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WGA to honor Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz with 2012 Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: The WGA plans to reveal its nominees for the top features of 2011, but before that announcement (scheduled for Thursday), the group revealed that writing partners Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick will be honored with the 2012 Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television.

Recipients of the honor are recognized for lifetime achievement in outstanding television writing, according to a release. The duo certainly qualifies, with credits that include “thirtysomething,” “Love and Other Drugs” and “Once and Again.”

They will receive the honor at the Writers Guild Awards’ West Coast ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 19 at the Hollywood Palladium.

“Beginning in the 1980s, Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz were among a small group of writers who revolutionized the television drama. So much of what is on television today is a direct or indirect descendant of their seminal work, thirtysomething,” WGAW president Christopher Keyser said. “So many writers of this generation were drawn to television because of what Marshall and Ed told us, in that show and then in show after show, it was possible to do – to write stories about real people, with honest and compelling emotional stakes, about what it feels like to be alive. All of us who have come after owe them a great debt of gratitude. We stand on the shoulders of giants.”

More from the release:

The Emmy-winning partners, under their Bedford Falls Company banner, have co-created, executive produced and directed such television series as thirtysomething, Once and Again and My So-Called Life. The pair received the Humanitas Prize in 1983 for the Zwick-directed Special Bulletin.

Herskovitz and Zwick co-wrote Love and Other Drugs, which Zwick directed, and The Last Samurai, which Zwick also helmed. The two have also been nominated for three WGA Awards, winning two. The partners received their second Humanitas Prize for Once and Again.

Zwick’s additional credits include Defiance, The Siege, Blood Diamond, Legends of the Fall, Courage Under Fire, Glory, About Last Night and Leaving Normal. The pair also produced I Am Sam, Traffic and Shakespeare in Love.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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