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."
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.
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.
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...
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.
As 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.
Our 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.
Interesting 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.
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."
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."
Yup, 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.
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."
Here'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.
There 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.
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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