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WGA (writers') Strike - where shows stand - Page 2

post #31 of 248
Originally Posted by cavalierlwt View Post

Yep, SGA is entirely done in Canada, in fact most of the the actors are Canadian as well. I think I may move to Canada, they got the best stuff up there!

Wife & I just got back from Las Vegas. All the best ($100-a-ticket class) and most creative shows there (i.e. Celine Dion's "A New Day", All seven Cirque du Soleil shows [Mystere, Zumanity, "O", "LaReve", Beatles "Love", "Ka"], etc.) were originated, written and produced in Canada. U.S.A. producers should start looking toward the north for writers....
post #32 of 248
Are Canadian writers not in the affected unions? I didn't know that. How are writers organized in Canada? (Do they have their own union, or are they not unionized?)
post #33 of 248
The Business of Television
Question Is Who Walked Out On Whom? Real Progress Made On Key Issues Today
From Nikki Finke's LA Weekly 'Deadline Hollywood' Blog - November 4, 2007

SUNDAY AT 3 PM: "Things are looking up a little bit at today's meeting," a good source just told me about the federal mediator-ordered confab Sunday.

SUNDAY AT 5 PM: I've just confirmed the federal mediator-ordered talks are still going on.

SUNDAY AT 6:30 PM: They're still talking... There was supposed to be a 6 pm WGA board meeting tonight, but it's been delayed because the two sides continue to meet. "There's some tentative optimism," an insider just told me.

SUNDAY AT 8:30 PM: BOTH SIDES ARE BACK TO TALKING AFTER A BRIEF DINNER BREAK. I must say that, from the looks of things right now, the WGA will be out in force on the picket lines Monday morning barring a last-minute miracle. The Hollywood moguls are hoping to avert tomorrow's walkout altogether and/or have a cooling off period before a strike starts. But the WGA leaders sounded adamant all day. "We are mobilized. Unless there is significant progress to the extent that Patric Verrone says the strike is off, we're going out tomorrow," a top WGA insider told me. A large showrunner meeting was held yesterday and some 85 top TV producer/writers attended to show their support for the strike. Meanwhile, in offices all over Hollywood, writers and showrunners and hyphenates were working feverishly to finish scripts tonight before the strike starts at 12:01 a.m so that, among other things, they'll get paid. I've just heard about one screenwriter who'll be directing the film he wrote: he penned three different drafts with three different endings in advance so he could change his mind as a director without breaking the WGA's "Pencils Down" rule.

Meanwhile, I hear an ad is being talked about for the trades expressing support of a WGA strike from a number of high-profile actors.

Earlier today, the Writers Guild Of America announced its 15 picketing locations on its website and in emails to members who'll show up in red shirts starting at 9 am -- CBS Radford Studios, CBS Television City, Culver Studios, Disney Studios, Fox Studios, Hollywood Center Studios, NBC Burbank, Prospect Studios, Paramount Studios / Raleigh Studios Hollywood, Raleigh Studios Manhattan Beach, Sony Pictures Studios, Sunset Gower Studios, Universal Studios, Warner Bros Studios. At the WGA east, picket lines will be set up in such prominent NYC locations as Rockefeller Plaza where NBC is based.

There are two picketing shifts, 9 am - 1 pm, 1 pm - 5 pm, and the Guild "expects" all members to picket 4 days a week/4 hours a day. Tonight, the WGA urged an "overwhelming response" pressured members to pull one 4-hour shift a day for the first week. "I've heard that a couple of people are greeting the news that their presence is required on the picket line with the very human and yet disappointing, 'Cool... So, um, what happens if we don't show up?'" a WGA email said. "So be aware: Failure to picket is a violation of Strike Rule 10, which says: 'You must picket and/or perform other strike support duties and cooperate with Guild committees charged with enforcement of the Strike Rules...' Absent a valid medical excuse, non-writing employment, compelling personal circumstances [necessary child or elder care] or emergency, you are obligated to perform these duties when and where requested. If there is a personal circumstance making strike support duties impossible when requested, members are required to arrange alternate times to contribute to the strike effort...' Basically, failing to picket is a punishable offense. The Strike Rules Disciplinary is now forming to handle disciplinary issues. Strike captains will keep track of people who don't show up and are required to first warn those people and then forward the names to the Committee."

Earlier, WGA members attending strike prep meetings heard how "Teamsters are risking their jobs to support us. SAG is encouraging members to walk the picket lines with us. Thus, it's crucial that WGA members be there, especially that first week. If we want this strike to be short and effective, a massive showing that disrupts production is critical."

The WGA also is "actively welcoming" non-members who want to join the picket line, and claims it's been "deluged" with volunteers.

In Los Angeles today, a dozen white vans were loaded up with picket signs, bottled water, snacks and folding tables at the Writers Guild of America-West headquarters late today in expectation of its union members taking to the streets instead of sitting at their computers. Red and black signs saying "Writers Guild of America on Strike," and others with red letters and a stylized combination exclamation point/lightning bolt, were unveiled to the assembled media reporters.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, ridiculous rumors began floating through the entertainment industry that chief WGA negotiator David Young, named executive director of the guild since last year, was going to use the tactics of his background as an organizer of garment workers, carpenters and construction laborers, and hire "goons" to disrupt studios and network business, incite violence and ensure arrests. Even the producers' side told me today this was fabricated b.s.

SUNDAY AT 9:01 PM: For the Writers Guild of America, East, the strike has started for the 4,000-strong membership: "Pencils Down" since it's 12:01 a.m. there. Here in Los Angeles, the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers keep talking. What a nail-biter!

SUNDAY AT 10:00 PM: BIG PROBLEM! I just heard the Hollywood moguls are furious that the WGA wouldn't stop or at least suspend the start of the East strike at 12:01 am while the talks out West were continuing. "They went out on strike in NY while we were negotiating. Game over," a producers insider just told me. The all-day talks have collapsed.


An AMPTP insider just told me: "The WGA went out on strike at 12:01 AM Eastern. At about 9:30 PM Pacific they informed us they were on strike and left the hotel." I heard this took place after AMPTP claims it made the following concession: to give the WGA exclusive jurisdiction for made-for-New Media.

Here's the just released statement from the motion picture and television producers' alliance president Nick Counter: "Notwithstanding the fact that negotiations were ongoing, the WGA decided to start their strike in New York. When we asked if they would "stop the clock" for the purpose of delaying the strike to allow negotiations to continue, they refused. We made an attempt at meeting them in a number of their key areas including Internet streaming and jurisdiction in New Media. Ultimately, the guild was unwilling to compromise on most of their major demands. It is unfortunate that they choose to take this irresponsible action."

But the WGA East claims in a huge headline on its website that AMPTP walked out of the negotiations. "As of 12:01 AM November 5th, the WGA strike is on in the Eastern time zone. WGAE members should report for picketing at Rockefeller Plaza starting at 9:00 AM today. At 12:30 AM EST, the AMPTP walked out of day-long negotiations. All Guild-covered work under the MBA ceased at 12:01 a.m. EST on Monday, November 5, 2007."

Before midnight, the WGA issued this statement:

"Early today, the WGA completely withdrew its DVD proposal, which the Companies said was a stumbling block. Yet, the Companies still insisted on the following:

"--> No jurisdiction for most of new media writing.

"--> No economic proposal for the part of new media writing where they do propose to give coverage.

"--> Internet downloads at the DVD rate.

"--> No residual for streaming video of theatrical product.

"--> A 'promotional' proposal that allows them to reuse even complete movies or TV shows on any platform with no residual. This proposal alone destroys residuals.

"--> A 'window' of free reuse on the Internet that makes a mockery of any residual.

"The AMPTP made no response to any of the other proposals that the WGA has made since July. The AMPTP proposed that today's meeting be 'off the record', meaning no press statements, but they have reneged on that."

Tonight, a frustrated and disappointed mogul source just called the day of fruitless talks "unbelievable" and told me about the WGA side, "We made concessions all day long. Then we asked them, 'Can you push back the strike tomorrow so we can keep negotiating?' They said no. Then someone went on the website and saw the WGA were already striking in NY."

Both sides made major concessions today right up until dinner. And when they came back from their meal, the strike deadline in the East was at hand. That. Was. The. End. Of. That.

I'll be trying to find out more about what happened inside of that negotiating room. Obviously, the AMPTP is off the mark first PR-wise. But tomorrow will be the WGA's camera time. Still, I'm deeply aggravated with both sides... not that I was really expecting a Miracle On Wilshire Blvd. I'll have stronger stuff to say on all this tomorrow.

post #34 of 248
The WGA Strike
TV Could Be Hit Hard
Long strike could ground pilot season
By Josef Adalian & Michael Schneider, Variety - November 5, 2007

Latenight talkers, daytime sudsers and primetime multicam laffers will feel the pinch first, once TV writers hit the picket lines.

But should scribes and producers not hammer out a deal quickly, network and studio execs warn that much of pilot season could be tossed. And some even say that may not be a bad thing.

Meanwhile, once the last batch of hastily written scripts is shot -- or deemed unproduceable -- and the final notes are given on pilot scripts (which will then collect dust on someone's desk), tube execs may suddenly have a little more time on their hands. Some may even be enlisted to help out on the reality side, where activity will be frenzied as nets look to fill the scripted void.

Here's what may transpire at the networks and studios in the coming weeks, should a writer walkout drag on:


NBC's "Tonight Show" and "Late Night," along with CBS' "Late Show" and "Late, Late Show" are all expected to go dark today. Ditto Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" and "Colbert Report."

ABC still wasn't saying what would happen with "Jimmy Kimmel Live," though odds suggest it'll shut down, too.

Robert Morton, the former Letterman producer who was at the helm of NBC's "Late Night With David Letterman" during the 1988 WGA strike, said Letterman and Leno feel compelled to back their union --even though, as performers, they could still be on the air Monday if they wanted.

"I think they have to show support for their writing staffs," said the producer, who now heads Panamort Prods. ("The Mind of Mencia"). "Even if they want to go back, they have to give their writers due respect."

It's widely expected the major latenight skeins eventually will return to the air, as they did in 1988.

"You want to be supportive of your guild, but when you have people making $600 a week possibly losing their jobs, you have to think of them, too," Morton said.

But while the skeins stayed dark for four months back then, it's hard to believe Dave, Jay and company will keep mum that long this time.

One network insider thinks it could be at least several weeks, however -- throwing a major monkey wrench in studios' plans to hype their holiday movies.

Nets, eager to provide a hospitable environment for movie ads, may cooperate with studios by airing repeats featuring past appearances by actors who have current movies in release. A Letterman rerun featuring Tom Hanks or Julia Roberts could be slated the same week "Charlie Wilson's War" opens.

Whenever the hosts return, it's unclear what they will be able to do. They're clearly allowed to perform under their AFTRA agreements, but they may not be able to write their own monologue jokes.

"It might look a lot like 'host chat' on 'Regis and Kelly,' " one latenight insider said, predicting cue card jokes would be replaced by impromptu ramblings. "The hosts will just come out and talk about what's going on."

Those who remain on the shows will all have to struggle to fill airtime normally reserved for jokes and sketches. Morton recalls the last strike, when then-helmer Hal Gurnee came up with "Hal Gurnee's Network Time Killers" to close up the gaps.

Current series

Right now, studio execs say they've got a month of production left to go on single-camera dramas and comedies -- that is, if scripts are in tip-top shape and can shoot without any changes.

"For the next couple of weeks, we'll be busy trying to complete episodes that were either in production as of Monday or for which we have scripts that we can shoot," said one studio chief. "There will be impediments, though, from people not wanting to cross the picket lines to people not wanting to honor contracts."

A studio exec said the focus on how many scripts are available to shoot isn't as crucial as some have made it out to be -- having eight episodes vs. nine in the can, for example, won't make much of a difference.

"People are pretty focused on trying to get as many shootable scripts ready as possible, but one more or two less won't make or break our business, the networks or even impact a strike," he said.

The exec said his studio will decide whether to actually shoot a script sans writers once they see how polished the piece is once pencils go down at 12:01 this morning.

If only minor tweaks are needed, studio execs could potentially make the changes themselves -- ultimately, they own the scripts, after all. But scripts in need of major triage simply will not be produced.

"If you felt like an episode was at 85% of what it normally will be, you would probably produce it, but below that, you wouldn't produce it," the exec said.

All those rumors of script stockpiling, however, were mostly talk. Given the schedule for writing primetime shows -- now is around the time staffs start to fall behind -- that would be virtually impossible.

"Most of TV is hand-to-mouth," one exec said. "You can't get too far ahead."


Most have a backlog of completed episodes and scripts that should keep viewers in a lather through year's end.
After that, it's possible network execs and producers could use existing story outlines to write scripts themselves, as happened in 1988.


Most shows don't have WGA scribes or can get along without them. Exceptions: syndie powerhouse "Jeopardy" and the daytime version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" are WGA shows.
However, as with many quizzers, both shows tape episodes far in advance.

It's understood producer Sony has enough segs in the can to keep the show in originals through April. And "Millionaire" will tape its final seg of the current season this week, ensuring no repeats this season.

Back-nine orders

Only a handful of new fall shows have been given full-season orders, in part because webs wanted to see if a strike took place. Once a walkout begins, shows that would be likely to get back-nine orders may be forced to wait a lot longer.

"We don't legally have to pick up more episodes until mid-December or later," one exec said. "You might as well wait."

Development/pilot season

The status of projects is all over the map.

In many cases, the nets picked up spec scripts -- which are potentially in decent enough shape to be shot.

NBC, for example, has more than a half-dozen pilots ready to lense, many with big-name helmers attached (Brett Ratner, Richard Shepard).

A few pilots already have taped, including ABC's Cedric the Entertainer comedy.

Other projects are in early drafts that already have been turned in; the majority, however, probably were not going to be turned in until Thanksgiving.

"Some good scripts are in, but we'll take a hard look at them," one exec said. "Whether we'll feel they're good enough is another thing. The idea of not being able to rewrite them at all is scary."

Meanwhile, even if pilot scripts are in, studio and network chiefs said they're not so sure they want to spend the money to produce a pilot -- especially if the actors plan to go on strike in summer.

"Pilot season will definitely be in jeopardy if the strike goes on a while," said one top exec.

Another suit put the dilemma facing nets this way: "Do you want to make a pilot and July 1 have your actors go on strike, and then be sitting there with a pilot you invested $6 million or $7 million between the network and studio, but can't utilize it for some period of time?

"That's why right now I don't know whether we'll be taking any of those scripts."

And if a strike continues, execs said, pilot season will "grind to a halt."

"Maybe a few pilots will be made, but you're looking at an entirely different upfront," an exec said.

If a strike is settled by late spring, the nets could also take a handful of scripts and simply roll the dice by ordering them to series, pilots be damned. (Not an entirely foreign concept -- projects like Fox's Joss Whedon/Eliza Dushku drama already have episodic commitments, and cablers including FX normally produce just a handful of pilots and usually greenlight the majority of those to series anyway.)

"How much worse can we do?" an exec said.

Considering the diminished returns the nets see on a yearly basis, there's actually an argument to be made that the nets should simply return most of this year's shows next fall -- saving money by not having to promote new scripted fare and instead trying to grow the shows already on the air, including series on the bubble.

"I could set next fall's schedule now without development at all," one network head said.

But without a settlement by the upfronts, what would fall 2008 look like?

"My guess is all the networks will be able to announce schedules next fall with primarily new programming, but it will have a lot of reality and news," one exec said. "Maybe Fox will have some animated shows that will be available to them. But the upfront will be a very different upfront."

For starters, the nets may forgo the massive Carnegie Hall/Lincoln Center/Radio City Music Hall song-and-dance show in front of thousands of media buyers.

"Maybe instead of a New York hall, they'll just meet with individual ad agencies -- it will be a modified upfront," an exec said.

Networks Execs.

Don't expect people in the network suites to lose their jobs right away. "We're not going to lay anybody off until we have to, and that would have to be a very long strike," said one topper.

Instead, many current and development staffers may find themselves helping out their brethren in the alternative programming divisions -- which are expected to kick into overdrive if a strike wears on.

"There's a bunch of scripted development people here freaking out at the prospect of not being busy," said one net exec. "They're begging to help out the reality people."

Lines between reality and scripted have blurred so much in recent years that the skill sets for the two genres are now similar.

That said, alternative execs will not necessarily welcome input from scripted suits. One wag laughed at the idea of Fox alternative prexy Mike Darnell -- known for operating his own kingdom within the net -- enlisting Fox's scripted team.

One studio exec said his alternative team is already dusting off reality ideas that have been percolating for a while.

"I know that we've been keeping some things on the shelf to pitch," he said. "There will be plenty to do for a while."

The TV Critics Assn. press tour.

There's already talk that the semiannual powwow -- in which nets hype their new shows -- could be scaled back if a strike lasts.

A network insider said TCA prexy Dave Walker will meet with the networks on Monday to discuss strike scenarios. While journos need some notice before making hotel reservations, networks say they can postpone a call on the TCA until at least December.

post #35 of 248
As far as I am concerned, they can stay on strike forever. Most of the programs on tv are garbage anyway. Maybe they should use this time to clean house and start fresh, dump the unions and fill the jobs with people who are anxious and willing to write.
post #36 of 248
Originally Posted by richiephx View Post


Wouldn't a better signature say - TBS: VERY FUNNY LOOKING.

post #37 of 248
Unless you know something sinister about Travis that I don't, I think your somewhat veiled and accusatory post is -- at the least -- odd.

I have read many of Travis' more than 2900 posts on the Programming Insider site and overall have found him to be remarkably accurate.

You obviously disagree. Care to elaborate? If you have facts that refute what Travis says, bring them on. We are all for reliable information here, not character assassination.

And precisely which sources would you recommend we could read who "check their facts" to your satisfaction?

Originally Posted by vfxproducer View Post

I kept the part that was truly relevant - the original source: the always reliable Travis Yanan in Marc Berman's Programming Insider blog, and again I 'd reccomend getting your news from people who check their facts.
post #38 of 248
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

Last week, Letterman warned viewers that if there was a strike, Late Show would be dismal with him writing it. (In fact, the show will air reruns.)

That's what he did after a few months of the last writers' strike. It was funny in a different kind of way. Padding the top ten lists with "unavailable due to writers' strike" entries was kind of funny. Watching Dave get a shave from the NBC barber for ten minutes wasn't so funny.
post #39 of 248
Two quick comments.

1. If the writers do strike, would the Screen Actors Guild show support by not acting on productions written by scab writers (i.e. producers, etc)?

2. If the strike does go on for a while, maybe ABC can add these ideas to their "reality" line-up:

Training with the Pros - this is where Julianne, Edyta and Kym practice their routines for a full 60 minute show.

DWTS All-Stars - self explanatory

post #40 of 248
I wonder if BJ Novak will still appear in the Office. He also writes for the show.
post #41 of 248
So let me get this straight, the writers want income from downlaoded or internet viewed material? And they want to have that as a fixed fee? So if I watch an episode on NBC.com and don't pay for it, the writers expect whom exactly to pay them for that viewing?

On the other hand, if someone is making income off of internet material, the writers should earn a % of that income.

In the end if they get their way, this will just kill internet entertainment by increasing its cost, and thus its demand.
post #42 of 248
Originally Posted by ftaok View Post

1. If the writers do strike, would the Screen Actors Guild show support by not acting on productions written by scab writers (i.e. producers, etc)?

I remember reading an article this weekend that clarified that the existing directors' and actors' contract explicitly prohibit refusing to work due to a work stoppage by other union workers.
post #43 of 248
ftaok: There is absolutely no indication that any major existing productions would be using scab writers.

And bicker1 is correct: SAG and other contracts routinely call for services to be continued to be supplied even if other unions strike.
post #44 of 248
So-called "hyphenates" (that is producer-writers, writer-actors, showrunner-writers, etc.) are by contract, expected to continue to supply their non-WGA services as long as the production is being shot.

That doesn't mean that some actors might not cross the picket lines, but there would be no penalty for a WGA hyphenate crossing the line unless he or she actually did writing work.

Originally Posted by afail View Post

I wonder if BJ Novak will still appear in the Office. He also writes for the show.
post #45 of 248
Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

I remember reading an article this weekend that clarified that the existing directors' and actors' contract explicitly prohibit refusing to work due to a work stoppage by other union workers.

Then they start rotating cast members that are "sick" to slow down production
post #46 of 248
Here is a much better answer to your question than I feebly attempted a few minutes ago:

The 2007-2008 Season
'Office' stars caught in strike zone
Writers, other hyphenates face tough choices
By Josef Adalian, Michael Schneider Variety

Once a WGA walkout begins, B.J. Novak -- a writer and a star of NBC's hit comedy "The Office" -- will face a very tough choice.

As a card-carrying member of the Writers Guild, he'll clearly be on strike. But he's also a thesp and a member of the Screen Actors Guild. NBC's studio arm has made it clear that it expects Novak the actor to show up to work today, strike or no strike.

Because it has several scribes who also serve as thesps (also including Mindy Kaling and Paul Lieberstein), "The Office" is one of the most visible examples of shows where conflicting interests will be at work once a strike begins. But all over town, a number of WGA members will be facing similarly tough calls.

The vast majority of TV shows are run by producers who double as scribes. The networks are counting on these writer-producers -- aka showrunners -- to keep things humming on set as work continues on scripts already in the can.

But the WGA has been urging its showrunners to stand down. It held a meeting Saturday at the Sheraton Universal designed to persuade showrunners to stop working immediately. The argument is that the more episodes the nets have in the can, the longer a strike will go.

"The official line on all of our shows is we expect you to show up," said one senior network executive. "We've told them that it's required under their contracts, and they'll be in breach if they don't show up."

"Showrunners will not show on Monday or all week," predicted one top exec producer-showrunner. "No one likes to leave a crew unsure of whether or not they have work, or assistants wondering where their next paycheck will come from. And no one wants to leave their baby in someone else's hands. It's a difficult time. But I will not cross a picket line."

Studio and network execs aren't sure what to expect today.

One studio chief said he doesn't think the showrunners for his half-hour comedies will be at work today. Indeed, it's widely expected that all multicamera laffers -- including "Back to You," "Two and a Half Men," " 'Til Death," "The Big Bang Theory" and "The New Adventures of Old Christine" -- will shutter production the moment writers strike, since sitcoms require all sorts of rewrites during the course of a production week.

And unlike single-camera shows, in which writers are too busy in the room to drive over to a set and watch an all-day filming, scribes are generally right onstage during a live taping -- and frequently huddle between takes in order to come up with snappier dialogue.

By contrast, the same studio topper said he thinks some of his drama showrunners will keep working to finish production on segs already scripted.

"It's a fascinating position these showrunners are put into," another studio exec said. "From a pure economics standpoint, if they can provide extra scripts, that's extra fees for a lot of people who need the money. On the other hand, the more episodes we have, supposedly the less pressure there will be on us. But I would think if I were a writer, I'd get as many scripts into shooting position as possible."

One drama showrunner conceded that most producers were in a bind, especially those trying to launch new skeins.

"It's incredibly painful to have episodes being shot that you can not supervise, scripts that will need adjustment that you can't help and cuts being edited and you're not in the room shaping," the producer said. "I'm also worried about what a loss of momentum could do to new shows finding their legs and their audiences. That said, this is bigger than us and may shape the industry for generations to come."

So what happens if these actors and showrunners decide not to work?

"Whether we'll pursue legal action will be determined on a case-by-case basis," one network suit said.

But realistically, it seems hard to believe NBC U would go after "The Office's" hyphenates or that Warner Bros. would sue Chuck Lorre if they opt not to render acting or producing services once a strike begins.

That's because Hollywood remains a town built on talent relations. As bitter as things could get with a strike, nobody wants to risk alienating key talent further by insisting they cross picket lines.

That said, nets and studios are also prepared to defend those scribes or actors who incur the wrath of the unions if they do show up for work. If "The Office's" Novak, for example, gets fined by the WGA, one NBC insider said the company won't hesitate to fight the fines on behalf of the scribe.


Originally Posted by afail View Post

I wonder if BJ Novak will still appear in the Office. He also writes for the show.
post #47 of 248
"Studios will wake up and realize that while the world will always need writers (and producers), they won't need studios."

post #48 of 248
Originally Posted by krawhitham View Post

Then they start rotating cast members that are "sick" to slow down production

I doubt many professional actors would try to pull anything like that. They're generally far more responsible than you're willing to give them credit for.
post #49 of 248
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by valleytvguy View Post

In the end if they get their way, this will just kill internet entertainment by increasing its cost, and thus its demand.

Which is the industry argument, and a legit point. On the other hand, the writers actually bit hook, nail, and sinker into this argument in 1981:


"The unions agreed to ignore the first 80 percent of revenue from the tapes and later DVDs, assuming most of the money represented the cost of manufacturing and distribution. Writers settled for just 1.2 percent of the remaining 20 percent, a figure that amounts to about 3 cents on a DVD that retails for $20." (copyright AP)

Oops. Has to rank as one of the best/worst deals in a long time depending on which side you're on, as amazingly enough they got badly burned as physical production and distribution costs fell from $30 a tape to oh, $1 for a DVD.

I don't have a good enough handle on industry economics to figure out what the doubling of DVD resids would do to P&Ls along with what they're proposing for other streams, so in other words I don't know enough information to decide which side is right. But when you feel you've been a victim for a while (like the writers), it tends to mean that what's underlying negotiations isn't going to be terribly logical - which means this may also last for a while.

If people get info on where more shows stand, please PM me and I'll add them to the top list in brackets.

Oh, and don't worry too much...the 1988 strike directly brought us Cops and America's Most Wanted. Scarily enough, when I carried a badge and a gun the former was the single most popular show at the station...
post #50 of 248
The LA Times seems to be updating your original post at the posted link.

Originally Posted by old64mb View Post

...If people get info on where more shows stand, please PM me and I'll add them to the top list in brackets...
post #51 of 248
Thread Starter 
post #52 of 248
Originally Posted by CPanther95 View Post

Wouldn't a better signature say - TBS: VERY FUNNY LOOKING.

Yes it would, thanks for the suggestion
post #53 of 248
Originally Posted by valleytvguy View Post

So let me get this straight, the writers want income from downlaoded or internet viewed material? And they want to have that as a fixed fee? So if I watch an episode on NBC.com and don't pay for it, the writers expect whom exactly to pay them for that viewing?

Did you not notice the commercials during that episode you saw on NBC.com?
post #54 of 248
Originally Posted by richiephx View Post

Yes it would, thanks for the suggestion

Don't forget NBC: Must See Pop Ups
post #55 of 248
Originally Posted by Fred M View Post

Wife & I just got back from Las Vegas. All the best ($100-a-ticket class) and most creative shows there (i.e. Celine Dion's "A New Day", All seven Cirque du Soleil shows [Mystere, Zumanity, "O", "LaReve", Beatles "Love", "Ka"], etc.) were originated, written and produced in Canada. U.S.A. producers should start looking toward the north for writers....

How did you like Le Reve? I saw it last year and was blown away
post #56 of 248
Just for the hell of it today I went to 30 Rock during my lunch break and what Nikki Finke reports is correct (last paragraph at bottom). A ton of writers/performers from the NBC shows mentioned were there. I recognized the guys that play Preparation H Raymond and The Interruptor on "Conan O'Brien." Didn't see Tina Fey but said hello to "SNL's" Seth Myers. And the ever-present giant inflatable rat (a fixture here in NYC) was there with striking writers just a few yards from the "Today" show outdoor studios. They even had a four-piece band playing music!

The Business of TV
On The Line: Strike News As It Happens
From Nikki Finke's LA Weekly 'Deadline Hollywood' Blog - November 4, 2007

At Paramount, the early morning picketers were at the gates on Melrose, which are basically guest parking and executive parking. The Van Ness gate, which is where the rank-and-file workers and the trucks enter, was un-picketed. I'm told that picketing only on Melrose won't shut down a single production. Then the picketers arrived at Van Ness.

Hot T-shirt for the picket lines: the one where Jon Stewart of The Daily Show imitating "the studios" by raising his hands like he's crazy and saying, "The internet - it's too new!!"

Also I hear word that Julia Louis-Dreyfus walked from The New Adventures of Old Christine to join the writers picket line and may have shut down her show as a result. Her husband, of course, is writer and sometime showrunner Brad Hall.

I'm told there was a lot of action at CBS Radford and the WGA West picketing supposedly shut down Cane. Turns out the 2nd unit filming was moved due to noise , but Cane is still filming as scheduled. The brief shutdown came as about 20 writers chanted, screamed and used a bullhorn outside a cafe near the CBS lot in Studio City. So the location manager for the show hired two off-duty Los Angeles police officers and five private security guards to "maintain order". After they thought shooting was stopped, writers cheered and rejoined picketers around the corner at the studio.

Break.com is holding a $5,000 contest for all the striking WGA members to submit a video to Break.com. "With Break.com receiving close to 1.5 million guys watching over 12,000 videos on their site every day, it is the perfect place for WGA members to continue to distribute their passion project to millions of viewers!" Break.com is offering the $5K to the highest rated video from a writer officially on strike. The contest is open now. (Founded in 1998, Break.com claims to be the Internet's leading cross-platform, digital entertainment network offering funny, original short-form free videos and pictures to millions of Internet users and mobile subscribers around the world.)

This is what my reporting life might be like for the forseeable future unless this strike settles: WGA press bulletins announcing that CSI: Crime Scene Investigation's Marg Helgenberger is walking the picket line at Universal Studios lot "NOW" in support of the WGA strike.

A picketing writer was hit by a car in Hollywood just hours into the strike, according to KABC-TV. A driver "basically said, 'Get the 'F' out of the way', and then hit the gas and just plowed into this guy," said writer Linda Berston, who witnessed the incident. "The group was just walking across the driveway, and the guy basically started running him over without giving him a chance to move out of the way."

Buzz about what's going on at The Office. Rumors that the Teamsters are refusing to cross the picket line over at the studio there, and the show may shut down shooting. Word that both WGA members Steve Carell and Rainn Wilson did not show up today in support of the writers strike, so The Office had a short production day.

On the WGA east picket lines in NYC: John Leguizamo, Pulitzer Prize winner John Patrick Shanley, Tina Fey...

You know that report I cited earlier that Jon Stewart is paying his writers' salaries during the first two weeks of the strike out of his own pocket, for both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, according to Portfolio.com? Well, his rep has denied it. That's right, denied it.

Paul Haggis walking the picket line during the morning shift at Sony, the studio that's paying him $4+ million (rumored near $5 mil) for the new Bond script. Then again, screenwriters were told to picket their primary place of employment ... or else.

Reports of studio strikers staying in the street on the "walk" signal for as long as it lasts to delay cars trying to enter the studio. Sounds like a "bit" from someone's script.

I'm told that today at noon inside Petes Coffee Brentwood, two separate guys working on Final Draft for the whole world to see on their laptops at the window facing the line of people waiting to pay got nothing but dirty looks. Hilarious. So now writing in public is verboten and everyone has to do it in the privacy of their own homes?

Rumors that all TV term deals not currently in production have just been suspended at all television studios in town. Supposedly support staff and everyone else have until the end of the day today to clear out. I'm trying to confirm...

From a picketer: "You walk the line and you share stories, share biographies, hear the circuitous routes that people took to get here, simply because they love telling stories. My feet hurt, but my heart doesn't."

I hear that at Paramount, Billy Baldwin (ABC's Dirty Sexy Money) and America
Ferrera (ABC's Ugly Betty) joined the line. Vanessa Williams brought picketers snacks.

Also on the morning picketing shift at Sony: multi-hyphenate mogul Judd Apatow ("who had a group of younger comedy writers seem this close to pitching him ideas"), showrunners Mike Schiff and Bill Martin, who created Grounded for Life and now run ABC's Cavemen which is filmed on the Sony lot.

WGA just announced this from Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama: "I stand with the writers. The Guild's demand is a test of whether media corporations are going to give writers a fair share of the wealth their work creates or continue concentrating profits in the hands of their executives. I urge the producers to work with the writers so that everyone can get back to work."

Agent just told me NBC's Journeyman shut down today.

I just received a firm denial of a rumor flying around that, instead of crossing the picket line, a major showrunner of two McPopular ABC shows is relocating her offices off lot to continue her duties while other showrunners refuse to work. A Shonda Rhimes insider told me a second ago: "No. She's standing tall with the other showrunners."

Rachel Griffiths (Brothers & Sisters) and a castmate rode their bikes from inside the Disney lot to the Riverside Gate and said they were there to do a Starbucks run for the picketing writers. They took individual orders and returned with free coffee for several writers along with sunscreen and baseball caps.

From inside the mogul camp: There are no negotiations scheduled or even planned between AMPTP or WGA in the near future. From my own reporting, the Hollywood CEOs are still really, really pissed that, after asking for the walkout to be suspended while the talks continued, the WGA negotiators never told them that the East had gone out on strike. The moguls worked the phones until 9:30 am Pacific time last night keeping track of the talks progress -- until they heard the strike had begun. "We can't trust them anymore," an insider told me. "How do you negotiate with people you can't trust?" Then the talks stopped, and the dueling statements began. The moguls are convinced they were played all Sunday and that nothing would have deterred Patric Verrone or Dave Young from a strike agenda. So there you have the moguls' viewpoint.

At Fox, Diane English, Jim Brooks and Callie Khouri were all picketing as well as actors Peter MacNichol (Numbers), David Boreanaz (Bones), Lorraine Newman (ex-SNL), and Anne Dudek and Olivia Wilde from House. "It was a great first day," one writer told me tonight. "By Friday, I promise you, I'm not going to be so enamored of it."

Nick Counter, prez of AMPTP told reporters today: "We're hunkered down for a long one."

Jon Avnet walked the picket line at Sony.

UPDATE: Others saying Journeyman did not suspend today.

UPDATE: I've just been told that CBS/Paramount is thus far the only studio to send out letters suspending all TV deals not currently in production. Warners, 20th, Sony etc are said to be individually meeting about their options.

Robert Patrick and Max Martini of The Unit were at CBS picketing with their writing staff. The strikers all sang "Happy Birthday" to Patrick.

Ellen DeGeneres was a no-show Monday for filming of her daytime talk show. "Ellen did not go to work today in support of her writers," her flack Kelly Bush told reporters. New episodes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show that were filmed before the strike were set to air through Tuesday. After that...?

WGA East strikers displayed a giant inflatable rat as picketers shouted: "No contract, no shows!" Walking the line in NYC were Tom Fontana, Kevin Wade, Adam Brooks, Warren Leight, John Patric Shanley, Jon Robin Baitz, Charlie Rubin, Tina Fey, Eric Overmyer, Doug McGrath, and many writers from the staff of Conan, the staff of John Stewart, the staff of Colbert, the staff of SNL (inluding several performers), the staff of Letterman, the staff of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, the New York staff of Law & Order, the staff of Monk and on and on and on.

post #57 of 248
God, I love a good strike. Not one of those those small meaningless strikes that has no effect on everyday life, but one of those really interesting strikes that change things a bit. The NFL strike was a kick when they had the scabs playing ball. This could be real interesting one if it were to go on for the best part of a year. TV would grind to weird kind of standstill with (I assume) either reruns or foreign imports.
post #58 of 248
Originally Posted by cavalierlwt View Post

TV would grind to weird kind of standstill with (I assume) either reruns or foreign imports.

Nope, how about all the reality shows you could ever want! Just what the current TV landscape needs.
post #59 of 248
... and a YouTube based show on every network.
post #60 of 248
Originally Posted by cbrox View Post

Nope, how about all the reality shows you could ever want! Just what the current TV landscape needs.

Yeah no kidding. Don't need to see any more reality crap.
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