Crew members from the NBC weight loss reality show walked off set nearly two weeks ago over labor disputes involving insurance benefits and union issues, but according to the Los Angeles Times, an agreement was reached over the weekend.
Crew members will now be allowed to count their hours of work on the show toward obtaining health insurance benefits, a major point of contention during the negotiations.
Hang on to your wife beaters folks, the guidos are on strike.
According to TMZ, the garden state's finest are don't think that $10,000 each per episode is enough money and they're refusing to begin shooting season 3 of 'Jersey Shore' until MTV coughs up more dough.
Citing sources "connected with the show," the gossip site claims that JWoww (Jenni Farley), Ronnie (Ortiz-Magro), Sammi ("Sweetheart" Giancola), Pauly D (Paul DelVecchio) and Vinny (Guadagnino) have told the crew that they wouldn't show up on set until new contracts were put in place. And, according to the same sources, Snooki (Nicole Polizzi), who's lost her famed "pouf" and, last week debuted red-hued hair, will follow suit tomorrow when she's slated to begin filming.
That's the threat posed by members of National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET-CWA) Local 11, which issued a statement today saying it would halt the show via a wildcat strike if NBC doesn't make progress on stalled negotiations with the union, which has been working without a contract since March.
If the broadcast goes dark, don't blame the union -- blame NBC, says NABET-CWA Local 11 president Ed McEwan in the statement. "We can't let the Grinch at NBC steal another Christmas from thousands of honest working people," McEwan says in the statement. "This charade must stop. Christmas is supposed to be a time of goodwill, but the network's management is trying to hide behind their fancy lights while leaving their employees in the dark."
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.
The Screen Actors Guild has made a tentative deal with producers and studios, so there will be no crazy interruption/chaos in our TV entertainment choices like we saw with the writers strike last year (remember that? Wasn't that fun?). The two major sticking points were compensation for new media (DVDs, online, etc) and when the contract would end. The two-year deal will be finalized this Sunday when the 71 member national board meets and votes on it. I'm sure a lot of members won't like the new contract but only half of the members have to vote for it to pass.
So if you've been worrying about a possible strike, you can exhale now. And get to work worrying about whether or not your favorite show will make it to the fall.
Apparently, there are two factions within the union; a larger Hollywood-based one that wants a strike, and a smaller New-York-and-elsewhere based one that doesn't want the walkout. The debates were more a result of the disagreement within the union than purposeful delay tactics; heck, they even tried to remove their lead negotiator.
The SAG's latest tactical move against the money grubbing networks is to oust their own negotiators.
If this were a military theater, we would be calling this a case of "friendly fire."
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.
It's that time of year again, isn't it? That brief period between the humongous holidays of Halloween and Christmas that television and retail outlets have forgotten about. I talk about Thanksgiving, of course. The holiday of football games, unbuttoned pants, family arguments, and giant Snoopy balloons. It is also the time to give thanks.
Thanks for what? Well, we aren't trading chickens for a gallon of gas yet, so that's something. And, we still have television, which we can eventually trade in for chickens in order to get a gallon of gas. But, since our television shows are more important than driving in many cases, we may just start riding our bikes and eat peanut butter sandwiches instead.
With those happy thoughts, here is what I am thankful for when it comes to the flat screen idiot box.
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.
What's happening on other blogs via the interweb.
- Best Week Ever lists the 10 Emmy nominations you should be psyched about.
- Nikki Finke has the latest on a possible strike, here and here.
- TV stars wear glasses and try to look smart.
- Hey kids, it's the trailer for High School Musical 3!
- Could Fringe be the big new hit of the fall?
- Remember those "what would you do for a Klondike Bar" commercials? They're holding a contest!
- Jimmy Fallon answers a bunch of odd questions.
- Too Much Free Time has been redesigned.
- An interview with Smallville executive producer Darren Swimmer about season eight.
What's happening on other blogs via the interweb.
- Hmmm...maybe we are a little closer to a strike after all.
- Is a cast member of Ugly Betty leaving the show for CBS' new show Harper's Island?
- TV Newser has reactions to the death of Tony Snow.
- Yes fans, it looks like there will be a Sex and the City sequel.
- Stephen Collins says that Hallmark Channel would be a perfect place for a 7th Heaven movie.
- Ed McMahon is recovering from yet another neck surgery.
- Variety has some ideas on how to improve The CW.
- Broadcasting & Cable has a roundtable of TV critics: what if they ran the networks?
Our Monday morning roundup of a half dozen things TV Squad readers - and TV fans in general - will be talking about this week.
1. The SAG/studios mess. Sure, it looks like there isn't going to be a strike (not yet anyway), but both sides are still far apart and one could still happen.
2. The Moment of Truth summer finale. Lives are destroyed for cash. Yay! (Tuesday at 8 on FOX.)
3. The Secret Life of the American Teenager. I think pregnant teenagers are about to take over the world. (Tuesday at 8 on ABC Family.)
4. Hell's Kitchen. We're down to the final two contestants (Petrozza and Christina). Whoopi Goldberg guest stars ... for some reason. (Tuesday at 9 on FOX.)
5. It's Six Feet Under Week here at TV Squad. Come reminisce about your favorite deaths!
6. The Wimbledon Final. I think Federer or Nadal might be in the final. You think? (Sunday at 9am on NBC.)
There'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.
What's happening on other blogs via the interweb.
- The estate of the creator of Mr. Ed is suing MGM for royalties.
- Here's a complete guide to the (possible) strike and what we can expect on Monday.
- Jaime Weinman has some thoughts on CBS' sitcom strategy.
- There's a new cartoon coming, about John Oates' (of Hall and Oates) mustache, who play rock music and fight crime.
- Boy Meets World star Ben Savage is joining Chuck, playing Nicole Richie's husband.
- CNBC + a jar of mayonnaise = either a really gross rumor or a really stupid rumor.
- Did you know that there's a Rock Paper Scissors league, and Fox Sports will telecast the tournament in October?
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