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July 31, 2014

WGA Strike

TV Squad Ten: Fearless predictions for 2009

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 5th 2009 11:01AM
M ScorseseA year ago at this time, who would have guessed that Jay Leno would be leaving late night and NBC would be handing him five hours of prime time instead? Who would have predicted CBS continuing to dominate in the ratings or that ABC's sophomore series like Eli Stone and Pushing Daisies would stumble and fall so completely after being off the air all last spring? Predictors from last January were on target about there being a writers' strike; that did happen and it was definitely not a good thing.

Fortunately, I don't see a SAG strike in the future. However, here are ten things I'm betting will happen by the time the ball drops on December 31st.

1. Martin Scorsese will be the next big thing on HBO. He's producing a drama based on the book Boardwalk Empire. HBO is overdue to launch another big series in The Sopranos tradition. Boardwalk Empire seems to have all the right elements: violence, sex, gambling, and Oscar-winning, iconic director Martin Scorsese.

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Top TV Stories of 2008: The writers' strike and its aftermath

by Richard Keller, posted Dec 22nd 2008 12:28PM

Jerry Stiller was just one of the writers on the WGA picket lines in the beginning of 20082008 was a strange one for television. Not because of the intense political and economic coverage, or the 27000 hours of Olympic telecasts, or the fact that Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul held back from killing each other for yet another season. No, the reason for the strangeness was that, at the beginning of the year, the schedule was a bit disjointed. This was thanks to the lengthy writers' strike.

Lasting from early November 2007 until February and costing up to two billion dollars, the WGA strike did something that previous labor disputes had not done to TV in the past: it changed the face of television. These were not cosmetic changes that reverted back to normal once the strike ended. These were changes that altered television as we now it and set the stage for its very uncertain future.

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The SAG strikes back

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 11th 2008 11:02AM
Remember the good old days when dock workers, air traffic controllers, teachers, and strike placard makers went on strike? Good, hard-working people who didn't make much money but put their bodies and well-being on the line every day to improve themselves and their community. In exchange, they received measly little things like health insurance, safe work conditions, and a vending machine in the break room that didn't eat quarters, dollars or fingers.

Those Norma Rae days are long gone. Now the only strikes we hear about are ones like the latest looming threat of a strike by the Screen Actors Guild, according to Reuters.

It's not that I don't feel sorry for SAG members or that I'm against their plight. Just about every industry in America has greedy CEOs who take as much as they can from as many as they can, all under the guise of performance and production bonuses earned by not running the company into Hell. It just feels like it could not have come at a worse time.

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SAG members are talking about a strike

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 23rd 2008 11:03AM
SAGHow's this for happy holiday cheer? The Screen Actors Guild is gearing up to ask members to authorize a strike. Yes, that's right. The actors' union leadership -- headed up by Alan Rosenberg -- is talking tough and threatening another strike. It's been nearly a year since the Writer's Guild strike and the ramifications are still being felt throughout the TV business. An actors strike would be crippling.

Currently, SAG is working under a contract that expired on June 30. The WGA strike began on November 5, 2007 and was finally settled on February 12, 2008. Rosenberg and SAG knew how damaging the strike had been, and in the months before June 30, they tried for a settlement. They didn't get it done then, and they've been treading water ever since.

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Showtime's inspired Dexter promotion

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 7th 2008 11:01AM
Dexter 4I'm always fascinated by the ad campaigns that the networks come up with to sell or promote TV shows. I remember in 2004 when Fox debuted House, they created a magazine insert DVD of the pilot. It was a great way to get TV fans to try the show, and I -- for one -- bought Entertainment Weekly and watched the show.

Giveaways are one way to drive awareness -- and sample the product -- but another is with a print ad campaign. Recently, Gossip Girl came up with a savvy set of posters and advertisements to call attention to the naughtiness of the show.

Now comes a new, original campaign for Showtime's Dexter in which the Michael C. Hall's character is imagined on the cover of magazines. Dexter on Esquire, The New Yorker, GQ, Wired; high-profile magazines that have a distinctive look, reconfigured for serial killer hiding in plain sight, Dexter Morgan. The ads look amazing and will be seen in all variety of magazines and plastered up as posters all over the place.

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Big plans for 60th Emmy broadcast ... as long as there's no strike

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 18th 2008 2:05PM
Ken EhrlichFor Ken Erhlich, executive producer of the Emmy broadcast, the goal is clear. "The war cry is always, 'What are we going to do and how are we going to make it better?' We did some inventive things, we changed it up, we understand that this is the industry's big night. This means something and we can't trivialize it, but we certainly can have some fun with it." He told me that last year, prior to the Emmy-in-the-round broadcast, a memorable -- and successful show.

In 2008, the decisions about the 60th anniversary Emmys are still in the works for the September LA broadcast, but one decision has already been made. It won't be in the round. While it looked good on air, the industry didn't like it. "People loved it at home. It had a great look, but you know, you try things, you want to bring something fresh to the show."

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It's the WGA versus American Idol

by Brad Trechak, posted Jul 11th 2008 12:23PM
American IdolWith the WGA Strike as ancient history, the guild is now pushing to have reality shows join its organization. In an effort to do this, the WGA is specifically targeting the show American Idol.

They're calling it the Truth Tour and it begins with a Wednesday morning press conference in front of WGA headquarters following by a set of fake auditions at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, where auditions are held for the actual American Idol. They call it "the version they don't want you to see".

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Turtle and E spill the beans about Entourage

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 3rd 2008 2:05PM
Entourage dinerHave you been jonesing for the entourage from Entourage? Do you need a little Ari Gold to get your blood flowing? Well, new shows aren't coming back until September (thanks to the writers' strike), but HBO is giving fans a chance to enjoy the most recent shows starting tomorrow, July 4th. Every Friday at 10 p.m. (ET) on, HBO will replay season 3: part 2, and season 4.

That's good to know -- especially in these dog days of summer TV -- but if you want to know what's going to happen next, read on. Both Jerry Ferarra and Kevin Connolly, Turtle and E, got a little chatty with OK! magazine's Oliver Coleman.

If you don't want to know how things are going to unfold in season five, don't read after the jump.

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Another result of the writers' strike

by Brad Trechak, posted Jul 3rd 2008 12:59PM
WGA StrikeIt looks like some of the writers who participated in the WGA Strike have decided to start their own network. No, it's not a television network. Strike.tv is slated to begin this summer. It will contain more than 40 short-form programs including comedies, dramas and a game show.

Participating television (and movie) writers include Lester Lewis (The Office), Rob Kutner (The Daily Show), Stephen E. de Souza (Die Hard), Karen Harris (General Hospital) and Ron Corcillo (Malcolm in the Middle). Acting talent involved with the programming include Bob Newhart, Timothy Dalton and Kristen Wiig.

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How the strike helped House

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 20th 2008 2:40PM
House-WilsonEven as fear grips the business that there'll be another strike that will lead to a work stoppage, there are some who can look back on the Writer's Strike and actually find a silver lining in that dark cloud. At a recent at the ArcLight Cinemas, sponsored by the L.A. Times, the folks who bring us House, including creator David Shore and director Katie Jacobs, revealed that the strike actually was beneficial for them in a strange way.

Since Fox had the Super Bowl last season, House had been given the plum spot following the game. That always means a huge audience will be watching, and even a show as successful as House wouldn't mind a boost in the ratings.

Gallery: House-Strike

HouseHouseHouseHouseHouse

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Are you ready for another strike?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 19th 2008 2:21PM

SAGOh, if only the "reality-free" tag above meant something else when it comes to this.

Just when you thought you could sit back in your comfy chair and watch TV this fall, comes news that possible Screen Actor's Guild strike that has been talked about for weeks is very close to actually happening. The deadline is June 30, and while a lot of people in the industry thought that the contracts signed at the end of the writer's strike earlier this year (ah, remember those days?) could serve as a blueprint, that might not be the case.

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Sit Down, Shut Up writers stand up and walk out

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 16th 2008 2:28PM

FOX logoAnd you thought that all that business with the WGA strike was over.

The writers for the new animated FOX show Sit Down, Shut Up have walked out, saying they were misled by Sony Pictures. They thought that under the agreement reached a few months ago they would be represented by the Writer's Guild of America but Sony actually has them covered under the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Under their rules, writers don't get all those things they fought for, including new media (online, DVD, etc) money or even residuals.

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Dirt takes a dirt nap

by Jason Hughes, posted Jun 9th 2008 12:24PM
Courtney CoxYou don't usually get cancellation or pick-up announcements about TV shows at a charity fund-raising event. But that's what happened yesterday at the "A Time for Heroes" Celebrity Carnival benefiting the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, or the "ATFH"CCBTEGPAF for short. When asked about the chances of her FX series getting picked up for a third season, Courteney Cox announced that Dirt has been canceled.

The show was never really embraced whole-heartedly, either critically or in the ratings, but it managed a second shot. Unfortunately for Cox and company, that second season was cut short by the WGA Strike, and as with many bubble shows, it just fell by the wayside. Maybe the tweaking they did to the format for Season Two, making it lighter and more accessible to the casual viewer turned off more of their hardcore fans than they anticipated. Maybe the ratings it was getting just weren't enough for FX to pick back up production after the strike. Maybe David Arquette had a habit of showing up on the set in his BVDs and it finally just got to be too much for the cast and crew, so they walked. Or maybe Shane dropped a grenade in Lucy's lap in that finale they just never got a chance to film.

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Showrunners on the strike, the Emmys, and more

by Brett Love, posted Jun 4th 2008 11:02AM

Damon LindelofGiven that you've made the wise choice to visit tvsquad.com, I feel pretty safe jumping to the conclusion that you are a fan of television. With that in mind, you should really enjoy the round table Hollywood Reporter recently put together with Damon Lindelof (Lost), Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies), David Shore (House), Matthew Weiner (Mad Men), and Craig Thomas (How I Met Your Mother).

The group got together to talk about a number of different topics. Among them, the strike and what could be the cause of the lowered numbers as shows came back. They also share some amusing examples of they hypocrisy that is network standards and practices. The Emmys come up as well, with the group sharing their thoughts about who is deserving of consideration. It all makes for an interesting look behind the scenes and is definitely worth your click. And if all that isn't enough, the story also includes a video where Damon Lindelof manages to reference both Nash Bridges and Remington Steele. Who can pass up Nash Bridges?

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New (old) headwriters for All My Children & Y&R

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 2nd 2008 8:02AM
AMC/YRThe headwriter carousel is spinning in the world of soaps and two shows have tapped new scribes for their shows. Only they're not new, really, only new to these shows. See, in soaps, everything old is new again when it comes to headwriters. The names are usually the same, just the soaps are different.

First, All My Children has brought in the super-experienced Charles Pratt, Jr. to take over the script duties. He being June 23, but with the lead time for soaps, his stories won't begin unfolding for about six weeks. Still, ABC daytime prez Brian Frons, was singing Chuck's praises in the announcement, saying, "Charles Pratt, Jr. is a master storyteller. His talents in writing today's biggest primetime hits in conjunction with his vast experience with daytime dramas will undoubtedly elevate All My Children stories in new and exciting directions."

Pratt does have extensive experience, including Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, Melrose Place, Santa Barbara, and back in 2002, General Hospital. The guy can spin a yarn and joining All My Children he'll have lots of great characters to explore. He's also coming in just as two major stars have been added to the All My Children cast, Guiding Light transplants Beth Ehlers and Ricky Paull Goldin.

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