LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - “The Simpsons,” television’s longest-running comedy, led the nominations announced on Monday for the Writers Guild of America’s annual broadcasting awards.
The edgy cartoon series, airing on the News Corp.-owned Fox network for 19 seasons, was one of five nominees for best comedy series, along with two previous winners from NBC, “30 Rock” and “The Office,” and two cable shows, HBO’s “Entourage” and Showtime’s “Weeds.”
Four episodes of “The Simpsons” were nominated separately in the category for best animation broadcasts.
The hit cartoon about a lazy, slow-witted family man named Homer Simpson has collected numerous WGA awards in the animation category over the years, but this is the first time the show also is competing as best comedy series.
The WGA awards for television and radio will be held on February 7.
In September, “The Simpsons” extended its record Emmy-winning streak by claiming television’s highest honor for a prime-time cartoon for a 10th year.
NBC’s show-within-a-show “30 Rock,” starring Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin, was the second most WGA-nominated program on Monday with four nods in all — including a bid for best comedy series and three for best comedy episode. “30 Rock” won for best comedy last season.
The most recognized drama in the WGA sweepstakes this year is the AMC cable series “Breaking Bad,” starring Bryan Cranston in his Emmy-winning role as a terminally ill high school teacher who cooks crystal methamphetamine for quick cash.
“Breaking Bad” drew three nominations, one for best new series and two in the drama episode contest. It will vie for best new series against “Fringe” (Fox), “In Treatment” (HBO), “Life on Mars” (ABC) and “True Blood” (HBO).
Three of the nominees for best drama come from cable television — HBO’s defending champion “The Wire,” which recently ended its run; AMC’s “Mad Men,” this year’s Emmy winner for best drama series; and Showtime’s “Dexter,” about a serial killer working as a crime scene investigator.
Two drama nominees from broadcast television are NBC’s high school football saga “Friday Night Lights” and the ABC castaway thriller “Lost.”