News Release: January 31, 2005

Simpsons Writer Don Payne to Receive Paul Selvin Award at 57th Annual Writers Guild Awards

Television- and screenwriter Don Payne is slated to receive the 2004 Paul Selvin Award for his acclaimed "Fraudcast News" episode of The Simpsons at the upcoming 57th annual Writers Guild Awards ceremony held Saturday, February 19, 2005.

"To earn laughs is one thing, but to consistently challenge and inspire an audience to think while they're laughing is quite another achievement. Don Payne has managed to do both with wit and style over the years as part of one of the most ground-breaking and influential series on television, and he is most deserving of this important guild award," said Writers Guild of America, west president Daniel Petrie Jr.

One of many episodes Payne has penned for FOX's longest running hit series, "Fraudcast News" takes a satirical stab at TV news culture and media consolidation with signature Simpsons humor.

Payne has co-written several popular episodes of The Simpsons with his frequent writing partner John Frink, including "The Wandering Juvie," "Old Yeller-Belly," "The Great Louse Detective," and "The Bart Wants What It Wants," which was nominated for a Writers Guild Award for Animation in 2003. A five-time Emmy nominee, Payne shared Emmy wins with The Simpsons writing staff in 2003, 2001, and 2000 for Outstanding Animated Program. Payne's other TV credits include co-writing episodes for Men Behaving Badly, Can't Hurry Love, and The Brian Benben Show.

The Paul Selvin Award goes to that WGA member whose script "best embodies the spirit of the constitutional and civil rights and liberties, which are indispensable to the survival of free writers everywhere, and to whose defense Paul Selvin committed his professional life." Selvin served as counsel to the guild for 25 years. Previous recipients include Allison Cross, George Stevens Jr., Cynthia Whitcomb, Gary Ross, David E. Kelley, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, Eric Roth and Michael Mann, Tim Sexton, and last year's recipient, Jason Horwitch.