Extra: Writers Guild Awards unveil 2019 noms; Germany plates local version of “Top Chef”

Writers Guild Award noms announced The Writers Guild of America, East, and the Writers Guild of America, West, have unveiled the nominees for the 2019 Writers Guild Awards, celebrating outstanding achievement ...
December 7, 2018

Writers Guild Award noms announced

The Writers Guild of America, East, and the Writers Guild of America, West, have unveiled the nominees for the 2019 Writers Guild Awards, celebrating outstanding achievement in television, new media, news, radio/audio, and promotional writing for 2018.

The noms include three non-fiction/unscripted categories, listed below.

Quiz and Audience Participation:

  • Hollywood Game Night (NBC, pictured), Head Writers: Ann Slichter, Grant Taylor; Writers: Michael Agbabian, Alexandra Kokesh, Dwight D. Smith
  • Jeopardy! (ABC), Written by Matthew Caruso, John Duarte, Harry Friedman, Mark Gaberman, Deborah Griffin, Michele Loud, Robert McClenaghan, Jim Rhine, Steve D. Tamerius, Billy Wisse
  • Paid Off with Michael Torpey (truTV), Head Writer: Ethan Berlin; Writers: John Chaneski, Rosemarie DiSalvo, Leigh Hampton, Katie Hartman, Amanda Melson, Larry Owens, Jennie Sutton, Michael Torpey, Jeremy Weiner
  • Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (ABC), Head Writer: Stephen A. Melcher, Jr.; Writers: Kyle Beakley, Tom Cohen, Patricia A. Cotter, Ryan Hopak, Gary Lucy, James Rowley, Ann Slichter, Dylan Snowden

Documentary Script — Current Events:

  • Black Hole Apocalypse (PBS: Nova), Written by Rushmore DeNooyer
  • Blackout in Puerto Rico (PBS: Frontline), Written by Rick Young
  • The Gang Crackdown (PBS: Frontline), Written by Marcela Gaviria
  • Trump’s Takeover (PBS: Frontline), Written by Michael Kirk, Mike Wiser

Documentary Script — Other than Current Events:

    • Bitter Rivals: Iran and Saudi Arabia – Part 1 (PBS: ‘Frontline’), Written by David Fanning, Linda Hirsch, Martin Smith
    • The Circus, Part 1 (PBS: ‘American Experience’), Written by Sharon Grimberg
    • The Eugenics Crusade (PBS: ‘American Experience’), Written by Michelle Ferrari
    • Into The Amazon (PBS: ‘American Experience’), Written by John Maggio

Winners will be announced at the 2019 Writers Guild Awards on Feb. 17 during concurrent ceremonies in New York and Los Angeles.

Melissa Kajpust exits Super Channel

Super Channel head programmer Melissa Kajpust is exiting her role at the broadcaster after less than a year in the role.

According to the announcement, Kajpust has resigned to “pursue other opportunities.” Her last day at Super Channel will be Dec. 21.

Kajpust took over the VP of programming role in early 2018 after the Edmonton-based company’s restructure, having served as the company’s director of programming, international distributors and Canadian pre-sales for almost five years before that. In her VP role, Kajpust oversaw the programming of Super Channel’s recently rebranded portfolio of channels, including Fuse, Heart & Home, Vault and GINX Esports TV Canada.

“Melissa has been a valuable asset to Super Channel and was integral in seeing us through our recent restructuring and rebranding phase,” said Don McDonald, Super Channel president and CEO, in a statement. “Her leadership, industry knowledge, relationships and programming expertise greatly assisted us in successfully navigating through a time of rapid change.”

Super Channel spokesperson Kim Ball told realscreen sister publication Playback Daily that further “organizational announcements” will be made next week.

(From Playback Daily’s Kelly Towsend)

Top Chef heads to Germany

NBCUniversal International Formats has signed its 23rd international deal for the reality cooking competition series Top Chef, this time with German entertainment company ProSiebenSat.1.

The format sees aspiring chefs compete, while also working together. Each week, one chef is kicked off the show, until the “top chef” remains.

The deal will see a six-part local version of the format, set to air on Sat.1 in summer 2019, with Eckart Witzigmann as head judge.

The series will be produced by RedSeven Entertainment, and production will begin in spring.

Top Chef was first produced by Magical Elves for Bravo in the U.S. in 2006, where it is currently in its sixteenth season.

The deal was brokered by NBCUniversal International Formats’ VP of format sales and production Hannah Worrall.

Foxtel’s Duane Hatherly steps down

Duane Hatherly is leaving his role as director of production at Australian pay-TV company Foxtel.

Two notes sent to staff by Hatherly and executive director of television Brian Walsh, shared with realscreen, confirm that Hatherly will depart to pursue other opportunities.

He will remain at Foxtel until the end of the year.

“It would be hard to find anyone who has demonstrated as much as loyalty and commitment to Foxtel as Duane,” said Walsh. “He joined the company 22 years ago as a graphics designer, straight off the plane from Toronto and made his way up the ladder in promos, then administration, channel and genre management, including Head Of Lifestyle and finally as our Director Of Production.

“I am personally indebted to Duane for his unwavering loyalty, reliability and support over all these years. In every respect, he has been a pillar of support to me and I will be forever grateful.”

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