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September 20, 2014

WGA Strike

Expect the networks to renew more shows than usual

by Joel Keller, posted May 5th 2008 12:02PM
Old ChristineThe reverberations caused by the writers' strike continue to affect how the networks are doing business. Case in point: according to The Hollywood Reporter's James Hibberd, the networks may be more generous with renewals than they have in the past, due to the fact that even hit shows have been returning to diminished ratings. My guess is that, after a three-month break, most people realized they didn't give two craps about things like Meredith and McDreamy's latest breakup. But it may just be that the weather's nice outside.

Anyway, Hibberd goes on to mention the current status of some of the most prominent "bubble" shows. The good news: Reaper, Old Christine, and HIMYM and Moonlight have shifted over towards the "likely to certain" end of the spectrum, and Boston Legal will likely survive for another year. The bad news: Shark, Men In Trees (which is already gone, according to reports), Cashmere Mafia, and October Road are likely gone. And there's still no real feel for what's going to happen with Eli Stone or Women's Murder Club.

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Did the writers strike make you stop watching a show?

by Bob Sassone, posted May 1st 2008 3:20PM

Desperate HousewivesHere's an interesting theory on why the ratings for many returning dramas are down a bit: the writers strike gave viewers an excuse to finally stop watching a show.

Of course, the shows that are down (including Grey's Anatomy, House, Lost, CSI, and Desperate Housewives) are still getting great ratings (all of the above shows are usually in the top 15 for the week), they're just noticeably down. Some industry analysts think that viewers might be getting a little frustrated at the continuing storylines you see on many dramas, while others think that some viewers are confused over the return dates for different shows and maybe even time slot changes for a couple of shows.

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Jack Bauer heads to Africa

by Jane Boursaw, posted Apr 30th 2008 4:20PM
24 Season 7To tie us over until 24's seventh season premieres in January 2009 (it's closer than we think), Fox is appeasing us with The Rookie, five-minute webisodes following the adventures of American Counter Terrorism agent Jason Blaine, played by Jeremy Valdez. Check out Keith's post about The Rookie here.

It all ties in with the TV series. Blaine was first seen in 24's fifth season aboard a Russian sub. "If Jack Bauer and Jason Bourne had a love child, it would be Jason Blaine," says co-writer Kevin Townsend in an Associated Press story. "He's a younger, more ambitious, less experienced -- but no less talented -- version of those two characters."

Ok, that's kind of a creepy way to put it, but we get it. Now in its third phase, titled Day 3 - Extraction, the web series finds Blaine sent to Mexico City to rescue his mentor, Alton Maxwell (Eric Beck), who's been kidnapped by drug czar, Estaban Salazar. Remember him? The Salazar brothers were introduced to us in 24's third season.

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TV crews still hurting from WGA strike

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Apr 28th 2008 2:28PM

WGA StrikeIt's been over two months since the WGA Strike officially ended. While most people probably assume that everything is back to normal, especially since most shows have returned with new episodes over the past few weeks, there's an interesting article over at the LA Times explaining why things aren't so great in Hollywood. Especially for TV crew members.

While the country itself seems to be spinning into a recession as necessities such as gas, milk, and eggs jump in price, many below-the-line TV crew workers (propmasters, make-up artists, electricians, and set carpenters, etc.) are experiencing their own economic crisis.

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Golden Globes date set early

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 24th 2008 10:09AM
Golden GlobesThe Golden Globes will be returning in 2009, on January 11th to be precise. This was announced by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association this past Tuesday. Nominees will be announced on December 11, 2008. It will be broadcast by NBC from the Beverly Hilton.

The awards show used to be shown in late January, but after the rescheduling of the Academy Awards in 2004, the date was bumped up to compensate. The Golden Globes are not expect to affect the Academy Awards outcome since the judges for the Oscars are to have mailed in their ballots by the time the Golden Globes are broadcast.

Having adopted a "magazine" format to the 2008 show due to the WGA Strike, the show suffered a serious drop in ratings. They couldn't even have a red carpet event before the show to put the celebrities on display. Most likely, the 2009 broadcast will return to the traditional format and a bump in the ratings.

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Strike Aftermath: Strike-breaker Hunt!

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 23rd 2008 7:06AM
WGA StrikeThe WGA has posted the names of 28 writers who crossed picket lines during the WGA Strike on their website. Most of them went to work on soap operas. The union also posted an open letter ridiculing them for breaking the strike.

All these writers still have "financial core" status in which they pay union dues and are still represented by the Guild. They can't, however, participate in guild elections (either with votes or holding an office) or union activities.

The Association of Motion Picture and Television denounced this move accusing the WGA of violating labor law by "seeking to deny employment to these writers in the future."

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Alicia Silverstone gets mom role in Bad Mother's Handbook

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 21st 2008 4:22PM
Alicia SilverstoneThe fates have decreed that Alicia Silverstone is meant to play a mother. Earlier this year, she was rumored to be the mother on How I Met Your Mother, but then opted out of that storyline entirely when Britney Spears was inserted in a guest role on the very same episode. The episode went on to do boffo Nielsen numbers, and Alicia's role was played by Sarah Chalke, who may or may not turn out to be mother. Probably not since she's still part of Scrubs, which is moving over to ABC.

Be that as it may, Alicia Silversone has now been officially cast on the pilot Bad Mother's Handbook. Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) will also appear in the show as Alicia's daughter. This comedy project has been set up at ABC and previously announced in the rush of production greenlighted soon after the writers' strike.

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NBC's web plans for Chuck, Office, Heroes, 30 Rock

by Anna Johns, posted Apr 3rd 2008 3:43PM
nbc logoAs part of yesterday's fall schedule announcement, NBC also debuted its plans for online content. Beginning this summer, NBC will produce short, original episodes -- webisodes -- of The Office, Chuck, and Heroes. NBC isn't saying much about what these webisodes will entail, but NBC Universal co-chair Ben Silverman promises they'll be meaty. He said the new WGA contract allows NBC writers to go all-out with the work, without wondering whether they're being fairly compensated.

You may remember The Office did a series of webisodes in 2006 called The Accountants, where several of the co-stars investigated missing account money. It even won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Broadband. This July's webisodes are essentially a renewal of that series.

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South Park: Canada On Strike! - VIDEO

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 2nd 2008 11:35PM
south park
(S12E04) The South Park guys are going after the Writer's Guild of America, and it's about time.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone are not members of any of the unions, and they negotiated Internet profit-sharing before it became an issue for the WGA. They have also remained consistent with their dislike of the Hollywood creative elite (including actors and writers, although they are both) and their willingness to take a different viewpoint than the popular media.

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NBC's Jeff Zucker: Funny or no? - VIDEO

by Anna Johns, posted Mar 28th 2008 6:25PM
jeff zuckerNBC Universal CEO and president Jeff Zucker might be funny... or just a prick. He appears in a new promotional video to air on April 3rd before a new episode of My Name is Earl.

Zucker plugs NBC.com, where people can catch up on their favorite shows that are about to return after being on a long hiatus because of the strike. He includes what could be considered as digs toward writers, including asking viewers to watch the videos within the first 17 days of posting. The new WGA contract allows studios to stream content for 17 days before they have to pay writers royalties. Plus, there's a little dig at the writers when he's talking about My Name Is Earl-- how Earl gets hit by a car again in the cliffhanger. "Writers refer to it as a 'callback'. I call it getting paid twice for writing the same thing."

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Untraditional autumn set for ABC

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 12th 2008 11:01AM
Life On MarsAutumn may not look the same way it usually does on ABC in 2008. The network is seriously considering opening the new season sans new drama series. There will still be returning shows, including the dramas from 2007 which have been deemed successes by the ABC brass, including Pushing Daisies, Private Practice and Dirty Sexy Money -- but no new pilots.

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CBS gives Swingtown a whirl

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 5th 2008 3:03PM
Jack DavenportWay back in July 2007, TV Squad wrote about a bunch of shows CBS previewed and were slating for the upcoming season, including Swingtown. It was supposed to premiere in mid-season, but then mid-season came and it was nowhere to be found. The network will announce today their plans for the serial drama; it's going to run this summer. Instead of taking that move as a lack of faith in the show, executive producer Carol Barbee told The Hollywood Reporter that a summer run creatively suits the project. "A summer launch is perfect for Swingtown since the pilot takes place on the Bicentennial Fourth of July," Barbee said. Barbee has most recently been working on Jericho.

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FX to debut Shield's final season in September

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Mar 5th 2008 2:01PM

Michael Chiklis and Walton GogginsWell it's about time. According to Ausiello over at TV Guide, FX plans to air the final 13 episodes of The Shield starting in September. Originally set to air starting in April, the final season was completed before the writer's strike hit. However, it still affected the show.

The strike cut short the most recent seasons of Nip/Tuck, Dirt, and The Riches. Nip/Tuck's finale aired a few weeks ago, Dirt just premiered this past Sunday, and The Riches returns next Tuesday, March 18th. Because of the truncated seasons for Dirt and The Riches (each finished only seven installments), they moved up in the schedule to March/April, displacing The Shield.

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Brace yourselves for a possible actors strike

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 5th 2008 11:05AM
Alan RosenbergHave you seen all those feel-good commercials on CBS showing the actors returning to work after the WGA strike, the message promising us that good times -- and fresh new episodes -- would soon be on the air? Well, here comes the cold shower. The big story this morning out of L.A. is that Hollywood is shaking with fear that the actors will strike this summer if a new contract isn't hammered out before June 30.

Big names like George Clooney and Tom Hanks have been quietly urging Screen Actors Guild president Alan Rosenberg to commence negotiations now in hopes of averting another contentious battle. Even AFTRA (SAG's sister organization, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) reportedly wants to start formal talks.

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New showrunner for Dirty Sexy Money

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 27th 2008 11:23AM
dirty sexy 2There's a new guy running the show for ABC's drama Dirty Sexy Money and his name is Daniel Cerone. Cerone replaces Josh Reims. As executive producer, Cerone will be working with creator Craig Wright (Lost), as well as Greg Berlanti (Brothers & Sisters), Matthew Gross and Bryan Singer (House) -- so the show's got lots of first-class pedigree. Now they have to put it all together for the show.

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