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October 10, 2015

writers strike

Earl creator worked fast food during strike

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 15th 2008 5:41PM
Greg GarciaHere's a story that's bound to bring a smile to your face (it did mine). During the protracted, agonizing Writer's Guild strike, at least one Hollywood scribe chose not to lounge by the pool and wait it out. My Name Is Earl creator, Greg Garcia, decided to "get back in touch" with the TV viewers of America. He took a job at a fast-food restaurant, never letting on to his fellow employees -- or anyone else -- that he was an Emmy-winning writer/producer. As a cashier and occasional janitor, Greg spent the month of January rubbing elbows with the real world. You might wonder, why would he do it?

His answer is simple: "I've wanted to do a book about taking different jobs and what it was like to do them," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "This was the first. It may be a while before I do the second. But it's just about the fact that we live behind gates and work behind gates, and as a writer you start to lose touch with the audience. You start running out of life experience."

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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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As the strike winds down, what's next?

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 8th 2008 9:35AM
Honk 4 writersDepending on who you want to listen to -- or believe -- the end of the writers' strike is a done deal. Michael Eisner, former Disney CEO and current CNBC host, thinks "it's over," as he told the network's Fast Money show. Nikki Finke, in her usual subtle way, takes pains to debunk Eisner's expertise on the matter, saying that "Eisner hasn't mattered since 2004-2005 when he was kicked to the curb by Disney and its shareholders."

Still, Finke does give a timeline of how she's been informed the next few days will go; tomorrow seems to be the crucial day, as the WGA membership on both coasts will have "informational meetings" before the governing board of each coast's guild decides whether to put the tentative deal up for a vote. If the informational meetings go well, the union bigwigs may call off the strike before the vote, anticipating the deal will win with the rank-and-file.

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The Best and Worst of 2007: Joel's list

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 5th 2008 12:02PM
Viva LaughlinTo call 2007 a stellar year of TV would be a mistake, because it was a very bleh year in many respects. Shows that had previously riveted us to our seats made missteps and mistakes. New shows were either mediocre or just unmemorable. A writers' strike made people anxious and depressed all at once. And the aspects of the TV world that have generated low expectations continued on their merry lowbrow way (I mean, who expected Tila Tequila's search for love to be anything but a skankfest)?

But in a year of abject mediocrity, some highlights and lowlights poked through. Like last year, I'm going to make up categories instead of doing traditional "Bests" and "Worsts." It hurts my brain less...

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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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Conan will pay his own staff if/when NBC lays them off

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 30th 2007 9:25AM

Conan O'BrienAs of next week, The New York Times reports that NBC executives will have to start laying off the non-writing staff on Late Night With Conan O'Brien. The studio had been paying their salaries thus far through the strike. As such, Conan has stepped up and agreed to start paying his non-striking staff their full wages on Monday from his own pocket, if necessary. Word of this leaked to the press, with no official comments being offered by any side.

This is a very different response to the ongoing labor stoppage than Ellen DeGeneres and Carson Daly, who have both resumed production on their respective shows. With ratings down significantly in late night, studios are under increasing pressure to bring these shows back on the air, so I'm guessing there's increasing pressure on these guys to come back in. O'Brien instead is showing his support for the strike as well as his staff by putting his money where his mouth is.

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After four days of talks, WGA rejects studios' offer

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 30th 2007 9:01AM

Writers Guild of AmericaOur long, dark national nightmare ... continues. After four days of talks and media silence, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) disclosed the latest offer presented by Hollywood studios to the striking writers. But the WGA (Writers Guild of America) quickly rejected this offer, according to Yahoo! News. The studios described their offer as a "new economic partnership" with writers, who refer to it instead as a "massive rollback."

They went on to disparage the offer point by point. As an example, the studio offered less than $250 for a year's reuse of an hour long show for Internet streaming, one of the biggest catalysts for the strike in the first place, as compared to $20,000 plus for a single network rerun airing.

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Is Letterman planning on coming back next week?

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 29th 2007 2:43PM

Howard SternInteresting news on Howard Stern's SIRIUS radio show this morning (I didn't listen to the show, but I have been listening to the satellite station's holiday music channels!). The King of All Media says that the people over at CBS' Late Show with David Letterman approached him about being the first guest when the show returns with new episodes...on December 3, which is next week! Stern says he thought about it but doesn't really want to go against the writers that are on strike.

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As WGA strike continues, Leno goes vintage

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Nov 23rd 2007 8:00PM
Jay LenoThe Tonight Show with Jay Leno, currently in reruns due to the Writers Guild of America strike, will dig deep to air five vintage episodes. That's rarely done with the late night talk shows as the monologue and many of the movies promoted by guests are dated.

Included in the vintage rerun plans are a 1992 Tom Hanks appearance, Julia Roberts from 1993, 1995 appearances with Johnny Depp and Jennifer Aniston, and a Matt Damon 2000 appearance. As the strike continues, the late night talk shows are running out of more current reruns according to an article in The Hollywood Reporter. I would think they're also a bit concerned with losing the audience and older shows at this time would almost be "new."

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WGA Strike: soap writers won't cross picket line

by Liz Finn-Arnold, posted Nov 14th 2007 4:21PM
WGA StrikeYesterday, Variety reported that several writers from the Young and the Restless had crossed the WGA picket line in order to keep their jobs. After the article ran, a spokesperson for the WGA-East condemned those planning to cross the picket line and warned them that they'd "never be full members of the Writers Guild again."

However, the Variety article isn't true, according to a memo sent out late Tuesday from the WGA-West and the Y&R writing staff. The Y&R statement reads: "We were incensed to read the incorrect information printed in Variety that several writers on our show sought financial core status...Our entire writing staff of 18 is united and we fully support our union."

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Writers not happy with Ellen DeGeneres

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 9th 2007 2:36PM

Ellen DeGeneresYup, she's working.

Ellen DeGeneres crossed the picket line and went back to work hosting her TV talk show, and writers aren't happy about it at all. In the opening of her show today, she told the audience that she wasn't going to do a monologue and that she loves and supports the writers, but she wanted to go on with the show for the studio audience that had traveled a long way to see her show.

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Brothers & Sisters creator asks Governator to do something about WGA strike

by Liz Finn-Arnold, posted Nov 9th 2007 1:23PM
Governor Arnold SchwarzeneggerThe WGA strike continues. And it doesn't look like there's an end in sight (as all negotiations have stopped). The longer the strike lasts the greater impact it will have on the economy -- especially the California economy. So what is California's Governor Schwarzenegger doing about it?

Nothing, according to Brothers & Sisters creator Jon Robin Baitz. In an open letter to the Governator, on yesterday's Huffington Post, Baitz basically accuses Schwarzenegger of "fiddling while California burns."

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Could the strike actually be good news for some shows?

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 8th 2007 1:12PM

JourneymanHere's a weird possible benefit for some TV shows: the strike could actually help some shows stick around longer.

Why? Since production on many TV shows has shut down, the networks might be a little antsy about wasting what original programming they have. So a show that might otherwise be on the edge of being put on hiatus or even cancellation might get a bit of a reprieve and stick around longer.

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Great chants heard on the picket lines

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 7th 2007 2:04PM

Eva Longoria deliversThere are so many articles and blogs about the writers strike that it's really hard to keep track of them all. But I'm really enjoying the first person accounts from writers and other industry people on what's going on at the picket lines in Los Angeles and New York City.

One of the funniest parts of the strike (and there are funny parts) is what the people on the picket lines are saying. If you're on a picket line, you have to also say something. You can't just walk around the whole day carrying a sign, completely silent. So the writers have come up with several chants they've been saying. After the jump, a few of my favorites. Many of them are about Desperate Housewives.

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Ten ways I plan to cope with the WGA writers strike

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Nov 7th 2007 1:26PM
Strike rat on dutyI know I have a problem. I don't need anyone to tell me that I was a child of television and it's been in my life all my life. Yes, I read. Yes, I listen to music. And, obviously I write.

But most of my writing these days is about television!

I recall the last writers strike. It was during that time that I wrote a really horrible horror novel to occupy my time outside of my day job. I'm not doing that again this time. I refuse to spend weeks writing dreck just because the television and film writers are on strike.

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