WGAW's TV Laurel goes to prolific Blinn


The WGA West will honor William Blinn with its Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television during the 2009 Writers Guild Awards ceremony Feb. 7.

The guild's highest TV award, the Laurel honors lifetime achievement for outstanding television writing. Blinn will join the ranks of Rod Serling, Norman Lear, Steven Bochco, Susan Harris, Stephen J. Cannell, John Wells and last year's honoree, David Chase.

Blinn's five-decade résumé includes the TV longform projects "Roots," "Brian's Song" and "The Boys Next Door" and such series as "The New Land," "Fame," "Eight Is Enough," "Starsky & Hutch," "Gunsmoke," "Bonanza," "My Favorite Martian" and "Rawhide." He also co-wrote the hit 1984 Prince film "Purple Rain."

Blinn has been nominated for five Emmys and six WGA Awards, winning two of each. He also won a Peabody Award for "Brian's Song" and the Humanitas Prize for "Roots."

"William Blinn's writing changed the face of television," WGAW president Patric Verrone said. "He has credits that few can match and all can envy."

The awards will be handed out simultaneously on both coasts.