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September 1, 2014

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WGA Awards Honor 'Mad Men,' '30 Rock' and others

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 22nd 2010 1:00PM
writers_guild_award_trophyOn Saturday night, the Writers Guild of America revealed the big winners for 2010, honoring the best in TV, movies and other media, but for our purposes, let's just stick with television. And as such, we can say the they rounded up the usual suspects.

'Mad Men' was tops in Drama Series and '30 Rock' was tops in Comedy Series. There was something new honored, Best New Series was 'Modern Family,' but seeing how the category makes new a requirement, it's not that shocking that it won.

However, in the episodic categories, for individual shows, there were was variance. The pilot of 'Modern Family' won in a tie with '30 Rock' for the episode 'Apollo, Apollo.' And the two part episode of 'House' -- 'Broken, Part 1 and Part 2' -- overcame all the 'Mad Men' nominees to take the WGA prize.

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All My Children hires two new head writers

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 21st 2010 6:02PM
all_my_children_logo_bookIt's been weeks since All My Children dropped head writer Charles Pratt Jr. Today, the ABC soap which has just celebrated its 40th anniversary on the air, made a decision about the future story lines for the show. David Kreizman and Donna Swajeski are the new co-head writers of All My Children. The duo have worked together in the past; in 2007 they were winners of the Writers Guild Award for heading up the Guiding Light writing staff.

ABC Daytime prez Brian Frons, was effusive in praising the writers, saying, "David and Donna are the perfect team to bring new ideas to All My Children while remaining true to its core by telling stories with a focus on the integrity of the show's history, its characters and families on the canvas." It helps that Donna actually began her soap writing career at AMC, working directly with the show's creator, Agnes Nixon.

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WGA to honor Curb Your Enthusiasm's Larry David

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 20th 2010 2:00PM
larry_david_stairsIf you're one of the millions, nay billions, who's laughed at the antics of Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer or if you can't pick up an order of kung pao shrimp without wondering if they shorted you on the number of shrimp, then you -- my friend -- are a Larry David fan. The brain behind Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, David has a unique comic view of the world and on February 20, the Writers Guild of America is giving Larry David a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The actual award is called the Paddy Chayevsky Laurel award for television, and Larry has most definitely earned the recognition. Seinfeld remains a masterpiece of character and comedy with or without a plot. The very nothingness of Seinfeld made it historic television. It was a show that NBC nearly canceled because the suits didn't get it (what a shock!), then went on to become America's favorite half-hour. Twenty years later, Seinfeld is embedded in the psyche of pop culture. Not bad for a nothing kind of show.

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Best TV of the '00s: Late Night Moments

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Jan 2nd 2010 1:01PM

Joaquim Phoenix on David Letterman
More of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. Here, we talk about the funniest or most surprising late night moments of the last ten years.

In the past decade, late night shows continued to bloom in popularity. However, some of our favorite late night shows were shuffled around while some got new hosts.

No matter what network executives decided to do to the line up of US late night shows, their hosts and guest stars gave us plenty fantastic, OMG!, and WTF? moments that generated tons of watercooler talks and forum discussion threads.

Below are some of the best late night moments of the past decade as chosen by some of the TV Squad bloggers. We realize there are tough choices in this category, so we hope you'll add your own favorites in the comments section below.

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Harlan Ellison bests CBS Paramount over 42 year-old Star Trek episode

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 24th 2009 10:02AM
city_on_the_edge_of_forever_STYou have to admire the tenacity of writer Harlan Ellison. He filed a lawsuit against CBS Paramount accusing the company of not paying him for all the ancillary income the company earned from the episode of Star Trek he wrote in 1967, "City on the Edge of Forever." Yesterday, Ellison announced on his web site that he had settled with CBS Paramount and he was very, very pleased. He didn't reveal how much money he made, but he probably did quite well.

After all, CBS Paramount has done very, very well with that original Star Trek episode. It's regarded as -- and is -- the all-time best show in the entire original ST canon. Ironically, Ellison never liked what Roddenberry and company had done with his script.

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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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Top TV Stories of 2008: The writers' strike and its aftermath

by Richard Keller, posted Dec 22nd 2008 12:28PM

Jerry Stiller was just one of the writers on the WGA picket lines in the beginning of 20082008 was a strange one for television. Not because of the intense political and economic coverage, or the 27000 hours of Olympic telecasts, or the fact that Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul held back from killing each other for yet another season. No, the reason for the strangeness was that, at the beginning of the year, the schedule was a bit disjointed. This was thanks to the lengthy writers' strike.

Lasting from early November 2007 until February and costing up to two billion dollars, the WGA strike did something that previous labor disputes had not done to TV in the past: it changed the face of television. These were not cosmetic changes that reverted back to normal once the strike ended. These were changes that altered television as we now it and set the stage for its very uncertain future.

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The Simpsons leads WGA Award nominees

by Mike Moody, posted Dec 9th 2008 3:28PM
the simpsons wga writers guild awards homerMaybe I should watch The Simpsons more often. The Writer's Guild of America has nominated FOX's long-running animated sitcom for best comedy series along with 30 Rock, The Office, Entourage and Weeds. This is the first time The Simpsons has nabbed a Best Comedy nom from the WGA. Considering that the show has been on for 19 years, I gotta ask -- Why now?

Did the success of The Simpson's Movie really re-energize the show's creative team that much? It's been years since I watched The Simpsons regularly, or even quoted the show in conversation with my friends. I figured its best days were behind it, but maybe I was wrong. The few eps I caught last season were pretty hit-and-miss. I wasn't too impressed with the Departed spoof, "The Debarted," but I really dug watching Homer invent grunge music in "That '90s Show." Were all the following eps as good as that one?

The WGA also nominated four episodes of The Simpsons in the category of best animation broadcast. Needless to say, I'll probably be tuning in when the series returns with fresh eps next year. Click through for a list of more WGA TV nominees.

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It's the WGA versus American Idol

by Brad Trechak, posted Jul 11th 2008 12:23PM
American IdolWith the WGA Strike as ancient history, the guild is now pushing to have reality shows join its organization. In an effort to do this, the WGA is specifically targeting the show American Idol.

They're calling it the Truth Tour and it begins with a Wednesday morning press conference in front of WGA headquarters following by a set of fake auditions at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, where auditions are held for the actual American Idol. They call it "the version they don't want you to see".

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Another result of the writers' strike

by Brad Trechak, posted Jul 3rd 2008 12:59PM
WGA StrikeIt looks like some of the writers who participated in the WGA Strike have decided to start their own network. No, it's not a television network. Strike.tv is slated to begin this summer. It will contain more than 40 short-form programs including comedies, dramas and a game show.

Participating television (and movie) writers include Lester Lewis (The Office), Rob Kutner (The Daily Show), Stephen E. de Souza (Die Hard), Karen Harris (General Hospital) and Ron Corcillo (Malcolm in the Middle). Acting talent involved with the programming include Bob Newhart, Timothy Dalton and Kristen Wiig.

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Should viewers be told about product integration in shows?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 27th 2008 5:23PM

Hollywood sign

Interesting piece over at Nikki Finke's site. While everyone is concentrating on a possible actors strike (the deadline is Monday for SAG to make an agreement), there's another little controversy going on. The Writers Guild of America West has asked the FCC to look into the ever-increasing habit of product integration in network shows. Not only does the WGA want to see the use of products on television eased up, which the FCC is already looking into, they also want to go one step further and make viewers fully aware that they are seeing an ad.

And how would the networks do that?

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Sit Down, Shut Up writers stand up and walk out

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 16th 2008 2:28PM

FOX logoAnd you thought that all that business with the WGA strike was over.

The writers for the new animated FOX show Sit Down, Shut Up have walked out, saying they were misled by Sony Pictures. They thought that under the agreement reached a few months ago they would be represented by the Writer's Guild of America but Sony actually has them covered under the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Under their rules, writers don't get all those things they fought for, including new media (online, DVD, etc) money or even residuals.

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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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ABC has lots of new episodes scheduled; Lost moves to 10 PM

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 20th 2008 5:39PM
samanthaIt's so nice now that the WGA strike is over and all the shows are coming back, isn't it? It's like we're suddenly inundated with presents galore. Just the idea of new shows puts a smile on my face; let's hope it's still there once the shows air!

ABC has announced that Samantha Who?, their most promising new sitcom of the season, will be returning with six new episodes on Monday, April 7 (at 9:30). But maybe the network's biggest news is a time shift. Starting April 24, Lost will commence five new episodes at 10:00, rather than 9:00. Also on April 24, Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy both return with five new episodes each.

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