement in series television Monday, but not so when it came to feature films. The writers opted for “Bull Durham” over the directors’ “Rain Man.”

At the 41st annual WGA award ceremonies, held simultaneously in New York and Los Angeles on Monday night, the writers echoed the Directors Guild in honoring ABC’s Emmy Award-winning series “thirtysomething” and “The Wonder Years.”

“The Wonder Years” creators Carol Black and Neal Marlens won for best episodic comedy script, while the dramatic award was shared by two “thirtysomething” episodes--the pilot, written by executive producers Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, and an episode called “Therapy,” written by Susan Shilliday.

But whereas the DGA had selected “Rain Man” director Barry Levinson for its top film award--foreshadowing what some observers are predicting will be a big haul for the blockbuster movie at next week’s Academy Awards--the approximately 10,000 voting members of the WGA opted for former minor league baseball player Ron Shelton’s script for “Bull Durham” as best original screenplay.

Christopher Hampton’s script for “Dangerous Liaisons” took the top WGA award for best screenplay based on material from another medium.


The writers of the now-extinct soap opera “Ryan’s Hope” were given one last hurrah Monday for best writing in a daytime serial.

The guild’s honorary awards were bestowed upon Ring Lardner Jr., Michael and Garson Kanin, Hal Kanter and Robert Holt.

Other winners included:


Original long form: Dennis Nemac, “God Bless the Child,” ABC.

Adapted long form (tie): Susan Cooper, “Foxfire,” CBS; and Jacqueline Feather and David Seidler, “Onassis: The Richest Man in the World,” ABC.

Anthology Episode: Andy Wolk, “Natica Jackson: Tales From the Hollywood Hills,” WNET.

Variety-Musical: Jerry Juhl, “A Muppet Family Christmas,” ABC.

Children’s Script: Blanche Hanalis, “The Secret Garden,” CBS.

Documentary-Current Events: Irv Drasnin, “Apartheid,” PBS.

Documentary-Other than Current Events: George Stevens Jr., “George Stevens: A Filmmaker’s Journey,” ABC.

Spot News: Jerry Cipriano, Paul Fischer, Hugh Heckman, John Mosedale, Thomas Phillips, “Moscow Summit,” CBS Evening News.


Documentary: Jill Landes, “Where Valor Proudly Sleeps,” CBS.

Spot News: Les Blatt, “Peter Jennings Journal,” ABC Radio.