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October 10, 2015


Rejoice! The WGA strike is over!

by Kristin Sample, posted Feb 13th 2008 12:45AM
WGA Strike is overVariety is reporting that the strike is indeed over. I think I speak for everyone at TV Squad when I say, "Yay!" to this news. The WGA West president announced that almost 93% of the guild members have voted in favor of lifting the strike. The total vote tally was 3,492 members for yes and 283 for no. The vote, held over 48 hours, allowed members to vote in person at the Writer's Guild Theatre in Beverly Hills or the Gotham Crowne Plaza or via fax.

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Triumph The Insult Comic Dog skewers the WGA

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 12th 2008 5:29PM

TriumphOK, so the writers and the studios have come to an agreement and the strike is over. Now we can start dumping on everyone!

The Writers Guild of America East held their awards show on Saturday night in New York City, celebrating each other and also the end of the three month strike. The event really got lively when Triumph The Insult Comic Dog (with help from Robert Smigel) took the stage and unleashed some choice barbs at the WGA. He also gets in a few shots at NBC head Jeff Zucker, the late night hosts, and John Ridley. There are too many funny lines to just reprint here (though nothing about pooping on the new contract, which is odd), but here are a few highlights.

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Cost of strike: $2 billion

by Brad Trechak, posted Feb 11th 2008 10:40AM
Writer's strikeAccording to an article in the Hollywood Reporter, the cost of the WGA strike on the local Los Angeles economy is estimated at $2 billion. This is four times the number of the 1988 strike, which lasted six weeks longer.

All this information assumes the strike will end Tuesday when the contract terms are put to general vote. It's a likely assumption.

I've been to L.A. and it's pretty much a one-industry town (yes, I'm referring to the entertainment industry). When every other industry revolves around that one, a strike hits pretty hard.

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WGA ends strike; writers back to work by Wednesday

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 11th 2008 9:18AM
WGA StrikeWGA leaders voted unanimously Sunday to endorse the proposed deal with studios, effectively ending the three month writers' strike that has crippled the television industry. While they do feel that the deal falls short, it still makes key gains in dealing with the new media; remember that it was this area of downloads and internet streaming that was one of the most important issues to the guild.

While the strike is ended per union leaders, writers won't return to work until the membership itself has had a chance to vote on the new deal. They are expected to vote "yes" on Tuesday and be back to work by Wednesday. The timing of this resolution means that some of this season can yet be salvaged and there's still time for pilot production for new series next year. For details on how this will affect your favorite shows, Keep up to date with Mike Ausiello's nearly comprehensive list of when your shows will return. And now things can get back to normal, and we can all go back to needlessly hating on According to Jim, the way God intended.

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Tentative deal reached in writers' strike... but are the members happy?

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 9th 2008 1:39PM
Writer's strikeAccording to Variety, the WGA and the AMPTP reached a tentative settlement of the three month-old writers' strike early this morning. The presidents of the east and west coast guilds of the WGA sent this letter, which announces the agreement and gives information on the membership meetings that are being held today to discuss the terms of the deal. According to this PDF of the contract terms, it looks like the writers are going to get some credit and money if their writing is used for new media purposes, like on the internet or on moblie phones. It just doesn't look like they're going to get as much as they were looking for.

And that might be a problem. According to Nikki Finke, she's hearing that the rank-and-file members of the guild have been expressing displeasure at the terms of the contract in today's meetings, with the feeling that the union leadership is "ramming this deal down our throats," as one of her sources told her.

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Studios and writers agree to contract terms

by Brad Trechak, posted Feb 5th 2008 10:42AM
WGA strikeIt looks like the studios and the writers have agreed to contract terms. It will be presented to the union leaders in a few days and may lead to the end of the WGA strike which has been going on since November 5th, 2007. TV Squad has recently written that the strike may end soon.

According to the article, television producers have made February 15th the de facto deadline for putting the writers back and salvaging what's left of this television season. For movie studios, the deadline is seen as early March to prevent major disruption with the 2009 movie release schedule.

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Is possible strike end too late for the current season?

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 4th 2008 1:01PM
LostAs Bob detailed earlier, it looks like there may be an end in sight to the three-month old writers strike. In fact, Variety reports that now it's just a matter of crossing the T's, dotting the I's, and voting on the new contract. As for the rest of this season and next? TV executives had slated February 15th as the "Do or Die" date. If a deal could not be made by that date, this season was pretty much done and pilot season for next year was at risk as well. But now it looks like this thing may be over by the end of this week.

Compromises were made on both sides, but the streaming revenue the writers were fighting for has been addressed, with scribes getting a flat fee for for the first year (excluding a limited free initial 2-3 week window for promotional purposes) followed by a percentage of distributor's gross. What this means is that networks will be able to stream all shows for several weeks after their initial airing for free, and they can keep a whole season online for a year for a single flat rate, but for deals like the current streaming of the entire Lost run in HD on abc.com, a percentage cut would go to writers. Download residuals closely followed the earlier DGA deal, which nearly doubles writer residuals there. Hopefully, they can wrap this up soon and we can get our full Lost season in this year. And maybe a late start to 24 as well?

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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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Don't forget! We're live blogging the SAG Awards tonight

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 27th 2008 2:00PM

SAG AwardIt's good to see that the Screen Actors Guild Awards got a waiver from the WGA. Where the Golden Globe Awards were reduced to an extended press conference type event and the Academy Awards might have some alternative plan in place, the SAG Awards are actually going to have stars and a red carpet and acceptance speeches. It might turn out to be the awards show to watch this year.

I'll be live blogging the awards tonight, starting at 7:30pm EST. That means I'll get a half hour's worth of the red carpet coverage. I could have started the blogging at 5pm, when E!'s red carpet coverage starts, but then I realized that three hours of red carpet blogging would be insane. I think a half hour on the carpet and two hours of show coverage will be plenty. The show airs at 8 on TNT and TBS.

Here's a list of the nominees.

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WGA, studios to meet this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 21st 2008 11:46AM

strikeThe Writers Guild of America is going to hold an informal meeting with studios this week in what looks like a first step in getting back to the bargaining table with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (I'm sure that the deal the Director's Guild of America made on Thursday is what generated these talks.)

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What are the motives of the AMPTP?

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 20th 2008 11:02AM
WGAAuthor and television writer Peter David offered his own take on the DGA deal with the AMPTP (see his January 18th post) and what it means tor the WGA. Fundamentally, Mr. David believes the the hesitancy of the AMPTP to give Internet residuals was a smokescreen to prevent the WGA from unionizing reality and animation shows.

The proof of this lies with the rapidity of the DGA agreement with regards to similar terms. Now there is pressure on the WGA to ratify the agreement as-is. I suppose if the WGA agreement is done soon,

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The Golden Globes, or how to make me hate an awards show

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 14th 2008 9:26AM
Nancy O'Dell and Billy BushSo Billy Bush and Nancy O'Dell got promoted from commenting in the Golden Globe post-show to hosting the entire show and presenting all the awards (actually recapping the winners since apparently the Hollywood Foreign Press Association did so earlier in a press conference covered by E! and TV Guide Channel). So not only does NBC not have an awards show, but they don't even get first dibs on announcing the winners.

First of all, does Billy Bush always wear his hair like that or did he leave his roof down in the convertible with his hair wet and gelled? It looks like a slicked back mullet, and that's not a look just anyone can pull off. In fact, no one can pull off that look. But it may have actually been a better choice than the brown suit. Sadly, though, the suit and hair was the least of the problems with last night's one hour Golden Globe "extravaganza."

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WGA not happy at all with Leno

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 6th 2008 3:42PM
jay lenoJay Leno is in trouble with the WGA. When he returned to late night television on Wednesday, he told his audience that he wrote the jokes for his monologue and that he wasn't relying on "scabs" to do his writing. It was a proud proclamation on his part, but it turns out that he was still violating the rules of the WGA strike. As a member of the WGA, he's not allowed to write. The WGA has met with Leno and let him know he broke the rules, and now the guild is trying to determine whether Leno needs to be punished.

Other late night hosts like Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel returned without writers and obviously without any sort of scripts. Conan spent a good part of last week spinning his wedding ring on his desk. David Letterman and Craig Ferguson also returned last week, but they have writers because Worldwide Pants, which produces both shows, came to an agreement with the WGA.

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Out of the Blogosphere

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 29th 2007 11:24AM

Spike FerestenHere's what's happening on other blogs via the interweb.

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Letterman makes deal with WGA - BREAKING NEWS

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 28th 2007 4:50PM

LettermanAnd then there were none.

David Letterman has struck a deal with the Writers Guild of America, and both his show and The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson (both produced by Letterman's Worldwide Pants) will return next Wednesday, January 2. The other shows are coming back on that day too, but a key difference is that Letterman's show will be coming back with his writers, thanks to this deal hammered out by Rob Burnett and others. Both sides have been trying to come to an agreement for the past couple of weeks, and it actually looked like things might have fallen through last week.

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