They may not be the famous faces we see on the red carpet, but the writers are some of the most important people when it comes to our favorite TV shows.
Here is a list of the 2012 Emmy nominated writers, with some commentary. Because just mentioning them isn’t enough in my book. If you’re on the list, reach out to us for interview opportunities!
WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Chris McKenna, “Community” – Community is one of the best-written comedies around. Loved the video skit to see Donald Glover “helping” McKenna.
Lena Dunham, “Girls” – I’d love to be bitter and call her overrated, but she’s not.
Louis C.K., “Louie” – Winner, listen, he’s amazing. That’s fact.
Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation” – We have another amazing person here. I mean, Amy is so talented but she doesn’t lord it over anyone. Instead, she invites us to the party like the one nice girl at high school who was also a cheerleader.
Michael Schur, “Parks and Recreation” – Parks and Recreation is so strong, and Schur is very much part of the reason why.
WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
Julian Fellowes, “Downton Abbey” – I eat, sleep, breathe the beauty that is Downton Abbey. He’s masterful.
Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon & Gideon Raff, “Homeland” – These are immensely talented writers. The show doesn’t have room for any moment that isn’t strong.
Semi Chellas & Matthew Weiner, “Mad Men” – Listen, what can I say about any of the Mad Men writers other than they are experts at what they do.
Andre Jacquemetton & Maria Jacquemetton, “Mad Men” – See above!
Erin Levy & Matthew Weiner, “Mad Men” – See above, above! Mad Men has some of the best writing on TV in terms of dramas for sure. So I do agree with all of these noms.
WRITING FOR A MINISERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Danny Strong, “Game Change”
Ted Mann, Ronald Parker & Bill Kerby, “Hatfields & McCoys”
Abi Morgan, “The Hour”
Neil Cross, “Luther”
Steven Moffat, “Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia” – Here’s the only one I can comment on because I watched it. and listen, as a Doctor Who fan, I’m obviously in a very strong love/hate relationship with Steven Moffat. He’s wonderful. He’s like Joss Whedon. He gives us what we need, not just what we want. As Kurt Vonnegut advised, you’ve gotta kill your babies in writing. And Moffat does it in a excruciatingly beautiful way that always feels poignant.
WRITING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
“The Colbert Report,” Barry Julien (head writer), Stephen Colbert, Tom Purcell, Richard Dahm, Michael Brumm, Rob Dubbin, Opus Moreschi, Peter Gwinn, Jay Katsir, Frank Lesser, Glenn Eichler, Meredith Scardino, Max Werner, Eric Drysdale, Scott Sherman, Dan Guterman & Paul Dinello
“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” Tim Carvell (head writer), Rory Albanese, Kevin Bleyer, Rich Blomquist, Steve Bodow, Wyatt Cenac, Hallie Haglund, JR Havlan, Elliott Kalan, Dan McCoy, Jo Miller, John Oliver, Zhubin Parang, Daniel Radosh, Jason Ross, & Jon Stewart
“Portlandia,” Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Jonathan Krisel & Karey Dornetto – I don’t watch all of these shows. I mean, I watch SNL some times. But what I watch always is Portlandia. And these are amazing writers, giving us something on TV that no one else gives us.
“Real Time With Bill Maher,” Adam Felber, Matt Gunn, Brian Jacobsmeyer, Jay Jaroch, Chris Kelly, Mike Larsen, Bill Maher, Billy Martin & Scott Carter
“Saturday Night Live,” James Anderson, Alex Baze, Jessica Conrad, James Downey, Shelly Gossman, Steve Higgins, Zach Kanin, Chris Kelly, Colin Jost, Erik Kenward, Rob Klein, Seth Meyers, Lorne Michaels, John Mulaney, Christine Nangle, Michael Patrick O’Brien, Paula Pell, Marika Sawyer, Sarah Schneider, Pete Schultz, John Solomon, Kent Sublette, Bryan Tucker & Emily Spivey
WRITING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL
“84th Annual Academy Awards,” Jon Macks, Dave Boone & Carol Leifer, with Tim Carvell, Jeff Cesario, Billy Crystal, Ed Driscoll, Billy Martin, Ben Schwartz, Marc Shaiman, Eric Stangel, Justin Stangel, David Steinberg, Mason Steinberg & Colleen Werthmann
“Betty White’s 90th Birthday: A Tribute to America’s Golden Girl,” Jon Macks, Steve Ridgeway, Mason Steinberg & Brad Lachman
“The Kennedy Center Honors,” George Stevens, Michael M. Stevens, Sara Lukinson & Lewis Friedman
“Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon Theatre,” Louis C.K.
“65th Annual Tony Awards,” Dave Boone with Paul Greenberg
WRITING FOR NONFICTION PROGRAMMING
Barak Goodman, “American Experience”
Peter Jones, “American Masters”
Anthony Bourdain, “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” – I love Bourdain. He’s entertaining at all times, even when there’s food and that’s enough to entertain us all.
WINNER Geoffrey C. Ward, “Prohibition”
Christine Ferraro, “Seasme Street: Growing Hope Against Hunger”
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Follow TV Critic Jessica Rae on Twitter @ThisJessicaRae.