WINNER: RONALD D. MOORE, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, SYFY
Moore’s reimagining of 1970s one-season-wonder Battlestar Galactica was the best-written science-fiction series ever on television. While Star Trek will always rule the universe, Moore’s attention to character detail and wonderfully nuanced writing forever changed the definition of TV science fiction. Moore challenged our notions of religion, loyalty, class, race, love, hate, trust…the list goes on. As characters churned over their internal battles, political maneuvers and macro-conflicts drove the intricate story lines. The audience never knew who would suddenly turn up a Cylon — or a Cylon sympathizer. It’s unclear whether BG will live for decades or inspire conventions, but it has raised the bar for any science-fiction series that follows it.
Brenda Hampton, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, ABC Family: Hampton is more than just the writer of this excellent new series on ABC Family. She’s the creator and executive producer to boot. The bottom line: The awards are already piling up on her desk, and we expect many more.
Shawn Ryan, The Shield, FX: Ryan is among a small group of visionaries whose absolute dedication to excellence has made this the best time in history to watch TV. Seriously. And it’s only fitting that Ryan and others of his rare breed are flocking to cable, where story and character matter more than mass appeal.
Matt Weiner, Mad Men, AMC: It’s hard to add anything to the litany of kudos received and well deserved by Weiner. He honed his writing chops on HBO’s The Sopranos and has since elevated himself to become one of the most respected writers on TV — or really, anywhere.
Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad, AMC: Gilligan knows the depths and darkness of the soul. Watching his characters gradually sink into oblivion can be excruciating. It’s also fabulous TV.