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.
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.
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."
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.
Sitcoms which have already gone dark are: The New Adventures of Old Christine, Back to You, 'Til Death, and Rules of Engagement. And with Steve Carrell refusing to cross the picket line, The Office has shut down for business, as well.
Meanwhile, Shonda Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice) and Shawn Ryan (The Shield, The Unit) have publicly stated that they won't perform their showrunner responsibilities either. Without their showrunners, these high profile dramas will most likely cease production earlier than networks expected.
According to the Hollywood Insider Blog at EW.com, CBS and Allison Grodner (executive producer) might be putting together the first ever winter version of Big Brother, a summer reality mainstay.
Going through the details of the article, it does seem that the WGA demands are not that unreasonable. It's very difficult to make it as a writer in Hollywood. There are many egos to contend with.
This is getting serious.
Both sides are still far from agreement on a new deal, and a strike by the Writers Guild of America could start in a couple of weeks (the last offer was rejected by writers). That means that scripted shows (Lost and House, for example) and late night talk shows would suffer the most. Some shows have a schedule that means they won't be affected that much, like The Simpsons, but most other scripted shows will be hurt in some way. As for daytime, Martha Stewart wouldn't be affected at all, but The View uses union writers so that should could be hit. (The View uses writers? So that means a writer actually puts those words into Elisabeth Hasselbeck's mouth?)
No, this isn't some programming move to get rid of reality shows (though I think it's worth exploring). It's actually a strategy in case there's a strike in Hollywood.
And that strike is looking more and more like it might become a reality. It sounds like hyperbole, I know, but the two sides are really far apart, and we're closer to a strike than we've ever been. Writers want more money for DVD sales and other forms of media. At one point they were going to work under their old deal until the end of this season, but now things have changed. The networks have been stockpiling on scripts and orders for reality shows just in case.
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