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October 10, 2015


'Smallville' Producers Sue the WB and CW

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 29th 2010 9:21AM

SmallvilleHollywood in-fighting is nothing new, and it's usually pretty interesting. The latest example is that the current producers behind 'Smallville' are suing both Warner Brothers and the CW. The accusation is that the company is "short-selling" the show to the network and thereby cutting the producers out of potential profit.

Money has always seemed a problem for the show. While 'Smallville' does not have the worst special effects in history (that award goes to classic 'Doctor Who'), it does sometimes appear to be made on a shoestring budget. In this recessionary environment, it should be no surprise that everybody is fighting like wolves for a bigger piece of the pie. More's the pity since the show has gotten better in the last two or three years.

The curious thing is the long-term effect. Will the producers for the tenth season now be replaced? Will this be the final nail in the coffin to make the show's tenth season its last? What do you think?

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The strike might be ending soon!

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 2nd 2008 9:57PM

StrikersI guess those informal talks that the WGA and studios had last week paid off: we might have an end to the writers strike as early as next week.

The New York Times is reporting that sources (who want to remain anonymous, for obvious reasons) say that one of the main deals that the WGA was looking for - compensation for work that appears on the web - may be close to becoming a reality. No exact details are available yet, but the sources say that the deal could be finalized next week. Maybe this will deal will be in place in time for the Oscars later this month. The strike has been going on for almost four months now.

I just wonder how this affects this season. Is there still time to save this season or will we have to wait until the fall for new episodes?

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Strike update: It doesn't look good

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 7th 2007 11:02PM

Just wanted to give you an update on the ongoing writers strike, before you head off to your glorious weekends of skiing, Christmas shopping, Naked Twister parties and whatever else you folks do on Saturdays and Sundays.

Talks broke off between producers and the writers on Friday, after four days of talks that at first seemed to be productive and then ... well, not so much. In fact, the Writers Guild of America sent out a letter Friday afternoon that pretty much said that the producers were dragging their heels in the talks and even accused them of trying to sabotage the talks. Of course, the Alliance of Motion Picture And Television Producers also sent out their own letter on Friday to explain their side.

As 2007 is about to turn into 2008, it really doesn't look like we're going to see that many new scripted shows for the rest of the season (besides what is already in the can and will be seen in January and February). This could last for months.

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No! More! Round! Stages!

by Richard Keller, posted Sep 17th 2007 12:21PM

Ryan Seacrest acosts cast members of Desparate Housewives from the round stage. Too bad the other side of the theater just saw his backside.For the first time in a long time I watched the entire Emmy broadcast on Sunday. I'm usually not into these types of awards show, but I thought I'd tune in since I do write about television from time to time. For the most part I didn't think it was that bad. Ryan Seacrest didn't embarrass himself as much as I thought he would, the presenters weren't that corny when it came time to read the cue cards, and the musical numbers were good (I liked the set by the Jersey Boys the most). I only had one real problem with the show. A problem that I'm guessing most of the presenters, award winners, audience members, and viewers had as well . . .

The theater-in-the-round stage.

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Major changes coming to the Emmys

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 16th 2007 3:40PM

Emmy logoIt looks like the Emmy Awards are turning into the SATs.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has made several changes to the way Emmy nominations are chosen. For one, series and acting category nominations will be chosen by a mix of a regular vote and voting by a blue-ribbon panel of voters. Second, there's a new "Ellen Burystyn" rule. An actor can only be nominated if he or she was in at least 5% of an episode (Burstyn won a Supporting award last time, even though she was only on screen for 14 seconds). Third, public performances on TV will no longer compete in the music/variety category. They're adding a new special category where more than one performance could win an award.

Oh, and there's one more change: actors and producers will have to submit an essay of 250 words or less as to what their character/show is about and why they think they should be nominated. This wiill come in handy when Jim Belushi has to explain the complexity of his According To Jim character.

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TV Guide Channel is looking for America's Next Producer

by Julia Ward, posted Feb 18th 2007 4:07PM
TV Guide ChannelDesperately in need of programming apparently, TV Guide Channel has partnered with the production team behind Project Runway and Top Chef to create America's Next Producer. The reality competition will pit 10 contestants against each other as they attempt to create, uhhh..., television programming. The prize is a first-look production deal with the TV Guide Channel. This is either the most self-reflective, post-post-modern move on the part of a network or the laziest. I haven't decided which.

The contestants will be living together under one roof - of course - and they'll be doing things that putting together three-minute sizzle reels on shows they're pitching to the network. Nothing is off limits. Game shows, comedies, dramas, reality. Here's one - how about a show about the programmers at a network who are so desperate for original programming that they put together a show to trick people into giving them content for free while being the content themselves.

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Producers of Mister Rogers Neighborhood want to create new show

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 28th 2006 3:01PM
Fred RogersAccording to the AP, the producers of the classic PBS children's show Mister Rogers Neighborhood want to create a new show. Kevin Morrison, the CEO of Family Communications, Inc. told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that they are in talks with producers of various children's shows about creating a new program that is completely different from the one Fred Rogers hosted from 1968 to 2001. Rogers died in 2003.

No concrete plans were reported, but even Rogers' widow, Joanne, seems to be in favor of the move. "I really think Fred would be proud of the organization for trying to continue their leadership in the field of children's television," she told the Post-Gazette.

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CBS Paramount signs deal with Laguna Beach producers

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 14th 2006 3:26PM
Laguna BeachFor all you readers out there who are poring over their pilot scripts, thinking that you're going to be the next Larry David or Aaron Sorkin, let me let you in on a little secret: put some hot and not-very-deep girls in bikinis, have them kiss a lot of guys on the beach, and you're on your way to television riches. Just ask David Hasselhoff.

Alternately, you can just ask the husband and wife team of Gary and Julie Auerbach, creators of MTV's hit "reality" series Laguna Beach. According to Variety (registration required to see the entire article), they have signed a deal with CBS Paramount Networks to develop scripted comedies and dramas for the company. Apparently the company's president and vice president are big fans of Laguna, and like the fact that the reality series is being presented with the narrative arcs usually seen in scripted shows. They want a little of the reality element brought to scripted shows, and they feel the Auerbachs are the best people to do that.

My theory as to why they got the deal? See the first paragraph. Boobs. Gossip. Sand. Beach. It doesn't take a programming genius to see the money making potential here.

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America's Next Top Model writer-producers on strike -- UPDATE

by Anna Johns, posted Jul 24th 2006 5:34PM
america's next top modelThe twelve writer-producers for America's Next Top Model have lived up to their threat to strike. They are protesting management's refusal to allow them to unionize. On Friday, the writers picketed outside Top Model production offices in Los Angeles. They all wore red shirts and carried signs that said things like, 'Reality Needs a Rewrite' and 'Tyra is union. Why not me?'

The writer-producers are demanding healthcare, residuals, pension, better pay and writing credits (they're currently credited as producers). The writers argue that they should receive similar treatment as writers in other genres, such as dramas and comedies.

So far, executive producers are steering the writer-producers toward government mediation, but the writers say that's a stall tactic to get them to conclude the next two seasons and then can them all. Americans Next Top Model is currently in the middle of season seven, so this could get real interesting.

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Prison Break breaks from Chicago

by Adam Finley, posted May 15th 2006 2:00PM

prison breakThe first season of Prison Break was filmed in Chicago at the Joliet Correctional Center, as well as various locations around the city. However, come next season, the show will no longer be taped in Chicago. The producers state that it has nothing to do with the city itself, but that the story calls for the move. I suppose, given the name of the series, that they would have to move to locations beyond the prison at some point. Officials in Chicago were aware of this, but there was hope that at least part of the second season would still be done in the Windy City. As it turns out, Chicago won't be part of the second season at all.

The season finale of Prison Break airs tonight at 8 p.m.

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Dallas movie has (new) director

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 8th 2006 3:02PM

gurinder chadhaThe BBC is reporting that the Dallas movie has found itself a director, and she's British. This makes perfect sense to me, as I once lived in Dallas and couldn't believe all the British people that were everywhere. "Spot o' tea with your grits?" they would say.

Okay, but seriously, the film does have a director now, Gurinder Chadha, who also helmed Bend It Like Beckham. Apparently Robert Luketic, their first choice, backed out for creative reasons. The same story reports that both John Travolta and Jennifer Lopez will be playing the roles of JR Ewing and Sue Ellen, respectively. This piece claims Luke Wilson and Shirley MacLaine are also "expected to appear in the film." It further states that the producers are trying their best to have the movie shot in Dallas, though other cities have tried to lure them away. Either way, I have the feeling that all the noise leading up to the movie will turn out to be more entertaining than the movie itself.

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How reality show contestants are chosen

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 18th 2006 10:40AM
There's an interesting article over at The Morning News, one of my favorite websites for writers, about how producers go about choosing the right people for reality television. I've always wondered this myself, since they seem to find the most outrageous people on the planet. The article is called The Omarosa Experiment, although Omarosa, still the queen of reality tv, doesn't disclose much information because of all the hush-up contracts she's signed. The writer, Keith Hollihan, interviews a handful of well-known reality television contestants about how they got on their respective shows. Some of them made it by being ballsy with the producers, and others made it because they fit a certain stereotype the producers were looking to fill (i.e. the New York Italian). All of them went through extensive psychological screening with a minimum of two doctors who picked their brains to determine how they would react to certain situations. Omarosa says one of the doctors who interviewed her ended up lobbying for her to be on the show because her psych profile was so unusual. To say the least. But, not only do these contestants need to be slightly looney tunes, they also need to be able to handle rejection. One major concern when Survivor started was that contestants would commit suicide, something which did happen on boxing reality show, The Contender. Psychologists help producers choose contestants, by mixing various psychological types which are sure to create sparks. Basically, it all makes for an interesting psychological experiment.

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