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3 items from 2006

Wells earns WGA's TV writing prize

18 December 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

The WGA West will honor producer-writer John Wells with its Paddy Chayefsky Laurel for excellence in television writing.

Wells, who has won six Emmys on shows including The West Wing and ER, will be feted at the 2007 Writers Guild Awards, set for Feb. 11 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Century City.

"John's place in the pantheon of television writers and creators is secure, and yet he continues to earn it anew every award season," WGAW president Patric Verrone said. "I find myself regularly in awe of John's achievements as a writer, as a colleague and as a friend."

Wells, whose other successful TV series have included Third Watch and China Beach, was WGAW president from 1999-2001. A nominee in six previous Writers Guild Awards, he is nominated this year for an episode of West Wing, Election Day, Part II.

The Paddy Chayefsky Laurel is given annual to "writers who have advanced the literature of television throughout the years and made outstanding contributions to the profession of the television writer."

Previous recipients include Steven Bochco, Larry Gelbart, Rod Serling, David E. »

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Harris on hold with deal at ABC, Touchstone

20 October 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Laura Harris has inked a talent holding deal with ABC and Touchstone TV. The pact calls for Harris to be cast in a one-hour pilot targeted for fall 2007 or to join an existing ABC/Touchstone series. The talent deal stems from Harris' starring role on the ABC/Touchstone TV drama pilot Hollis and Rae this past development season. In the pilot, from Steven Bochco and Callie Khouri, she played one of the title characters. Harris, whose series credits include Fox's 24 and Showtime's Dead Like Me, most recently did a multiepisode arc on USA Network's The Dead Zone. She is repped by Endeavor and manager John Carrabino. »

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Viewers losing interest in ABC's 'Commander'

20 January 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Commander in Chief is losing its grip on power. The new ABC drama series, which earned star Geena Davis a Golden Globe Award this week for her role as the first female U.S. president, seems to be sinking into the same midterm malaise affecting the approval ratings of President Bush; Commander's ratings have been declining steadily since bowing to big numbers in September. The series' downturn has industry insiders wondering whether its primary cause is the regime change that occurred behind the scenes after only six episodes were completed. Rod Lurie, creator and executive producer of the series, was replaced as showrunner by veteran TV producer Steven Bochco, reportedly to quell ABC's concerns over production delays. Now the network and Commander producer Touchstone Television, ABC's fellow Walt Disney Co. subsidiary, are grappling with a dilemma that happens to be playing itself out in one of the series' own story lines: What will it take to get Commander re-elected for another term? »

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