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October 24, 2014

AFTRA

Undercover Boss already causing controversy (UPDATE)

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 11th 2010 11:36AM
cbs_undercover_bossUndercover Boss is the hot new reality series from CBS, so hot that the network is going to give the show a premiere after the Super Bowl broadcast. That pretty much guarantees a huge opening Nielsen rating. Having seen a screener of the program, I think it will be a hit. It's very effective. However, there's another reason the show will be a success. From the economic point of view, CBS will make a lot of money from Undercover Boss because most of the participants won't be paid. This is according to a story in the New York Post.

That's right, only the executives on Undercover Boss are paid for being on camera. All the workers shown in the program, the people who are unaware that the boss is by their side experiencing every aspect of the business, do not receive compensation for appearing on camera.

UPDATE: CBS has contacted TV Squad to report that... "No one in the company is being paid for their participation on Undercover Boss. Neither the employees, the executives nor the companies receive compensation for participating in the show."

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Fox TV giving a wedgie to actors

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 17th 2008 4:27PM
FoxGranted, this is nothing new. It's been actors vs. studios for decades if not centuries. This time Fox is using the tactic of going purely with AFTRA contacts and leaving the SAG union in the lurch.

I'm ambivalent about this. On one hand, actors should get their fair share of the products their image help make famous. On the other hand, I can understand why Fox would use this tactic as another strike would probably cripple television production.

This is not a good time for actors' unions to get divisive. There is a recession going on and the television landscape is still recovering from last year's writers' strike. There is not a single network that would want to go through the headache of figuring out which union contract terms work best for them (in previous years, they've been identical).

Fox has the upper hand at this moment. With so many people out of work, you have a lot of potential actors right there. They already have the unemployed part down pat.

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AFTRA ratifies a new studio contract, despite complaints from the Screen Actors Guild

by Richard Keller, posted Jul 9th 2008 12:25PM

AFTRA has ratified a new studio documentAnd now, another installment of 'David vs. Goliath'. In this case, David is The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), while the role of Goliath is portrayed by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). For months, both unions have been negotiating with the studios for higher salaries for their lower-paid actors as well as more profits from DVD and new media sales. AFTRA, the smaller of the two actor unions, has been fairly quiet concerning these negotiations. SAG, on the other hand, has been quite boisterous concerning the poor negotiating tactics of the studios.

With the amount of muscle SAG has one would think they would have been able to get the better deal of the two unions. Yet, as in David's battle against Goliath, it looks like the little person got the better of the bigger one. On Tuesday, the 70,000 members of AFTRA ratified a new prime-time TV contract. According to AFTRA President Roberta Reardon, the new contract "contains substantial gains for every category of performer in both traditional and new media." This, despite a campaign by SAG members to persuade those who are members of both unions to vote "no" on the contract.

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No plans to strike, says SAG president

by Richard Keller, posted Jun 29th 2008 6:01PM

There is no strike authorization, according to the SAG presidentThere's good news and bad news coming from the on-going talks between the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The bad news is that there has been very little progress in talks between SAG and the studios concerning a new contract.

With their current contract expiring on June 30th, SAG members are looking for higher pay for "middle-tier" actors, those making less than $100,000 a year, and a greater cut of profits from DVD and new media sales -- a main sticking point during this past winter's Writers Guild strike. In addition to those woes, there are bitter splits taking place between SAG members and those of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) after the smaller union ratified an agreement with the studios.

The good news, at least for film and television viewers, is that SAG has no immediate plans to strike.

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TV Squad: The Week Ahead

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 16th 2008 8:41AM

Tim RussertOur Monday morning roundup of a half dozen things TV Squad readers - and TV fans in general - will be talking about this week.

1. The death of Tim Russert: He was young, he was the face of MSNBC's political coverage, this is an election year, and NBC needs to find a new host for Meet The Press. Expect people to be talking about this for a while.

2. Burn Notice on DVD: This is the show that seemed to come out of nowhere and instantly loved by many TV viewers is now on DVD. The new season starts on July 10!

3. Retro Squad - The Super Friends: This summer, we're doing another look back at classic TV shows. This time we're doing theme weeks, and this week you can read a bunch of posts about The Super Friends.

4. The possible strike: The Screen Actor's Guild contact ends on June 30. Let's hope this isn't a loooooong summer.

5. That Battlestar Galactica finale: What happens now? You'll have to wait until next year to find out.

6. America's Got Talent: Another season of the summer hit. Expect sword swallowers, dancers, magicians, singers, mimes, and everything in between. (Premieres Tuesday at 9pm on NBC.)

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TV Squad: The Week Ahead

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 9th 2008 8:06AM

Battlestar GalacticaOur Monday morning roundup of a half dozen things TV Squad readers - and TV fans in general - will be talking about this week.

1. The Battlestar Galactica season finale. I hear Boxey and Muffitt are kidnapped! (Friday at 10 on Sci-Fi Channel.)

2. The Men in Trees series finale. Now all of you fans can send...um, trees or something to ABC to save the show. (Wednesday at 10 on ABC.)

3. The Celtics/Lakers finals. Basketball just shouldn't be played in the middle of baseball season. (On ABC this week.)

4. The first annual TV Squad Awards was last week. What do you think all of the winners?

5. The possibility of another strike. This isn't funny, SAG and AFTRA.

6. Nashville Star moves to NBC. Some of the people reading that sentence are saying "yay, another season!" The rest of you are thinking "what's Nashville Star?" (Starts tonight at 9 on NBC.)

7. Retro Squad starts with Arrested Develoment week.

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Out of the Blogosphere

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 7th 2008 9:10AM

Michael Ian BlackWhat's happening on other blogs via the interweb.

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AFTRA reaches TV deal with studios

by Brad Trechak, posted May 28th 2008 3:02PM

AFTRAIn an attempt to avoid a situation like the industry-wide mess that was the writers' strike, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) have reached a deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The tentative deal was completed on Wednesday and capped 17 days of negotiation.

Mind you, this is only half the battle for the AMPTP. They still have to reach a deal with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) before their contract expires. Both the SAG and AFTRA contracts are set to expire on June 30th.

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AMPTP suspends negotiations with SAG

by Brett Love, posted May 7th 2008 8:22AM

Carlton CuseRaise your hand if you saw this one coming. The prospects for another strike went up as negotiations with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) once again broke down, with the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) moving to negotiations with AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists). Among the issues causing the split, and stop me if you've heard this one before, DVD residuals, streaming, and new media. Go figure. One new wrinkle in these negotiations comes in the form of an AMPTP provision that would give them free and unlimited use of short clips of an actor's work in movies and television.

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The Screen Actors Guild begins contract negotiations with the studios

by Richard Keller, posted Apr 16th 2008 6:02AM

The Screen Actors Guild begins negotiations. Here's to a speedy resolution.Here we go again. We have barely healed from the wounds that the Writers Guild of America strike opened up late last year, now it's the Screen Actors Guild's turn to make us nervous about the television we watch.

Yesterday, SAG representatives began negotiations with the Hollywood studios by swapping contract proposals between the two parties. This is the first time in nearly three decades that the Guild is negotiating solo with the studios since the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) has rejected combined talks. AFTRA is upset with the Guild over concerns that it is attempting to poach its members. The Guild is denying this accusation with the statement that it normally broils its members over a low flame with some butter sauce.


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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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