March 5, 2023

News Release: December 18, 2006

Acclaimed Writer-Producer John Wells to Receive Paddy Chayefsky Television Laurel at 2007 Writers Guild Awards

2007 Award Recipient

Award-winning television writer-producer John Wells is slated to receive the Writers Guild of America West's prestigious Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television for his prolific body of work at the 2007 Writers Guild Awards held on February 11, 2007.

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

An award-winning, high-profile television writer/producer over the past two decades, Wells has been a primary creative force behind some of primetime's biggest hit series, including ER, The West Wing, Third Watch, and China Beach.

A prior six-time Writers Guild Award nominee, Wells is nominated again this year for The West Wing episode, “Election Day, Part II”.  In addition, he garnered three nods for episodes for China Beach (“Escape,” 1992, “Hello, Goodbye, Parts I & II,” 1992, “Xmas/CHNNCH VN '67,” 1990), two for episodes from ER (“The Storm, Part I,” 2000; “On the Beach,” 2003) in the Episodic Drama category, as well as a shared nomination in 2006 as part of the writing staff of long-running hit The West Wing.

Wells also served the industry's community of writers as President of the WGAW from 1999-2001 and was vital to the success of the 2001 MBA contract negotiations.

Shows produced by John Wells have received an astounding 262 Emmy nominations and a total of 55 Emmy wins. Having been nominated a staggering 24 times for his own contributions on ER, The West Wing, and China Beach, Wells won six Emmy Awards over the course of his career, including four shared Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series for The West Wing in 2003, 2002, 2001, and 2000, a shared Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series for ER in 1996, and a shared Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Program for The West Wing Documentary Special in 2002.

Wells took home the prestigious Peabody Award five times: once for China Beach, once for ER, once for Third Watch, and twice for The West Wing. In 2005, Wells received the Humanitas Prize for his West Wing episode, “NSF Thurmont” - it was Wells' seventh nomination for the distinguished honor.

Wells' other television credits include this TV season's Mr. Smith, as well as Presidio Med, Angel Street, and the telefilm, The Nightman, co-penned with Lucile Fletcher and James Poe.

As a TV producer, Wells' diverse projects include TV series The Evidence and Jonny Zero, as well as telemovies Mrs. Harris (2005), Dark Shadows (2004), and The Big Time (2002). For his work, Wells earned the PGA's Golden Laurel lifetime television award. On the film front, Wells has executive produced an eclectic slate of films, including Infamous (2006), Doom (2005), The Notorious Betty Page (2005), A Home at the End of the World (2004), White Oleander (2002), Far From Heaven (2002), and One Hour Photo (2002). A graduate of USC's School of Cinema-Television, Wells serves the school's Television Executive Advisory Council.

Named after one of the most acclaimed writers in television history, the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel is the guild's highest award for television writing, given to writers who have advanced the literature of television throughout the years and made outstanding contributions to the profession of the television writer. Previous award recipients include Steven Bochco, Larry Gelbart, Rod Serling, David E. Kelley, Susan Harris, and last year's honoree, Stephen J. Cannell.