OK, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
I 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?
It'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.
The 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.)
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,
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."
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.
Here's what's happening on other blogs via the interweb.
- The WGA plans to picket all of the other shows when Letterman and Ferguson return on January 2.
- Speaking of the strike, Spike Feresten returns on January 12.
- CNN's Bill Schneider and his funky hats.
- Jamie Lynn Spears got $1 million for selling her baby news to OK mag.
- Best Week Ever picks the best daytime TV moments of 2007.
- I Love Lucy ... in color!
- Buck Rogers meets Duck Dodgers.
And 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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