‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ could be the third show to win two series prizes at the WGA Awards

“The Handmaid’s Tale” is forecasted to go home with two trophies at Sunday’s Writers Guild Awards in our latest odds: Best Drama Series and Best New Series. It makes sense that the reigning Emmy, Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice and Producers Guild Award champ is such a heavy favorite — the Elisabeth Moss-starrer never relinquished its lead in either category in our predictions — but it is extremely rare for a freshman series to pull off that WGA double at once.

Since the WGA Awards added the three series categories — Best New Series, Best Drama Series and Best Comedy Series — 12 years ago, only two shows have won Best New Series and either Best Drama Series or Best Comedy Series at the same ceremony: “True Detective” three years ago and “Atlanta” last year. Of the other 10 Best New Series winners, only two were not nominated in their respective genre series race: “Ugly Betty” and “In Treatment.”

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Here’s how the first 12 winners have shaken out (years are of TV premiere):

2005: “Grey’s Anatomy” (new series); “Lost” (drama series); “Curb Your Enthusiasm (comedy series) — “Grey’s Anatomy” was nominated for drama

2006: “Ugly Betty” (new series); “The Sopranos” (drama series); “The Office” (comedy series) — “Ugly Betty” was not nominated for comedy

2007: “Mad Men” (new series); “The Wire” (drama series); “30 Rock” (comedy series) — “Mad Men” was nominated for drama

2008: “In Treatment” (new series); “Mad Men” (drama series); “30 Rock” (comedy series) — “In Treatment” was not nominated for drama

2009: “Modern Family” (new series); “Mad Men” (drama series); “30 Rock” (comedy series) — “Modern Family” was nominated for comedy

2010: “Boardwalk Empire” (new series); “Mad Men” (drama series); “Modern Family” (comedy series) — “Boardwalk Empire” was nominated for drama

2011: “Homeland” (new series); “Breaking Bad” (drama series); “Modern Family” (comedy series) — “Homeland” was nominated for drama

2012: “Girls” (new series); “Breaking Bad” (drama series); “Louie” (comedy series) — “Girls” was nominated for comedy

2013: “House of Cards” (new series); “Breaking Bad” (drama series); “Veep” (comedy series) — “House of Cards” was nominated for drama

2014: “True Detective” (new series); “True Detective (drama series); “Louie” (comedy series)

2015: “Mr. Robot” (new series); “Mad Men” (drama series); “Veep” (comedy series) — “Mr. Robot” was nominated for drama

2016: “Atlanta” (new series); “The Americans” (drama series); “Atlanta” (comedy series)

SEE 2018 WGA Awards predictions: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ will resume winning ways with Best New Series trophy

Besides the WGA’s obvious love of “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad,” it’s clear voters also love to spread the wealth. Given “Mad Men”’s and “Modern Family”’s subsequent multiple genre victories, you’d probably expect them to have two have achieved this double in their inaugural seasons, but voters denied them to cover as many bases as possible. The WGA is also fond of repeat champs, which can be a hard hurdle for new shows to overcome.

That “True Detective” and “Atlanta” were able to do this speaks to not just the quality of their writing, but the buzz they had at the time. “Atlanta” didn’t reach the height of “True Detective”’s popularity, but its first season was widely acclaimed and respected. “The Handmaid’s Tale” is this vein, and unlike “True Detective” and “Atlanta,” it already has a writing and series Emmy to its name.

Best New Series should be an easy win for “The Handmaid’s Tale” against “The Deuce,” “American Vandal,” “GLOW” and “Ozark.” Best Drama Series might be tougher, but only one of its competitors, “The Americans,” has won before. “Game of Thrones” is 0-5, “Better Call Saul” is 0-2 and “Stranger Things” is on its second nomination.

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