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News > A Look at the Emmy Nominees for Writing

A Look at the Emmy Nominees for Writing

07.24.13 | Matt Dy

The Emmy nominations were announced last week and since there hasn’t been much  coverage on the lesser-appreciated writing categories, it seemed appropriate to highlight them here.  And the nominees are…

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Breaking Bad – “Dead Freight” by George Mastras
Breaking Bad – “Say My Name” by Thomas Schnauz
Downton Abbey – “Episode 4” by Julian Fellowes
Game of Thrones – “The Rains of Castamere” by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Homeland – “Q&A” by Henry Bromell

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

30 Rock – “Hogcock!” by Jack Burditt and Robert Carlock
30 Rock – “Last Lunch” by Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield
Episodes – “Episode 209” by David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik
Louie – “Daddy’s Girlfriend (Part 1)” by Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon
The Office – “Finale” by Greg Daniels

While I haven’t seen all of the nominated episodes, this still looks like a pretty solid list of nominees.  The Drama category includes Breaking Bad’s first two nominations for writing, that infamous episode of Game of Thrones, and the interrogation episode of Homeland where Brody gets stabbed in the hand.  The Comedy category includes the finales for 30 Rock (two parts) and The Office,  and more self-deprecating episodes of Episodes and Louie.   Sadly, no pilots were nominated this year.  Sorely overlooked shows for writing include House of Cards (although nominated in other categories), Bates Motel, Hannibal, The Americans, and the most disappointing snub, Orphan Black which was the best new show this year (don’t get me started on Tatiana Maslany’s snub for Best Actress).   My early predictions are that one of the Breaking Bad episodes will win for Drama writing and 30 Rock will win for Comedy writing for its swan song episode, “Last Lunch”.

If you’re writing a TV spec for an existing show or a pilot, the Emmy nominations are always a good place to look for examples of quality writing.  PDFs for this year’s nominees are hard to find but you can easily view each episode through various on demand services.  Several Emmy winning and nominated episodes from previous years are easier to find.  I’ve included a few PDFs of those below including Homeland, last year’s winner for Drama writing.

Homeland Pilot Episode


Modern Family Pilot

Pushing Daisies


This year’s Emmy winners will be announced on September 22nd.  Catch up on the nominated episodes before then and decide for yourself which ones should win.


–Matt Dy, AFF Screenplay & Teleplay Competition Director