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post #11191 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by shuttermaker View Post

I would love to have another BB as early as February, celebrities not required.

If they're actually celebrities, I'd love a celebrity edition. If the "celebrities" end up being Kathy Griffin and Wayne Knight, please give me regular folks.
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post #11192 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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The WGA Strike
Writers’ Strike Threatens TCA Winter Tour
Decision To Cancel, Shorten Event Would Me Made By End Of Next Week
By Linda Haugsted Multichannel News 11/7/2007

The strike by the Writers Guild of America may spike or severely trim the Television Critics Association winter press tour scheduled for January in Los Angeles.

The group of TV writers is currently polling its 220 members to see if journalists -- and the newspapers that pay for them to attend -- will even agree to participate if the meeting, normally two-and-a-half to three weeks, is shortened. A trimmed meeting would be preferred to cancellation by the group at this point, for members rely on the twice-yearly meetings to provide one-on-one interviews with stars and producers for future stories.

A decision to cancel or shorten would have to be made by the end of next week. By that point, the critics' group must inform the Universal Hilton whether it will be booking rooms and ballrooms for which it and participating networks originally committed.

TCA board members met with broadcast, cable and PBS publicity representatives on Nov. 5, and broadcast publicists pleaded for a cancellation of the tour, according to the memo from TCA president Dave Walker of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Network budgets will be harmed by a strike of any significant duration, according to publicists. Even if the tour is merely shortened, network-hosted luncheons and dinners may be trimmed, which is also an issue for journalists who need to keep their travel costs down. Only cable and PBS are interested in full tour participation at this point, according to the memo.

A truncated meeting could involve broadcast networks merging their presentations with their affiliated cable networks, such as the CW, Showtime and CBS presenting their shows during the same days. But the critics want to make sure a shortened meeting would include stars and show-runners (some of whom are also writers and would honor the picket line). At this point, it is unclear whether they would participate.

TCA board members will meet again Nov. 12 with network representatives to determine the fate of the meeting.

http://www.multichannel.com/index.as...leID=CA6498477
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post #11193 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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The WGA Strike
Writers show signs of being able to pull it off
By Tim Goodman San Francisco Chronicle TV Columnist Wednesday, November 7, 2007

If on the surface - and to the home viewer - these are the boring, actionless days of the young Writers Guild of America strike; behind the scenes they are anything but. In fact, decisions made this week may go a long way in deciding whether the strike succeeds or implodes. And those decisions are being made largely in secret.

The big worry going into this strike - a worry that will no doubt linger for some time - is the issue of solidarity. The three highest-profile unions that govern the artists of Hollywood - the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild - were barely able to present a united front before the strike. That doesn't exactly build confidence going into what is expected to be a long battle. The cynical in Hollywood - and that's a town built wholly on the failed dreams of the jaded and the bitter - suggested that the agendas of the members of the three unions were, roughly in this order: "looking out for myself," "getting what's rightfully mine" and "bleep the other guys."

Hollywood is not Flint, Mich. It's not Allentown, Pa. In theory, it has strong unions, but the practice may be put to the test early in this strike. Already there are rumors that the directors (whose contract runs out, along with that of the actors, on June 30), might begin bargaining early and strike a deal that hangs the writers out to dry.

It makes no sense, but then again, it's Hollywood. Sense lives in the heartland. Big-ticket items like mansions and Bentleys and third wives and Botox - those live in this fictional area known as Hollywood (nobody really lives there - it's seedy as all get-out). Directors selling out writers and actors selling out directors? Baby needs a brand-new pair of Manolos.

So there's built-in suspicion. And that's not even factoring in the networks, each owned by big corporations with money to burn. They can lawyer up. They can survive. How can the lowly writers ever win this thing?

Well, that's just negative talk, mister. But it sure is going around.

That's why this first week is so important. And so is a notion that is antithetical to unions and to logic - and that is artists belonging to more than one union. The trade magazines and the general press leading up to the strike printed the same quotes - the DGA saying its people would report to work; SAG saying its people would report to work, because both have "no-strike" clauses in their contracts. The idea was being sold to readers (and was echoed by the networks) as simple and completely normal: that contracts were contracts and they had to be fulfilled. Once completed scripts were in, directors and actors would be expected to cross the WGA picket lines and work from them. Despite a strike, shows would be made. The WGA itself acknowledged that work in Hollywood would continue. No harm, no foul.

But then the WGA got into a little tiff with the directors. It stated that directors and producers in the DGA who were also in the WGA (and that's a very large number) could not do any kind of "writing services," which included a laundry list of items that any showrunner would have to do. So the two unions were annoyed at each other. And later stories, particularly in the trade papers, suggested that there was annoyance in all three unions and solidarity was at risk.

But Monday brought the news that the showrunners had gone on strike. Remember, showrunners are producer-writers who have either created or now run the show; they are pivotal players. The television industry figured that showrunners would come to work and help produce finished scripts. But they didn't. Daily Variety quoted "a much buzzed about e-mail floating around town" from Shawn Ryan, executive producer of "The Shield" and "The Unit," who said: "I obviously will not write on my shows. But I also will not edit, I will not cast, I will not look at location photos, I will not get on the phone with the network and studio, I will not prep directors, I will not review mixes. I can't in good conscience fight these bastards with one hand, while operating an Avid with the other. I am on strike and I am not working for them. PERIOD."

Many actors also came to the strike lines to show solidarity with their writer brethren, and some actors who are also writers, like B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling of "The Office," decided to picket instead of work. Granted, that was Day 1 and sometime the rent has to be paid, but it was a symbolically positive start for the writers. (Greg Daniels, who essentially guided the transition of the original British version of "The Office" into an American hit, was picketing when the studio and network thought he'd be at work - he's a WGA member, after all. Leave it to a comedy writer to find humor in a strike - a guy essentially striking his own wallet.) If that kind of dedication keeps up, this might actually be a fight rather than a slow, inevitable crushing of weak spirits.

On the first day, at least, there was a sense of purpose. Jay Leno rode his motorcycle to the front lines and fed the troops in Los Angeles, and Tina Fey of "30 Rock" picketed outside the real 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York. Although it was only one of what could be endless days of shouting slogans and carrying signs, all resolve is good for the writers.

Why? Because the networks don't believe that three disparate unions will agree on anything or that Americans will back lowly writers despite the fact that television is a writer-driven media (unlike film, where the director is king). Surely this bunch will cave - that's the thinking. And with scripted series not expected to show any wear and tear until late January at the earliest, there's a good chance that Americans won't become vested in this battle for some time.

Then again, starting Monday they lost "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart, "The Colbert Report" with Stephen Colbert and late-night talk staples like David Letterman and Jay Leno. On Monday the writers showed a cohesive front - directors, showrunners and even some actors refusing to cross picket lines was not only essential but also inspiring.

We'll see how much star wattage is left at the end, but it was triumphantly agitated on Day 1. With home viewers not expected to become put out until a couple of months down the road, symbolism was as important to the strikers as determination.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...type=printable
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post #11194 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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The WGA Strike
Strike's first big casualty: 'The Office'
By Maria Elena Fernandez in the Los Angeles Times blog “Show Tracker”

The Writers Guild strike has scored a key prime-time victory: NBC's "The Office" has shut down production because lead actor Steve Carell, who also writes for the highly improvised show, has refused to cross the picket line.

NBC shot scenes that did not involve Carell in the last two days, but has given up because Dunder Mifflin just ain't the same without Michael at its helm.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/show...iters-g-1.html
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post #11195 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
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The WGA Strike
'Desperate Housewives' to halt production
By Lynn Smith in the Los Angeles Times “Show Tracker” blog

"Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry says the ABC prime-time soap will shut down tomorrow to send a message.

"We're the most high-profile writers in television. If we all band together, we're sending a not-so-subtle message to the powers that be that without us, there is no TV. Period."

He said he knows what it's like to be without work, since he once survived on $25,000 to $45,000 a year when he couldn't get a better-paying TV gig.

He also cautioned the public not to believe everything they hear about writers' salaries.

Sure, someone could make $100,000 a year -- but then be out of work for two years.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/show...iters-g-1.html
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post #11196 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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The WGA Strike
Michael Eisner Calls Hollywood Writers' Strike "Stupid"
By Mike Shields MediaWeek Nov. 7, 2007

Michael Eisner’s digital production studio Vuguru is planning to marry Web video with one of the oldest forms of media – books.

The former Disney CEO, speaking during a keynote interview with Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto at the Media and Money conference in New York, said his firm is developing a video series in a conjunction with an unnamed “top ten novelist.” Though Eisner did go into great detail, the idea behind the project would be to produce 50-episodes of show –perhaps scripted by such an author - that would culminate with the publication of a book which would be available in stores nationwide.

Eisner did not indicate just how close this new project is to fruition, but offered that he is currently, “begging advertisers to give me enough money to break even.” Of course, Eisner’s Vuguru studio broke ground this year with the launch of Prom Queen, an teen-aimed series that consisted of original 90-second Webisodes that ran for 80 straight days on the Internet. That show, which was distributed on sites like MySpace and YouTube, yielded a sequel, Prom Queen: Summer Heat.

While Eisner only hinted at this plans for the Web/novel hybrid during his Wednesday morning keynote, he was more than forthcoming with his thoughts on the strike recently initiated by the Writer’s Guild of America, which he called “stupid.” He said that writers were “misguided” in their efforts to gain a larger piece of revenue from digital distribution, since “there is no money being made...yet.” Even Prom Queen’s modest success has not translated into significant revenue. “We made history, but we didn’t make any money,” he said.

According to Eisner only one person to date has really figured out how to turn digital content and distribution into serious profits: Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/news/rec..._id=1003669551
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post #11197 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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The WGA Strike
WGA strike could go into 2008
Both sides dig heels into the ground
By Dave McNary Variety (Brendan Kelly in Montreal contributed to this report.)

Hopes for a quick resolution of the writers strike are fading fast.

Back-channel efforts have resumed to avert what's now looking like a long and painful work stoppage. But those moves aren't gaining much traction amid continued hardline public stances by both the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers.

Worries have risen that without reviving the WGA talks, the scribes' work stoppage could easily bleed into the middle of next year.

The DGA's expected to launch talks within the next few weeks while SAG's negotiations would probably start in the late winter or early spring. Both the DGA and SAG contracts expire June 30.

WGA negotiations collapsed Sunday night, dashing a brief burst of optimism over the weekend that both sides had softened their stances and narrowed their proposals. And since the talks crashed and burned, both sides have ditched diplomacy.

AMPTP topper Nick Counter has insisted that the companies aren't interested in new talks as long as the WGA's on strike. And WGA West president Patric Verrone has declared in an email to members that the guild is no longer committed to taking its DVD residuals proposal off the table -- even though it did so Sunday to address the AMPTP's assertion that the DVD proposal was a roadblock to a deal.

"Our new comprehensive proposal (including the DVD removal) was presented in an off-the-record session; our new proposal was then rejected," Verrone said. "Based on what I saw and heard on the picket lines today, therefore, all bets are off and what we achieve in this negotiation will be a function of how much we are willing to fight to get our fair share of the residuals of the future, no matter how they are delivered."

In other developments:

The WGA's considering offering waivers, or "interim agreements," under which producers could employ writers with the proviso that scribes would be compensated under terms of the new contract. During the 1988 WGA strike, more than 70 such were signed.

"The question of when to sign interim agreements, and with what employers, depends on an assessment by the Guild leadership of how such agreements will affect our leverage at the bargaining table," said WGA spokesman Gregg Mitchell.

The WGA has quietly backed off its strike rules on animated feature writing.

The guild announced nearly a month ago that writers could not work or negotiate for animated features -- even though that realm is not under WGA jurisdiction with most writing performed under contracts handled by Local 839 of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

But the revised strike rules now permit WGA members to write for animated features covered by Local 839 without being fined or disciplined: "The Rules apply to (1) all network primetime animated series covered by a WGA contract and (2) contracts for writing services in connection with fully animated theatrical features negotiated or entered into during the strike, unless covered by a current collective bargaining agreement with another union."

The AMPTP and IATSE threatened the WGA with legal action over the rule, under which violators could face expulsion, suspension, fines and censure.

The Writers Guild of Canada has come out in support of its southern brethren.

The Canuck guild said anyone who is a dual member of the two guilds and lives in the U.S. will not be allowed to write for Canadian productions during the strike. But the guild added that dual members living in Canada can write for a Canadian production during the strike.

The guild's governing council passed a resolution stating: "The issues the WGA is addressing will affect every professional artist seeking compensation for their work in the digital age. Their fight is our fight."

There are fewer than 300 dual members, most of whom live and work in Los Angeles. The WGC has 1,900 members altogether.

WGC executive director Maureen Parker said U.S.-based members of both guilds have to apply to the WGA for a waiver in order to be able to work in Canada.

"I can't prevent a producer from hiring a writer for a production," Parker said. "But that writer is violating strike rules and we will inform the WGA."

Unlike the WGA, the WGC's most recent collective agreement with the Canadian producers association gives writers jurisdiction over new media, but the two sides have yet to agree on a set rate for compensating Canadian writers for work used in new-media platforms.
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post #11198 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 01:17 PM
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The WGA Strike
'Desperate Housewives' to halt production
By Lynn Smith in the Los Angeles Times Show Tracker blog

"Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry says the ABC prime-time soap will shut down tomorrow to send a message.

"We're the most high-profile writers in television. If we all band together, we're sending a not-so-subtle message to the powers that be that without us, there is no TV. Period."

He said he knows what it's like to be without work, since he once survived on $25,000 to $45,000 a year when he couldn't get a better-paying TV gig.

He also cautioned the public not to believe everything they hear about writers' salaries.

Sure, someone could make $100,000 a year -- but then be out of work for two years.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/show...iters-g-1.html


And another inserts foot into mouth. They definitely aren't going to get any sympathy this way. I'm sure the Teamsters supporting the WGA strike love to hear about out-of-work writers "surviving" on $45k per year. Oh, the humanity.

The WGA is damn lucky that items like this aren't hitting bigger media outlets. The only thing worse than taking away America's TV is taking away America's TV and then slapping them in the face.
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post #11199 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by AlanSaysYo View Post

And another inserts foot into mouth. They definitely aren't going to get any sympathy this way. I'm sure the Teamsters supporting the WGA strike love to hear about out-of-work writers "surviving" on $45k per year. Oh, the humanity.

The WGA is damn lucky that items like this aren't hitting bigger media outlets. The only thing worse than taking away America's TV is taking away America's TV and then slapping them in the face.

Agreed. Both sides of the argument need to realize that it's about the audience, not about themselves. Just like when baseball went on strike and canceled the World Series. Players returned next year to find their fans staying away in droves. And baseball's popularity still isn't what it used to be, despite home run races, broken records, the Red Sox winning the series, and so on. When these writers (and the actors, producers, directors, etc., supporting them) return to work, and when the network execs start putting new shows on next season, they may find their audiences have found other things to occupy their time.

One thing I'm curious about is the response of advertisers on this. I would imagine they are quite unhappy about this, but I haven't heard anything about that. Given that TV is an advertising-driven medium, I'm a little surprised they haven't had more influence in this whole thing.
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post #11200 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 01:39 PM
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The WGA Strike
Writers' Strike Threatens TCA Winter Tour
Decision To Cancel, Shorten Event Would Me Made By End Of Next Week
By Linda Haugsted Multichannel News 11/7/2007

The strike by the Writers Guild of America may spike or severely trim the Television Critics Association winter press tour scheduled for January in Los Angeles.

A decision to cancel or shorten would have to be made by the end of next week. By that point, the critics' group must inform the Universal Hilton whether it will be booking rooms and ballrooms for which it and participating networks originally committed.

And this, in a nutshell, is why this writer's strike is a pretty big stinkin' deal. The Hilton hotel will lose the bookings from the critics coming to the Winter TCA, and Los Angeles (i.e. California) will lose whatever revenue and/or taxes these journalists would have spent. And this just for the TCA! Imagine similar cancellations/postponements of trips and/or other expenditures (vacations, cars, big ticket items, etc.) when the writers and the TV/movie people laid off from work by the studios hold tight to their diminishing wallets. It's going to be a bad strike for everybody that lives in a state/city where movie/TV work is rampant, not just folks working in the entertainment industry.
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post #11201 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 02:24 PM
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Devil's Advocate time, Worst possible scenario: WGA still on strike as of June 30, 2008. DGA and SAG (and possibly AFTRA) contract expires and they go on strike as well. What happens to TV and movies after that?
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post #11202 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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The Business of Television
Comcast Clips NFL Network At FCC
Cable TV Operator Says Only Die Hard Fans Should Shoulder Rate Hike
By Ted Hearn Multichannel News 11/7/2007

Washington -- Comcast’s refusal to give broad distribution to the NFL Network is designed to ensure that only die-hard pigskin fans shoulder the network’s 150% minimum rate hike sought for adding eight pro football games to the pay-TV channel's fall schedule, the cable company told the Federal Communications Commission on Monday.

“Comcast prefers to provide the new high-priced NFL Network to those customers who want it without imposing the additional costs on everyone else, and Comcast has done so – in accordance with the contract to which the NFL agreed,” Comcast explained in a Nov. 6 FCC filing.

Comcast is the largest U.S. cable TV provider, with 24.2 million customers. The NFL Network’s per month, per subscriber license fee demand jumped from the 20-25 cent range to the 50-75 cent range in 2006 when the league decided to air eight games on Thursdays and Saturdays on its own cable network.

To maximum license fee and advertising income, the NFL Network has been pressuring Comcast and Time Warner Cable to put the channel on a tier that all, or substantially all, subscribers purchase.

In September, the NFL Network asked the FCC to force Comcast to bargain in good faith or face compulsory arbitration initiated by the programmer. The NFL Network claims that pro football’s broad national popularity justifies access to nearly all cable homes.

Comcast said in the FCC filing that the NFL Network’s forced arbitration proposal would require FCC intervention before a violation of federal program carriage laws had been demonstrated.

“The [FCC] has no discretion to interpret the statute in this way,” Comcast said.

Comcast also stated the NFL Network was effectively asking the FCC to use its authority illegally to force Comcast to swallow the network’s license fee demands over any objections Comcast might have. Comcast said the Hallmark Channel was guilty of the same maneuver.

“Both the NFL Network and the Hallmark Channel want the FCC to directly intervene in the carriage decisions of [pay-TV distributors], without proof of statutory violation, and force those distributors to carry programming on terms and conditions set by the government,” Comcast said. “Congress did not create a `must carry/must pay' rule for networks.”

Hallmark, seen in about 85 million homes, receives about 3 cents per month per subscriber from its cable and satellite affiliates. Hallmark’s carriage deals with Comcast, Time Warner and DirecTV expire in December. Although it has not disclosed its new license fee request, Hallmark told the FCC that it gets better ratings than Comcast-owned Golf Channel, which has a 23-cent license fee.

Comcast said the Hallmark Channel shouldn’t be allowed to rely on the FCC for help simply because the network had decided on its own to abandon its low-license-fee business model.

“Launched in August 2001, Hallmark Channel rapidly gained distribution to over 82 million homes, in large part because it enticed [cable and satellite providers] to carry it by charging low license fees,” Comcast said. “Now, as it renegotiates its carriage agreements, Hallmark Channel asks the government to put its thumb on the scales so that it can obtain higher fees, -- which would inevitably increase consumer prices for cable and satellite service.”

http://www.multichannel.com/index.as...leID=CA6498657
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post #11203 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 02:42 PM
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And another inserts foot into mouth. They definitely aren't going to get any sympathy this way. I'm sure the Teamsters supporting the WGA strike love to hear about out-of-work writers "surviving" on $45k per year. Oh, the humanity.

I can understand how on the face of it that seems bad. However, living on $25-$45k in Los Angeles is tougher then most cities, especially when you worrk in an industry where image and appearance are so important.

Still, I agree with you that the WGA is not selling it's side very effectively to the press. After all, the people on the other side of the strike are much much richer then the writers, yet all of the public's contempt seems to be directed at the writers.
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post #11204 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 03:13 PM
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I can understand how on the face of it that seems bad. However, living on $25-$45k in Los Angeles is tougher then most cities, especially when you worrk in an industry where image and appearance are so important.

I don't buy it - they're writers. Who cares what they look like? Heck, even voice-over artists (who are much more likely to be seen in other works they participate in) are some of the ugliest people in the business.
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post #11205 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 03:27 PM
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I can understand how on the face of it that seems bad. However, living on $25-$45k in Los Angeles is tougher then most cities, especially when you worrk in an industry where image and appearance are so important.

Having watched some TV shows on DVD that have extras with interviews with writers, I can tell you some writers are not too concerned with their image and appearance.
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post #11206 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 03:42 PM
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The Business of Television
Comcast Clips NFL Network At FCC
Cable TV Operator Says Only Die Hard Fans Should Shoulder Rate Hike
By Ted Hearn Multichannel News 11/7/2007

Maybe only die hard fans should pay for any channel?

Funny how Comcast has issues with NFL Network and Hallmark Channel who both happen to be independents and not with the dozens of fee based channels owned by the major media corporations. Perhaps all the other channels need no arbitration because they all give each other whatever they want?
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Devil's Advocate time, Worst possible scenario: WGA still on strike as of June 30, 2008. DGA and SAG (and possibly AFTRA) contract expires and they go on strike as well. What happens to TV and movies after that?

All TV shows have to be improvised by the actors.

That will sort out who the method actors are!


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Originally Posted by CPanther95 View Post

Maybe only die hard fans should pay for any channel?

Funny how Comcast has issues with NFL Network and Hallmark Channel who both happen to be independents and not with the dozens of fee based channels owned by the major media corporations. Perhaps all the other channels need no arbitration because they all give each other whatever they want?

Comcast has taken issue with Big Ten Network which is News Corp, Comcast has spent heavily backing its position through advertising. However, I see that argument passing when the other News Corp channels and Fox O&Os come up for renegotiation.
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post #11209 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by humdinger70 View Post

Devil's Advocate time, Worst possible scenario: WGA still on strike as of June 30, 2008. DGA and SAG (and possibly AFTRA) contract expires and they go on strike as well. What happens to TV and movies after that?

Double Devil's Advocate time, who really cares? You and I both know we'll all find something else to do. Who knows? Maybe we'll even go outside and meet some of our neighbors.

Cheers, Dave
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Originally Posted by homcom View Post

Comcast has taken issue with Big Ten Network which is News Corp, Comcast has spent heavily backing its position through advertising. However, I see that argument passing when the other News Corp channels and Fox O&Os come up for renegotiation.

Funny how Comcast has no trouble reaching agreements for the Mountain West Network
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The WGA Strike
'Show runners' add clout to striking writers
By John Horn and Maria Elena Fernandez Los Angeles Times Staff Writer November 7, 2007 (Times staff writers Lynn Smith, Matea Gold, Greg Braxton and Thomas Mulligan contributed to this report.)


LOS ANGELES -- Television's top writer-producers threw their collective weight behind the striking Writers Guild of America on Wednesday in a move that could accelerate the disappearance of some of the nation's most popular prime-time shows, including "Desperate Housewives," "Lost" and "The Office."

In staging a very public rally in front of Walt Disney Co. in Burbank, about 100 writer-producers of some of TV's highest-rated programs ratcheted up the pressure on the studios and producers who only a day before had threatened to withdraw scores of lucrative contracts with writers.

The support from the top was crucial since these writer-producers -- or "show runners," as they are called in the industry -- have the dual roles of determining a show's creative direction and answering to the studios. Without the cooperation of the show runners, networks were forced to shut down or sharply curtail production of series they had hoped to keep going for weeks or months.

"When we're off the job, pretty much everything stops," said Marc Cherry, creator and executive producer of "Desperate Housewives," on the picket lines Wednesday. "We are the people who keep the product coming out of the factory and they literally can't do it without us."

The networks had estimated that a backlog of finished scripts and completed episodes would keep many series on the air until early 2008. But with numerous show runners refusing to supervise non writing services on their programs -- duties that include overseeing casting, editing and directing -- production has stopped on several leading series and new episodes of a number of shows will vanish around Thanksgiving.

"For years, the industry has tried to divide show runners from the rank-and-file writing staff," said Patric Verrone, president of WGA West, who joined the picket line outside the Disney studios. "And this time, we're just not buying it."

NBC's "The Office" will air only two new episodes, and new installments of ABC's "Desperate Housewives" will disappear in early December.

The makers of "Grey's Anatomy" are filming their last episode (which will run in December or January), the final new episode of the CBS comedy "The Big Bang Theory" will be broadcast on Monday, and the last new episode of Fox's "Family Guy" may run as soon as Sunday.

The networks declined comment on Wednesday's actions. Jeffrey L. Bewkes, new chief executive of Time Warner effective Jan. 1, said Wednesday that the writers strike should have "no material adverse financial impact on us this year," but that he is hoping the strike is resolved quickly.

Bewkes' Time Warner owns HBO, Warner Bros. and New Line movie studios, and cable-TV channels including CNN, TBS and TNT.

The hastily organized three-hour WGA demonstration -- writer-producers carried protest placards with the names of their shows scrawled across them -- came right after several top studios said they were suspending payments to the staffs of numerous writer-producers.

Even though the show runners, who are WGA members, are contractually obligated to perform producing services on their programs, many chose to honor the picket lines and do everything in their power to bring production to a halt.

For example, the 10 writer-producers on "The Office" set up pickets as early as 4 a.m. to block the hit show's actors and crew from going to work. When star Steve Carell refused to cross the picket lines, "The Office" had to turn off its lights.

The writer-producers hope that by forcing the networks to fill their schedules sooner than later with reruns and other programming -- which will probably result in losses of audience and ad revenue -- the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers will be compelled to return to the bargaining table.

Carlton Cuse, a writer and producer on "Lost," said that less than half of the 16 planned episodes of his hit ABC series have been filmed, meaning the fate of the airplane crash survivors this season will be unresolved when the last new episode is shown next spring.

"It will be a little like buying a Harry Potter book and having someone rip it out of your hands about halfway through," Cuse said.

"What the companies probably underestimated is just how emotional and important this issue is not only to writers but all creative people," said John Wells, an executive producer on "ER."

Wells estimated that the last new episode of his hospital drama would be broadcast in January. Coupled with the loss of "The Office" and other NBC shows, Wells said, "It's going to be very painful for NBC in the fourth quarter."

Among the key issues dividing the WGA and the AMPTP are payments over new and repeat showings of scripted shows on the Internet and mobile electronic devices such as video iPods.

"We have had 7 million iTunes downloads," said Greg Daniels, the show runner for "The Office."

"And we get the biggest traffic on NBC.com . As this business grows, they are going to make more money than they ever made on TV. There's a huge pot of money out there."

Negotiations between the WGA and the AMPTP broke off late Sunday and no new talks are scheduled. The last WGA strike, in 1988, lasted 22 weeks and cost Hollywood an estimated $500 million.

"Showrunner Day" wasn't planned long in advance, although many writer-producers were wearing neatly embroidered "United Showrunners" baseball caps. The coalition began forming Saturday when show runners on the negotiating committee called a meeting and decided they should not work at all.

Initially, some show runners intended to fulfill their contracts by performing the producing part of their jobs, but that plan was quickly abandoned.

"It just really became clear that we depend on them to distribute our work and work very collaboratively, but they need us too," said "Law & Order: SVU" writer-producer Neal Baer, who is also on the 10,000-member WGA's negotiating committee. "We have a pretty good track record of making high-quality television, and it's not going to be so easy to find other people to do what we do."

The public display by the writer-producers was not limited to Burbank. In New York, writer-producer Tom Fontana said he had stopped work on his new show, "The Philanthropist," which was supposed to debut on NBC in January. Fontana had written the first script and outlined stories for six more episodes when the strike was called Sunday night.

"I canceled everything," he said.

The show runners outside Disney are among Hollywood's wealthiest employees and can better afford a strike than many rank-and-file screenwriters. But they were still conflicted about letting their shows essentially die from neglect.

"This is heart-wrenching," said Bill Prady, a show runner on "Big Bang Theory."

"I've worked 22 years and I finally with Chuck Lorre have my very first show, and we are at our most vulnerable, just as audiences are starting to discover us."

"Pushing Daisies" show runner Bryan Fuller was on top of the world when the TV season began. His ABC series about a pie maker who can bring people back to life was a critical hit and is building a loyal audience following. With Fuller on the picket lines, his cast and crew were making the final new episode without him.

"As a writer and a creative person, I really do feel like each of these projects is my child that I'm trusting for people to take care of," Fuller said. "Now, I feel like my child is in school but there's a restraining order that I can't come within 500 feet of it. I have to look at the bigger picture and say, 'How much can I do without betraying the guild and how much can't I do without betraying my show?' It's a horrible position to be put in."

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...la-home-center
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post #11212 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
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The WGA Strike
Fox Benches “24” Rather than Running Partial Season
Jack Bauer Becomes the Latest Strike Casualty
By Anne Becker -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/7/2007

Fox is benching 24 as part of its strike-induced scheduling realignment. The seventh-season premiere, which was scheduled for January, has been pushed back indefinitely.

The network has several episodes of the heavily serialized drama in the can but has chosen not to air a partial schedule that would end abruptly, especially after a modestly performing sixth season.

In its stead Mondays at 9 p.m., Fox plans to premiere its new The Sarah Connor Chronicles drama. The show will premiere over two nights -- Sunday, Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. and, in its regular time period, Monday, Jan. 14 at 9 p.m. It will be preceded on the 14th by Prison Break at 8 p.m., which has its final November airing Nov. 12.

Aside from the network's Sunday-night animated shows, like The Simpsons and King of the Hill, and reality fare like American Idol and Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?, Fox is holding most of its original fare back until late February, March and April. A mix of originals and repeats of House, Bones, Til Death and Back to You will air in the coming months.

That way, if writers return to work after a few months, they could conceivably catch up on producing those shows and air them uninterrupted. With the typical broadcast season ending in May, even if the network can't produce full runs of those shows, they could air from March until May without breaks.

The network will debut game show The Moment of Truth Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 9 p.m.

Other new shows premiering in the spring include Farrelly Brothers comedy Unhitched, which debuts Sunday, March 2 at 9:30 p.m. for six weeks; dramas New Amsterdam and Canterbury's Law, which debut Friday, Feb. 22 at 9 p.m. and Friday, April 11 at 9 p.m., respectively; and comedy The Return of Jezebel James, which starts Friday, March 7 at 8:30 p.m.

Idol, a behemoth already, stands to see even more of a bump from the strike as other networks' competitive scripted shows stop production. The show returns to Tuesdays and Wednesdays Jan. 15 and 16 with two-hour episodes each night and then moves to hour-long episodes Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and half-hour episodes Wednesdays at 9 p.m. starting Jan. 22.

Fox's immediate Thursday lineup doesn't change with Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? at 8 p.m. and Don't Forget the Lyrics! at 9 p.m.

The network moves Bones and reruns of House to Fridays beginning Jan. 4. Those shows have been airing Tuesdays. House will premiere episodes after Idol Tuesdays at 9 p.m. starting Jan. 22 and repeat episodes Mondays at 9 p.m. beginning in March.

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/ind...leID=CA6498737
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post #11213 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes
Rosie O'Donnell Says MSNBC Deal Is Dead
Former Member of The View Was in Talks to Follow Olbermann
By Ben Grossman Broadcasting & Cable 11/7/2007

Rosie O’Donnell said on her blog Wednesday night that her rumored deal to host a talk show on MSNBC has fallen through.

On her blog, she wrote: “MSNBC one hour live following keith olbermann/we were close to a deal almost done/ i let it slip in Miami causing panic on the studio end/well what can u do/ 2day there is no deal/poof/my career as a pundit is over b4 it began/just as well i figure everything happens for a reason/bashert - as we say/and on we go.”

The former host of The View had been talking about a nightly show that would likely have been be a mix of interviews and opinion.

It was said to be a candidate for the 9 p.m. slot currently occupied by Dan Abrams’ show.

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/ind...leID=CA6498741
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TV Notes
Fox's '24' is first high-profile strike casualty
By Nellie Andreeva The Hollywood Reporter Nov 8, 2007

Three days in, the writers strike is hitting television hard as schedules are being juggled, overall deals suspended, production on series shut down and layoffs kick in.

Fox on Wednesday became the first broadcast network to announce a strike-affected midseason schedule minus its signature drama "24."

Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox TV became the latest TV studio to send out suspension letters to writers with overall deals, joining CBS Paramount Network TV, ABC Studios and Universal Media Studios.

20th TV also began notifying writers assistants Wednesday that they are being laid off effective immediately, but the studio will pay their health benefits through the end of the year, sources said.

Faced with the possibility of a partial Season 7 of "24," Fox has opted not to air the real-time drama at all this season.

"It's not a decision we wanted to make, but it's one based on how we feel the viewers expect us to schedule the show," said Preston Beckman, Fox's scheduling chief.

The decision to act quickly so early in the strike also was prompted by the large amounts of marketing money associated with the premieres of new series and the annual launch of "24." The network began airing promos for the upcoming season of "24" during the World Series and on a big screen in Times Square.

"Had we delayed executing and implementing of a strike schedule, it could've cost us a lot of money," Beckman said.

(For now, ABC is still sticking to its plan to air heavily serialized "Lost" in midseason, running the eight produced episodes, 10 short of the 18-episode order.)

Meanwhile, Fox's hit animated comedy "Family Guy" might go into repeats much sooner than scheduled if creator-exec producer Seth MacFarlane follows up on his threat not to authorize the completion of future episodes beyond the one airing Sunday.

Fox's high-profile new drama "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," originally slated to run in tandem with "24," will now premiere Sunday, Jan. 13, and will air in "24's" Monday 9 p.m. time slot, following "Prison Break" and new reality series "When Women Ruled the World."

"Women," about educated and independent women taking over a group of unsuspecting men in a remote location, is one of two new unscripted reality series Fox is planning to launch midseason, along with the Mark L. Walberg-hosted "The Moment of Truth," which features people facing a lie detector test.

Fox's midseason schedule also includes new scripted series "The Return of Jezebel James," "Unhitched," "New Amsterdam" and "Canterbury's Law."

With "House" running out of original episodes, "Hell's Kitchen" has been assigned the plum post-"American Idol" Tuesday 9 p.m. slot beginning April 1, making it a British-themed reality night for Fox with "Idol" judge Simon Cowell and "Hell's" topliner Gordon Ramsey.

"We would be in original programming virtually every night of the week for the remainder of this broadcast season," News Corp. president Peter Chernin said Wednesday in a conference call with analysts. "We would expect that it would, if anything, lift our market share and have us win this season by an even greater margin than we expect to."

Fueled by "American Idol," which will launch with a two-night, four-hour premiere Jan. 15-16, and helped buy the fact it only programs 15 hours a week, Fox has been considered the best equipped to handle a long writers strike.

Still, network brass are hoping to go back to their original midseason plans if the strike ends soon.

"This is a schedule that will be modified if and when there is a settlement," Beckman said.

NBC is expected to announce its revised midseason schedule shortly, while CBS and ABC are still working on theirs.

ABC on Wednesday made a minor tweak to its schedule, replacing the Nov. 20 episodes of "Cavemen" and "Carpoolers" with back-to-back "Charlie Brown" holiday specials and slotting Barbara Walters' annual "Ten Most Fascinating People" special Dec. 6, replacing a repeat of "Big Shots."

In other strike-related developments:

-- NBC's "The Office" officially shut down production Wednesday after its star Steve Carell and several other cast members refused to cross the picket line Monday and Tuesday, effectively bringing filming of the hit comedy to a halt. Several "Office" writers, including showrunner Greg Daniels, posted a video shot on the picket line on YouTube.

-- With the exception of "Scrubs," which is slated to film for awhile, all comedy series still in production are slated to wrap shooting their available scripts by early next week, followed by dramas, which will go on hiatus by the end of the month, laying off thousands of crew members.

-- Production on the second season of Lifetime's "Army Wives," originally scheduled to begin at the end of November, has been put on hold.

Fox's schedule follows:

Monday
8-9 p.m. -- Prison Break (Jan. 14)
9-10 p.m. -- Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Jan. 14)
8-9 p.m. -- When Women Rule the World (March 3)
9-10 p.m. -- House (March 10)

Tuesday
8-9 p.m. -- American Idol (Jan. 15)
9-10 p.m. -- House (Jan. 22)
9-10 p.m. -- Hell's Kitchen (Apr. 1)

Wednesday
8-9 p.m. -- American Idol (Jan. 16)
8-9 p.m. -- The Moment of Truth (March 12)
9-10 p.m. -- The Moment of Truth (Jan. 23)
9-9:30 p.m. -- American Idol (March 12)
9:30-10 p.m. -- Back to You (March 12)

Thursday
8-9 p.m. -- Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
9-10 p.m. -- Don't Forget the Lyrics

Friday
8-9 p.m. -- Bones (Jan. 4)
9-10 p.m. -- House (Jan. 4)
9-10 p.m. -- New Amsterdam (Feb. 22)
8-8:30 p.m. -- 'Til Death (March 7)
8:30-9 p.m. -- The Return of Jezebel James (March 7)
9-10 p.m. -- Canterbury's Law (April 11)

Saturday
8-8:30 p.m. -- Cops
8:30-9 p.m. -- Cops
9-10 p.m. -- America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back

Sunday
7-7:30 p.m. -- Various comedy encores
7:30-8 p.m. -- Various comedy encores
8-9 p.m. -- The Simpsons
8:30-9 p.m. -- King of the Hill
9-9:30 p.m. -- Family Guy
9:30-10 p.m. -- American Dad
9:30-10 p.m. -- Unhitched (March 2)
9:30-10 p.m. -- American Dad (April 13)

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/...e62b44abdc1f15
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post #11215 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes
Strike hitting '24,' 'Family Guy' hard
Showrunners join picket lines
By Josef Adalian, Michael Schneider Variety

As showrunners rallied en masse Wednesday outside the Disney studio gates, the fallout from the three-day-old Writers Guild of America walkout began impacting some of primetime's biggest hits, including Fox's "24" and "Family Guy" and NBC's "The Office."

Producers also continue to turn up the heat on the hyphenates. CBS Paramount Network Television and 20th Century Fox Televison have sent sternly worded breach of contract letters to showrunners who've opted not to fulfill their producerial functions this week, threatening lawsuits if they didn't get back to work.

What's more, letters state that the studio might sue the scribe for damages as well, if episodes can't be produced and it suffers monetary losses as a result.

Showrunners weren't backing down but, after a meeting following the rally, they did appear to come to a consensus to try to use whatever leverage they have to woo studios back to the negotiating table.

For now, they're staying off the job -- and writing is out of the question until a settlement is reached. But, said one showrunner who was at the powwow, "We will gladly return to our (showrunner) jobs the day that the producers return to the negotiating table."

Move seems designed to send the nets and studios a message: If you start bargaining, we'll help finish up the scripts we've already written. Of course, most shows will run out of scripts in a few weeks, which means the offer has an expiration date.

Hyphenates also vowed to stay unified if the studios decide to sue them for breach. "We pledged that if anyone gets sued for breach, then we're going to stand by them. We won't go back to work unless those suits are dropped," the source said.

Earlier in the week, studios suspended a number of overall deals with both writers and non-writing producers (Daily Variety, Nov. 6). Layoffs are expected to begin as early as Friday. At 20th, assistants to the writer-producer hyphenates were told they would be out of a job at the end of the week -- but that their health coverage would continue until the end of the year.

Nonetheless, the showrunners offered up a united front on Wednesday. Today's Daily Variety carries an ad signed by 400 writers, including some of the biggest names in the biz, who warn fellow scribes not to do anything that might weaken the WGA position or prolong the strike.

On the programming front, Fox said it would delay the planned season premiere of "24" indefinitely, citing uncertainty over the strike's duration as the reason (see story, page 1). Time could also be up on Fox's "Family Guy," with creator Seth MacFarlane saying the show's final produced episode -- at least with his involvement -- is set to air this Sunday. He hinted his relationship with producer 20th Century Fox Television could suffer if the studio uses other talent to finish remaining episodes.

Meanwhile, NBC gave up producing one more episode of "The Office" after key actors on the show failed to come to work. That means that show will be in repeats after Nov. 15.

On the picket lines, the showrunner rally -- held in front of the Walt Disney Studios -- brought out a who's who of big name scribes, among them Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse ("Lost"), Marc Cherry ("Desperate Housewives"), Shonda Rhimes ("Grey's Anatomy"), Neal Baer ("Law & Order: SVU"), Carol Mendelsohn ("CSI"), Josh Schwartz ("Chuck"), Shawn Ryan ("The Unit"), Alan Ball ("Six Feet Under"), Greg Daniels ("The Office") and Joss Whedon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer").

Rally was designed to show unity among the guild's highest-paid members, and to encourage those showrunners undecided about whether to render production services to put down their pens.

"Weeds" creator Jenji Kohan said helping studios complete episodes is like "crossing our own picket line."

"This is a war against corporate greed, and we're on the side of right," she said. "The producers are being completely unreasonable and incredibly greedy and piggish. They're making enormous amounts of money, and we deserve a share."

At the rally, former WGA prexy John Wells said he remains willing and able to assist in strike talks, should they resume.

"If I'm asked by my guild, I'll be happy to," Wells said.

So far, Wells hasn't been actively involved in the current standoff. But as a former guild topper and member who has sat on several negotiating committees through the years, Wells said, "There's no question where my loyalties lie."

"These issues are very significant," he said. "The companies are going to have to recognize that 0.3% is not going to fly for Internet revenues."

Wells said he believed the congloms made "a major miscalculation" in not taking the writers' concerns over online residuals "seriously" earlier.

"The Guild was very vocal what the issues were," he said.

"Family Guy" creator-exec producer MacFarlane was another very vocal showrunner at the rally. He maintained that the upcoming episode of "Family Guy" on Sunday is the last fully produced episode in the can.

There are other episodes close to being finished, but MacFarlane has made it clear that he has no plans to help put those segs together. MacFarlane also has another unique bit of leverage: He provides voices for many main characters on the show, and he said he would not step into the studio to record any further.

So couldn't Fox just go ahead and use other non-WGA producers to wrap things up?

"They could, but it would be unwise," MacFarlane said. "Because I would be angry."

Twentieth isn't saying what it will do.

"Our hope is that he returns to work and completes his non-writing obligations on those episodes," a spokesperson said.

Losing "Family Guy" in the middle of the November sweeps would be tough for Fox, which counts on the longtime Sunday night staple. It wouldn't be immediately devastating, however. In a testament to just how strong "Family Guy" is, the show does very well in repeats.

News Corp. prexy Peter Chernin, meanwhile, asserted in an earnings conference call with investors that Fox's animated skeins were far ahead in script preparation and that the strike could "help growth in market share in Fox Broadcasting."

Meanwhile, a day after striking WGA members successfully disrupted production of a "Desperate Housewives" location shoot in Toluca Lake, scribes woke up early Wednesday morning to picket outside a "Private Practice" shoot in Malibu.

Strikers were up as early as 4 a.m., in the hopes of preventing Teamsters workers from crossing the picket line. Included in the group were several "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice" writers, including creator-exec producer Rhimes.

Insiders said some Teamsters honored the line, while others still went inside.

"My concern is the people who work for me, and the writers on the picket line," Rhimes said. "We all would like to work, and we'd like the studios and the networks to make that happen."

Rhimes said three or four more episodes are ready to shoot on both "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice." The scribe added that she supported her shows but would not cross the picket lines to do any showrunning work on those segs.

"My focus is this. This is the work we're doing. It's hard to do both things."

"Private Practice" exec producer/showrunner Marti Noxon said she was in complete agreement with Rhimes' decision to not serve as a producer on her shows.

"We're not even speaking to actors with questions about motivation. It's radio silence," she said. "We can't ask the people who work for us to go without paychecks and then continue to cross the picket line."

"Ugly Betty" showrunner Silvio Horta, who Tuesday was undecided about whether to fulfill his role as producers, said Wednesday that he had opted to remove himself completely from the process.

That's what "Brothers and Sisters" and "Dirty Sexy Money" exec producer Greg Berlanti is also doing--at least this week. He said he's still debating what to do come next week.

"For every episode we produce, writers are going to get paid, and I want my writers to be able to survive," he said.

"The Office" exec producer Greg Daniels hasn't worked on the show in any capacity since the strike began, noting that writing plays a role in just about everything a showrunner does.

"All of those decisions have to do with writing," Daniels said.

And if a showrunner stops, it's difficult for a series to continue, he added. Indeed, with Daniels and his "Office" mates (including many writer-actor hyphenates) out on the picketline, NBC gave up the ghost and shut down "The Office" Wednesday.

"For a show to keep going without a showrunner, it's like selling water and white powder and calling it milk," Daniels said.

With the writers' grievances centered on Internet residuals, Daniels noted that "The Office" scribes are already well aware of the shift to online media -- and what that means to both writers and media corporations.

"We've seen the future," Daniels said. "'The Office' has received 7 million downloads. It generates the most traffic at NBC.com. We received a Daytime Emmy for webisodes that no one was paid for. The future is very bright for these companies. The CPMs on Internet ads is double what they are for TV."

Daniels said he believed the studios were motivated to trigger a strike.

"They know there's a huge pot of money out there, and if they don't hsare it the profits will be more for them," he said.

Scribe also said he was bracing for a suspension letter from "Office" producer NBC Universal.

"Since the show is down, I don't know why they would continue to pay me," he noted.

Some showrunners who've personally opted against rendering producer services argued passionately against internal WGA witchhunts against those hyphenates who opt to wear their producer hats. An insider at one studio said about 10% of their writer-producers were still showing up to work.

"I hope we will all be well behaved to those members who choose to continue their producerial responsibilities, because the fact is, it's a personal choice," said "DH" creator Cherry.

He added that in a few weeks, it wouldn't matter since scripts will have dried up.

Strike has already put a halt to any further pilot development. A week ago, Whedon scored a seven-episode commitment from Fox to create "Dollhouse," a new drama starring Eliza Dushku.

But this Wednesday, Whedon hit the picket line, even while fighting a cold and sipping chicken soup from a thermos.

"I have no conflict about this," said Whedon, whose new creation will now be put on hold. "It's not hard for me. The issues we're talking about are so crucial."

Several showrunners were gloomy about the possibility of a quick settlement. "Lost's" Lindelof said he feared an eight-month walkout was a real possibility.

"People don't give something for nothing," he said. "If the guild is gonna make any strides in new media, we're going to have to suffer a lot."

MacFarlane expressed amazement at the lack of a settlement.

"Part of me is astonished that this is happening amongst adults and not children on a playground," he said. "What's being proposed is a very reasonable deal. Writers and their employers are partners and at the moment, that's not being honored."

http://www.variety.com/index.asp?lay...ategoryid=2821
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post #11216 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Overnight Nielsens
Tuesday's Final Overnight Ratings
(Posted by Travis Yanan in Marc Berman's Programming Insider blog.)

Code:
SHOW                        HH  A18-49     Viewers  A18-34

CAVEMEN                  3.4/5   1.7/5   4,884,000
CARPOOLERS               3.7/6   1.9/5   5,489,000
DANCING WITH STARS     11.4/17   3.9/9  17,061,000
BOSTON LEGAL (10:02pm)  7.2/12   2.6/7  10,616,000

NCIS                   11.4/17  4.0/11  18,149,000
THE UNIT                7.0/10   3.0/7  11,078,000
CANE                     5.1/9   1.9/5   7,776,000

BIGGEST LOSER 4          5.0/7   3.3/8   7,884,000
LAW AND ORDER:SVU       7.8/13  4.3/12  11,696,000

BONES                    5.7/9   3.6/9   9,525,000
HOUSE                  10.8/16  7.7/18  18,173,000

BEAUTY AND THE GEEK      1.8/3   1.3/3   2,652,000   1.5/4
REAPER                   1.6/2   1.0/2   2,419,000   1.0/3

NIP/TUCK (62 minutes)    2.1/4   2.0/6   3,328,000
Source: Nielsen Media Research data

http://pifeedback.com/eve/forums/a/t.../26410448/p/12
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post #11217 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
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The WGA Strike
ABC to Air Partial Season of “Lost”
Alphabet Network to Air Eight Episodes Even as Fox Benches Partial Season of “24”
By Ben Grossman -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/7/2007

ABC said that as of now, it is sticking with its plan to air the eight episodes it has of Lost -- this coming on the day that Fox announced that it will bench its own serialized midseason thriller, 24.

Lost executive producer Damon Lindelof said Wednesday that the final episode that has been written ends in a cliffhanger that will not be resolved for viewers until after the strike.

But Fox decided not to run a partial season of 24, instead benching the Monday-night drama pending the outcome of the strike.

With few expecting the strike to conclude anytime soon, the network decided that it would rather wait than air the beginning of the seventh season of the heavily serialized drama.

Of course with American Idol poised to return in January -- and probably against much weaker competition than usual due to the strike -- Fox is in a better position than most to rest one of its top assets.

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/ind...leID=CA6498735
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post #11218 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 10:03 PM - Thread Starter
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The WGA Strike
Chernin: Writers' Strike Could Help Fox
Alphabet News Corp. COO Says Broadcaster's Well-Positioned With Animated, Reality Fare
By Mike Farrell Multichannel News 11/7/2007

News Corp. chief operating officer Peter Chernin told analysts on a conference call Wednesday night that the ongoing TV writers strike could turn out to be a financial boon for the media conglomerate, at least for the short term.

On a conference call with analysts to discuss News Corp.’s fiscal 2008 first quarter results, Chernin said that because of the wealth of reality and animated series – which produce its episodes a year in advance – on its networks in primetime, News Corp. is benefiting from the strike.

“My guess is that during fiscal 2008, a strike is probably a positive for us,” Chernin said on the conference call. “We save more money in term of deals and story costs and the lack of making pilots than the potential advertising [loss].”

Chernin added that the strike could also result in increased ratings for its Fox broadcasting network, which has a primetime schedule heavy with reality programming and animated series.

“We would be in original programming virtually every night of the week for the remainder of this broadcast season in the event of a strike,” Chernin said. “So we would expect that if anything it would lift our market share; have us win this season by an even greater margin than we expect to.”

But Chernin said that a longer strike – say eight months or a year – would have a detrimental effect on Fox.

“Boy, I sure hope it doesn’t go that long,” Chernin said.

Revenue at the media conglomerate rose 19% in the quarter to $7.1 billion and operating income rose 23% to $1.05 billion, its fourth consecutive quarter of high-teens or better growth.

Driving those results were strong gains in cable networks – revenue rose 24% and operating income was up 16% in the period – and in its filmed entertainment segment, where revenue rose 30% and operating income climbed 51.5%.

http://www.multichannel.com/index.as...leID=CA6498730
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post #11219 of 95755 Old 11-07-2007, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
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The WGA Strike
For TV Executives, It’s Time to Juggle
By Brian Stelter and Edward Wyatt The New York Times November 8, 2007

Jack Bauer will return to save the world on “24” — again — but somewhat later than expected. And Michael Scott, the comically obtuse regional manager on “The Office,” will not be serving up any original cringe-inducing comments after next week.

As television and movie writers entered the third day of their strike against Hollywood producers yesterday, the walkout continued to complicate matters for the networks.

Fox, the first to announce revisions to its prime-time schedule because of the strike, said it would indefinitely postpone the start of the seventh season of “24,” which had been scheduled for January, to ensure an uninterrupted 24-episode season.

Original episodes of NBC’s half-hour comedy “The Office” will stop broadcasting after the Nov. 15 show. Other television programs, including “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” on NBC, were wrapping up production yesterday as producers ran out of fresh scripts. And the cast and crew of “Desperate Housewives” on ABC were expected to stop filming by tomorrow, a studio spokeswoman said.

Six other comedies — including “Two and a Half Men” and “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” both on CBS — have already ceased production this week. But unlike “The Office,” they (and most other prime-time scripted shows) have several weeks or months of episodes already filmed and waiting to be shown. Production on “The Office” was shut down after the writers, several of whom are also actors on the show, began picketing, and Steve Carell, the lead actor who plays Michael Scott, refused to cross the lines. A publicist for Mr. Carell said he had no comment about the strike.

Several of the writers and actors from “The Office” expressed their complaints in a video posted on YouTube. “You’re watching this on the Internet — a thing that pays us zero dollars,” said Mike Schur, a writer for the show, clutching a picket sign.

More than 12,000 members of the Writers Guild West and the Writers Guild East went on strike just after midnight Monday, after a late negotiating session convened by a federal mediator failed to bridge the divide between writers and producers.

The most contentious issue centers on how much writers should be paid when their programs and movies are shown on the Internet and other new-media devices like cellphones and iPods.

On the picket line yesterday morning, outside the headquarters of the Walt Disney Company in Burbank, Calif., show runners from at least 30 scripted television series (including “Lost,” “Desperate Housewives” and “My Name is Earl”) joined members of the Screen Actors Guild and other striking writers.

As the writers (and often creators) who also serve as executive producers of their shows, these so-called show runners must contend with their own sharply divided loyalties. Members of the Writers Guild, they have marched off their shows. But as producers, they are still expected by the networks and studios to perform their contractual duties, like editing episodes that are already filmed and casting episodes that have not been filmed yet.

They also have responsibility for hundreds of crew members — electricians, costume designers, set decorators and makeup artists, among others — who work on the programs.

Those crew members are not on strike. But in a few weeks, many will be out of work as shows start to shut down production for a lack of scripts.

“We’re very concerned that there be shows for our crews to come back to after the strike is over,” said Josh Schwartz, the creator of “The O.C.” and the current series “Gossip Girl” on CW and “Chuck” on NBC. “We feel a great solidarity with the Writers Guild, but at the same time I have a real obligation to my shows.”

Some show runners, like Shawn Ryan of “The Shield” on FX and “The Unit” on CBS, have insisted that they cannot perform any of their editing duties while on strike as a writer.

But even leaders among the striking writers are uncertain that the lines are so clear. Carlton Cuse, a show runner and writer on “Lost,” and a member of the Writers Guild negotiating committee, said he thought that the question of whether to perform some duties during the strike “is a decision that should be left up to the conscience of the individual show runner.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/08/bu...gewanted=print
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post #11220 of 95755 Old 11-08-2007, 05:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

TV Notes
Strike hitting '24,' 'Family Guy' hard
Showrunners join picket lines
By Josef Adalian, Michael Schneider Variety

Wow, so there really is an upside to the strike! No "24" promos clogging the football games on Sunday and a chance for the manatees that 'write' "Family Guy" to go back into the Ocean from where they came from? Priceless!
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