The Writers Guild of America West has penciled in Living Single creator-showrunner Yvette Lee Bowser for its 2023 Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement. She will receive the career honor, which is presented to a WGA member who has “advanced the literature of television and made outstanding contributions to the profession of the television writer,” at the 75th annual WGA Awards on March 5.
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A 35-year guild member with more than 600 hours of TV to her credit, Bowser began her career as an apprentice writer on NBC’s Cosby Show spinoff series A Different World, writing 25 episodes over five years. After a run with ABC’s Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper in the early ’90s, Bowser – at age 27 – became the first Black female show creator with her groundbreaking Fox sitcom Living Single. The show was the No. 1 comedy in Black and Latino households for its entire five-season run from 1993-97 and has maintained strong cultural significance through three decades of syndication and streaming.
Bowser quickly became a sought-after creator-showrunner, creating the multi-ethnic WB/NBC romantic comedy For Your Love and executive producing the popular UPN comedy Half & Half. Her leadership experience led Bowser to consulting roles on the NBC drama Lipstick Jungle and ABC’s Black-ish before helming the Netflix series Dear White People. She currently serves as executive producer and showrunner on Unprisoned, a dramedy set to premiere in March on Onyx for Hulu.
“I’m deeply moved to join such distinguished company and to be acknowledged for telling diverse stories,” said Bowser. “There’s no greater professional reward than being seen by my peers.”
The Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award is the WGAW’s highest award for television writing. Past recipients include Merrill Markoe, Jenji Kohan, Diane English, Aaron Sorkin, Steven Bochco, Susan Harris, Stephen J. Cannell, Shonda Rhimes, David Chase, Marta Kauffman & David Crane, Larry David, Garry Marshall and Alison Cross.
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