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WGAW Honors ‘Simpsons’ Icon James L. Brooks

Co-developer and executive producer of the long-running series will receive the guild’s 2018 Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement.

James L. Brooks, who co-developed and is executive producer on ‘The Simpsons,’ will receive the WGA Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement for his decades of work as a writer, producer and director of television and feature films.

LOS ANGELES -- Iconic screenwriter-director-producer James L. Brooks, whose acclaimed films include Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News, and As Good As It Gets, has been named the recipient of the Writers Guild of America West’s 2018 Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement in recognition of his extraordinary career and body of work.

He will be honored Feb. 11 at the 2018 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.

“James L. Brooks looms large for writers in our business. His movie scripts walk a razor’s edge; they are comedies that are tinged with tragedy, they have moments of absurdity mixed with sharply observed truths. The beauty of his work is that you never hear the writer behind it, his characters talk like real people and his scripts feel like life. We at the WGAW Board of Directors consider it our honor to give him this award," said WGAW President David A. Goodman.

One of the most revered and influential creative artists in film and television, Brooks is a three-time Academy Award winner, an 18-time Emmy Award winner, and four-time Writers Guild Award winner.

Brooks was co-creator of the Tracy Ullman Show, on which the Simpsons characters first appeared in a series of animated shorts. The shorts’ success inspired The Simpsons series, which Brooks developed with creator Matt Groening and Sam Simon. Brooks has received numerous Emmy noms over the show’s decades-long run and earned ten shared Emmys for Outstanding Animated Program between 1990 and 2008 for The Simpsons.

In 1998, Brooks received the WGAW’s Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement, the Guild’s highest honor for television writing, shared with his frequent TV writing partner Allan Burns. In 2006, Brooks received the WGAE’s Herb Sargent Award for Comedy Excellence, given to a writer who “embodies the spirit, commitment, and comic genius” of the late Sargent.

In 2007, he received the Gold Derby TV Award for lifetime achievement, in 2015 he received TCA’s Career Achievement Award, and in 2017 received the PGA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Television for his prolific career.

The WGAW’s Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement is awarded to a Writers Guild member who has advanced the literature of motion pictures and made outstanding contributions to the profession of the screenwriter. Past recipients include Elaine May, Oliver Stone, Harold Ramis, David Mamet, Robert Towne, Tom Stoppard, Paul Mazursky, Lawrence Kasdan, Eric Roth and Steven Zaillian.

Source: Writers Guild of America

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Tom McLean has been writing for years about animation from a secret base in Los Angeles.