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Rod wins 2001
WGA award

'COUNT,' 'TRAFFIC' SCRIBES HAVE WRITE STUFF FOR WGA

This article appeared in the March 12-18, 2001 issue of Variety magazine.

HOLLYWOOD - Edge was in at the WGA Awards last week, as the scribes behind a pair of biting looks at contemporary life, "You Can Count on Me" and "Traffic," took top honors in motion picture screenwriting from the Writers Guild of America.

Kenneth Lonergan won for his original screenplay for "You Can Count on Me" and Stephen Gaghan was honored for the adapted screenplay for "Traffic."

And, in an unprecedented development worthy of a "Twilight Zone" episode, the late Rod Serling shared the award for best children's script, winning for Showtime's "A Storm in Summer," while Paris Qualles won for Disney's "The Color of Friendship." Serling, who died in 1975, originally wrote the script for a 1970 Hallmark Hall of Fame program; the 2000 version was based on that script plus additional material from earlier drafts.

Lonergan's screenplay for "You Can Count on Me" is the tale of a single mom's relationship with her wayward brother. Lonergan, who also directed, previously took screenplay honors from the L.A. Film Critics Assn., the National Society of Film Critics and the N.Y. Film Critics Circle.

Gaghan's adaptation was based on the British TV series "Traffik," created by Simon Moore. Gaghan's interwoven story of drug war tragedies had copped the Golden Globe for screenplay and tied with "Wonder Boys" for top adapted script from the Broadcast Film Critics.

Aaron Sorkin and Rick Cleveland took the episodic drama nod for the "In Excelsis Deo" episode of NBC's "The West Wing."