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October 9, 2015

WGA Strike

Best TV of the '00s: News Events

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 3rd 2010 2:03PM

9/11More of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. We finish up the series by talking about some of the news events that defined the decade, and how TV covered them.

It seems odd to call the news events of the 00's a "best" list. As we started the 21st century, America seemed to have a different tragedy happening at every twist and turn. There was the Year 2000 bug followed by 9/11 followed by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan followed by Hurricane Katrina followed by the worst recession since the Great Depression. We've also had various celebrity deaths recently including the iconic and controversial Michael Jackson.

The tragedies of the decade were accompanied by revolutionary change. America elected its first African-American President. New forms of media such as social networking arose like a phoenix from the ashes of the old media.

The decade was filled with many ups and downs, possibly more downs. The full repercussions of the events won't likely be acknowledged or analyzed for years or decades to come. Wherever we end up, it will have been one hell of a ride.

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WGA strike gives rise to new web series

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jun 18th 2009 11:02AM
The WGA strike caused trouble in Hollywood, but might've created top web series.The painful writers strike of several months ago could prove a boon to the development of a new web TV channel packed with original content.

The months long Writers Guild of America strike that began November 1 of 2007 touched off a storm from which Hollywood still hasn't recovered. It slowed not only the production of new TV shows but the purchase and development of fresh material. The jury is still out on whether the settlement agreement that ended it all accomplish much for writers -- or merely set-up another strike in 2011.

Reports say, during the work stoppage, a group of top-shelf TV creators decided to step out of the traditional production model and develop material just for the web.

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SAG ratifies new contract to avoid yet another Hollywood strike

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jun 10th 2009 6:05PM
The Screen Actors Guild voted to avoid a strike Tuesday.The long Hollywood labor nightmare that began in November of last year officially ended yesterday when the Screen Actors Guild overwhelmingly ratified a new contract with the studios.

Guild members voted 78% in favor of the new agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP), despite calls by hard-line union members who urged actors to vote "no" and force continued negotiations.

It's clear that two huge factors in the SAG approval were general labor strife fatigue and the struggling economy.

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Leno gets questioned by the WGA

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 26th 2009 12:03PM
LenoRemember when, as all the late-night shows came back during last year's writers' strike, Jay Leno mentioned on the air that he was writing his own monologue jokes? As you might expect, that didn't sit well with the rank-and-file of the WGA, but the guild decided to ruminate on it because a) he was very supportive of the union at the beginning of the strike and b) it's Jay Leno.

Apparently, though, the union has had a change of heart. The Tonight Show's outgoing host has been called to testify to the union's trial committee on charges that he violated the terms of the strike by writing for himself. Both Leno and NBC claim that there was language in the strike terms that said performers could write for themselves, even if they were guild members like Leno. The union, however, disagrees.

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Top TV Stories of 2008: The rise of the cable networks

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 2nd 2009 10:00AM
Burn Notice
Everybody's been boo-hooing the ongoing decline in the ratings of the broadcast networks for years now. Each year their numbers erode and the news outlets go crazy trying to figure out what's going on. But there's been a quieter story building during that same timespan, and it really came to the forefront this year. While the major broadcast networks have seen a drop in viewers, the cable networks have been busting ratings records all year, culminating with USA not only having the best year of any cable channel in 2008, but having the best year in the history of cable television.

But what does that mean for television, in general? Is it just the continuing evolution of a drastically changing medium? Considering the state of the economy and its impact on the networks, it's definitely worth noting that someone on the airwaves is apparently doing something right, and it's these cable channels. Ironically, many of those same success stories in cable are sister stations to the broadcast networks, even going so far as to lend them shows during that pesky writer's strike. But how can it be that while the Big Four are going down, the cable networks are on the rise?

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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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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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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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TV Squad presents the rest of the 2007-08 season

by Richard Keller, posted Mar 26th 2008 10:04AM

Battlestar Galactica is one of the many shows returning to TV this springHear that sound -- a nearly inaudible rumbling coming over the horizon? Everyday it is getting louder and louder. Soon, the stampede that is the return of scripted series back from the depths of the WGA strike will overrun our televisions and computer screens, bringing overwhelming joy to our lives.

Okay, that statement may be a little flowery, but the sentiment is still there. After a very long dry period a good many of our favorite comedies and dramas are returning to the television landscape. We've had a taste of it these last few weeks with the return of shows like The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Dirt, The Riches and Smallville. That was just a preview of what is to come. Over the next few weeks we will see the return of The Office, Scrubs, Ugly Betty, all of the CSIs, Battlestar Galactica, and Lost, among others.


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Review: Seth MacFarlane and Alex Borstein at Carnegie Hall

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Feb 1st 2008 2:03PM

Seth MacFarlane and Alex BorsteinOn a night when Seth MacFarlane's mother is willing to come onstage and in exchange for her son paying off one of her credit cards, she'll say, "Suck my dick, Carnegie Hall," you know anything is possible.

Last night MacFarlane and Alex Borstein (she voices Lois on Family Guy) played to a sold out room at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium. While their benefit show for the Writer's Guild of America East and the Actors Fund might have seemed out of place in the house that music from the likes of Beethoven and Bach helped to build, the two comedians wasted no time in making the whole room feel like a filthy dive bar. Obscene. Insulting. Vulgar. Enjoyable.

Right from the start it was no holds barred, as Borstein introduced herself and the theme for the evening: pretend you're on the subway and you just picked up "some retard's iPod."

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WGA drops one of their demands - BREAKING NEWS

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 22nd 2008 8:57PM

wga strike

Yesterday we talked about how the WGA and studios were going to enter informal talks today, and it looks like those talks have actually made some news.

The WGA announced just a short time ago that they have dropped one of their main demands, that reality and animation writers be unionized. The union members say that they are going to try other ways to organize writers that work on animation shows and reality shows.

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Family Guy news: WGA benefit at Carnegie Hall

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jan 18th 2008 1:04PM

Seth McFarlaneFollowing in the footsteps of the recent Colbert Report and 30 Rock shows at the Upright Citizen's Brigade theatre in NYC, Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane along with Alex Borstein (she voices Lois) are putting on a benefit show for the WGA East at Carnegie Hall on January 31st. Janeane Garofalo and Patti LuPone will be making special appearances.

I saw an ad for the show in the newspaper this morning and checked out the Carnegie Hall website the second I got into work. Looks like the show is supposed to feature a night of "music and comedy." Sounds great! The idea of hearing McFarlane spout jokes in the voices of Peter, Stewie, Brian, or Quagmire in a live show is pretty cool if you think about. Plus, it's even funnier if you consider all the cultured events that have been hosted at Carnegie Hall over the years. Orchestras. Theater. Opera. And now Peter Griffin saying "penis" and giggling.

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A Daily Show: January 8, 2008

by Annie Wu, posted Jan 9th 2008 12:05PM
Jon StewartLet me preface this super quickly: I'm glad that a lot of you enjoyed my Colbert Report post from yesterday, but I'm afraid that was just a once in a while thing because I don't have the time to do both Daily Show and Colbert Report every single night. However, when Colbert does a crazy episode (first day back, Guitarmageddon, Papa Bear's visit, etc), TV Squad will get on it. On regular nights, I might add a little Report-related note in my section for the Jon/Stephen throw and I'm totally cool with TCR discussion in the comments. So, sorry if we got your hopes up. We still love you (and Colbert).

Ahem, let's get started, shall we? First of all, the team really did follow through with The A Daily Show, which is fantastic. Probably gave the graphics people something to do since they're not designing pun-tastic images everyday.

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TV Squad Daily with Brigitte - VIDEO

by Brigitte Dale, posted Jan 7th 2008 8:02PM
Hey, Brigitte here with TV Squad Daily. I'll be covering the TV stories I find interesting each day, Monday through Friday, in this video blog.

Today, on TV Squad Daily:
  • Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel will guest on each other's shows this week, and the WGA is threatening disciplinary action against Leno for writing his own jokes and performing a monologue.
  • Dr. Phil isn't helping anything. (Update: later in the day today, Dr. Phil canceled the Britney Spears episode of his show for tomorrow...)
  • It's looking more and more like you won't be seeing the the Golden Globes on TV this year.
The video's embedded below, or you can subscribe to this podcast via our feed. Plus, you can also download the file directly.

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TV Squad Daily with Brigitte - VIDEO

by Brigitte Dale, posted Dec 28th 2007 7:03PM
Hey, Brigitte here with TV Squad Daily. I'll be covering the TV stories I find interesting each day, Monday through Friday, in this video blog.

Today, on TV Squad Daily:
The video's embedded below, or you can subscribe to this podcast via our feed. Plus, you can also download the file directly.

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