March 5, 2023

News Release: December 19, 2012

Writing Team Joshua Brand & John Falsey to Receive 2013 WGAW Television Laurel Award

Joshua Brand. Photo: Katherine Finkelstein
John Falsey. Photo: Courtney Falsey
2013 Award Recipient

Veteran television writing partners Joshua Brand & John Falsey, who’ve co-created such acclaimed hit series as Northern Exposure, St. Elsewhere, and I’ll Fly Away, are set to receive the Writers Guild of America West’s 2013 Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television, honoring lifetime achievement in outstanding television writing. Brand & Falsey will be recognized at the upcoming 2013 Writers Guild Awards’ West Coast ceremony to be held on Sunday, February 17, 2013, at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE.


“Writers Joshua Brand and John Falsey have left an indelible imprint on the television landscape, co-creating some of TV’s most enduring, memorable series that have both entertained and moved a generation of viewers. Defined by an expert blend of sharp observation, dry wit, and honest emotion, their work is, like a singer with a five-octave range, breathtaking in its scope and its power. Together, Brand and Falsey have created an enviable legacy that both veteran and up-and-coming writers can aspire to match,” said WGAW President Christopher Keyser.

Brand and Falsey both launched their careers writing for the high school sports drama The White Shadow, serving as story editors and contributing more than a dozen episodes to the show. Following this early success, the pair teamed up to co-create the award-winning medical dramedy series St. Elsewhere, which explored the personal and professional lives of the colorful staff at Boston’s St. Eligius Hospital. The show received multiple Emmy, WGA, Humanitas Prize, and Peabody Awards during its run.

In the mid-’80s, they developed the epic adventure series Amazing Stories with director-producer Steven Spielberg and served as supervising producers for the show’s first season, co-writing several episodes. Later in the decade, the prolific writing pair co-created and executive produced the well-received family drama A Year in the Life, which garnered an Emmy Award for outstanding miniseries (which Brand & Falsey shared with Stephen Cragg) and continued life as a weekly TV series, earning Emmys and Golden Globes for the show’s lead actor Richard Kiley, as well as an Emmy nomination for its co-creators (Outstanding Writing in a Miniseries or Special, “The First Christmas” episode.)

In 1990, Brand and Falsey co-created and executive produced the offbeat comedy series Northern Exposure, whose pilot Brand directed. The series’ offbeat humor and quirky charm signaled a new kind of TV comedy landscape and earned six Emmy Awards (including Outstanding Drama Series), two Peabody Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and a PGA “Television Producer of the Year” Award over its five-season run, while the pair received an Emmy nomination for co-writing the series’ pilot. The series also received a trio of WGA Episodic Drama nominations.

In the early ’90s, the team co-created and executive produced the critically acclaimed series I’ll Fly Away, which earned three Emmys (including Outstanding Achievement in Writing in a Miniseries or Special shared by Falsey & Brand for penning the pilot episode), two Peabody Awards, two Golden Globes, and three Humanitas Prizes, as well as received three WGA Episodic Drama nominations. Brand also directed the series’ pilot episode, earning DGA and Emmy nominations for his work. In 1992, they co-created (with Frank South) and executive produced Going to Extremes. The pair also received two George Peabody Awards for Significant and Meritorious Service in 1991 and 1992 for their work on Northern Exposure. In 1992, Falsey appeared on the cover of Newsweek as part of a special issue in which he and Brand were named two of the “100 Cultural Elite in America.”

In 1994, Brand served as co-executive producer on the limited series The Grid. Most recently, he penned the 2011 TV pilots Reconstruction (Teleplay by Joshua Brand, Story by Brand & Peter Horton) and Circling the Drain. Currently, Brand is serving as a consultant on the FX series The Americans, as well as writing a one-hour FX pilot, Lords of the Sunset Strip, focusing on L.A.’s ’70s club scene. As a playwright, his works include the full-length plays “Babyface,” “Grunts,” and “The Real Me,” which was as finalist in the 2012 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference.

Born in 1950 in Queens, New York, Brand is an alum of City College of New York with a B.A. in English Literature. Awarded a fellowship to Columbia University, he received an M.A. degree with Honors in English Literature. He has been a WGAW member since 1977.

Born in 1951 in Darien, Connecticut, Falsey received his B.A. at Hampshire College, and later earned an M.F.A. at the Iowa Writers Workshop. His short story, “Bachelors,” was published in The New Yorker in 1978 while he was still a graduate student at The Workshop. He has been a WGAW member since 1979.

Named after one of the most influential writers in entertainment history, the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television is the WGAW’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. Past Television Laurel Award recipients include Steven Bochco, Susan Harris, Stephen J. Cannell, David Chase, Larry David, Diane English, and, most recently, Marshall Herskovitz & Ed Zwick.