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20.8.14 0202
The W - Movies & TV - Writers on Strike
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kwik
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Since: 5.9.02
From: Norwich, NY

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.83
It's been mentioned in other threads, but as of 12:01 am Monday, all members of the Writers Guild of America are on strike. The basic issue in contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers is residuals paid on DVD sales. Basically, the writers want to get a larger cut of DVD sales, and possibly more importantly, online sales, or streaming episodes, while the producers want to keep royalties at current levels.

What does this mean, if there is no 11th-hour deal (and it doesn't look likely)? The first casualties will be the late-night shows, and soap operas. No Daily Show, Colbert, Letterman, Leno, Kimmel, Saturday Night Live, and the like. Shows that have scripts completed can continue to shoot, but no new scripts can be done, and no rewrites on old scripts can be done. The LA Times (latimes.com) has a chart of how some shows would fare in a prolonged strike. Most shows, depending on how reruns are aired, could probably run into January or February with what's already shot or written. Shows that were set for a midseason premiere, like Lost, might be in trouble, the LA Times says that they only have enough to do probably 8 episodes. The big winners (if you can say that) would be reality programming, and news/sports programming. I suppose someone could cut a deal with the BBC or something to get programming, but that really all depends on how long this goes. Theoretically, if it goes long enough, you'd start to see the effects on the movie business, but it'll be TV that suffers first. So, if you're a Daily Show fan, you might want to get used to the idea of repeats for a while.



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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
It's time for Chris and I to go to Hollywood.




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Since: 6.1.02
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.23
I heard a rumor, although I'm not sure if the source was reliable, that Raw could move to NBC as filler, anybody heard anything like that from a reliable source?



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Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 63 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.84
    Originally posted by Quezzy
    I heard a rumor, although I'm not sure if the source was reliable, that Raw could move to NBC as filler, anybody heard anything like that from a reliable source?


Meltzer mentioned it as a possibility the other day.



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Since: 26.3.03
From: Glendale, CA

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.09
I don't quite understand how reality shows can continue. Don't they all feature written content?



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Since: 20.6.02
From: I am the Tag Team Champions!

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.60
    Originally posted by SchippeWreck
    I don't quite understand how reality shows can continue. Don't they all feature written content?


There is some writing involved, but I would think a writer's role in a reality show is minimal at best. How much writing could possibly go into an episode of American Idol? Hollywood could easily pick up some scab workers.




Leroy
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Since: 7.2.02
From: Huntington, NY

Since last post: 6 days
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.15
Ars Technica is reporting that the strike is over internet residuals:

Writers Guild to strike over Internet residuals


    Writers get paid "residuals" whenever a show they've worked on or a movie they've helped write gets sold on DVD or aired in syndication, and these residuals can make up a healthy part of a working scriptwriter's income. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) insists that the residual rate for new media uses be fixed at the current DVD rate. The writers want the DVD formula—and the new media rate along with it—to be increased.


I can't help but wonder if there is some connection between this strike and the recent move by NBC to remove its content from the iTunes Store.




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Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 63 days
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.84
    Originally posted by Leroy
    Ars Technica is reporting that the strike is over internet residuals:

    Writers Guild to strike over Internet residuals


      Writers get paid "residuals" whenever a show they've worked on or a movie they've helped write gets sold on DVD or aired in syndication, and these residuals can make up a healthy part of a working scriptwriter's income. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) insists that the residual rate for new media uses be fixed at the current DVD rate. The writers want the DVD formula—and the new media rate along with it—to be increased.


    I can't help but wonder if there is some connection between this strike and the recent move by NBC to remove its content from the iTunes Store.


I thought NBC left iTunes to start their own video portal.



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kwik
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Since: 5.9.02
From: Norwich, NY

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.83
    Originally posted by It's False
      Originally posted by SchippeWreck
      I don't quite understand how reality shows can continue. Don't they all feature written content?


    There is some writing involved, but I would think a writer's role in a reality show is minimal at best. How much writing could possibly go into an episode of American Idol? Hollywood could easily pick up some scab workers.


Reality shows call writers "segment producers" and stuff like that, and those people aren't Guild members anyway, so they're fine, no need for scabs. And there probably won't be scabs for scripted programming, as the Guild has made it clear that anyone caught doing that would either be kicked out of the Guild if they're a member, or barred from ever becoming a member, effectively blackballing them from ever working in Hollywood again.



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Since: 7.2.02
From: Huntington, NY

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.15
    Originally posted by odessasteps
    I thought NBC left iTunes to start their own video portal.


From what I've read, the impetus to leave iTunes was that Apple refused to allow NBC to even experiment with charging $4.99 per episode. Jeff Zucker recently blasted Apple publicly, charging them with making money off the backs of the music and television industry. NBC also wanted a cut of every iPod sold. I've never understood why the music or television industry thinks Apple will agree to that.

Anyway, here's comments from Zucker.

NBC's Zucker: Apple used us! (Shh, we used Apple too) (Ars Technica)

NBC President: Apple iPods Sold On The Back Of Our Content (Wired)




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Since: 22.2.04
From: Cambridge, MA

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.40
Off topic question: Why would anybody pay to download an NBC show when you can stream them for free at nbc.com? I must be missing something here.



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Since: 28.1.02
From: Louisville, KY

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.56
    Originally posted by samoflange
    Off topic question: Why would anybody pay to download an NBC show when you can stream them for free at nbc.com? I must be missing something here.


because, without special tools, you can't load them on your video ipod.



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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
Here's the thing, though.

I don't ever expect to work in Hollywood. Hire me as a scab!

*edit: I'm not really expecting anyone to hire me, and I'm not anti-union. I'm just dreaming of a big paycheck.

(edited by Guru Zim on 2.11.07 1935)



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Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.12
    Originally posted by kwik
    Reality shows call writers "segment producers" and stuff like that, and those people aren't Guild members anyway, so they're fine, no need for scabs. And there probably won't be scabs for scripted programming, as the Guild has made it clear that anyone caught doing that would either be kicked out of the Guild if they're a member, or barred from ever becoming a member, effectively blackballing them from ever working in Hollywood again.

How does that jive with the LA Times article that says that soap operas will probably be written by the producers during a strike, and that Jimmy Kimmel may try to write his show himself? Does Kimmel not have to worry about that since he's a performer as well?
kwik
Summer sausage








Since: 5.9.02
From: Norwich, NY

Since last post: 9 days
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.83
    Originally posted by Mr. Boffo
      Originally posted by kwik
      Reality shows call writers "segment producers" and stuff like that, and those people aren't Guild members anyway, so they're fine, no need for scabs. And there probably won't be scabs for scripted programming, as the Guild has made it clear that anyone caught doing that would either be kicked out of the Guild if they're a member, or barred from ever becoming a member, effectively blackballing them from ever working in Hollywood again.

    How does that jive with the LA Times article that says that soap operas will probably be written by the producers during a strike, and that Jimmy Kimmel may try to write his show himself? Does Kimmel not have to worry about that since he's a performer as well?


If Kimmel is a Guild member, then he has some rules (wga.org) he would have to follow (specifically, section 12, dealing with hyphenates), which say that he could only do non-writing activities. If they're talking about him doing the whole show himself, then he's probably not a guild member. (Letterman did a scaled-down version of his show during the 1988 writers strike, so he could go that way).

As for soaps, the LA Times article notes that producers did the writing in 88, so theoretically they could do it again. I'm sure there are all sorts of things that are going to play out once Monday actually comes, and really, if you don't watch late-night, or the Daily Show/Colbert, you may not even notice this going on until February.



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Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

Since last post: 20 min.
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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.09
But aren't most producers writers anyway and thus members of the WGA? Marc Cherry, Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof, the 24 guys, Shonda Rhimes, Tim Kring, David E. Kelley, Greg Garcia, Greg Daniels...all of the show creators/executive producers started as writers and have WGA membership. Cuse is even on the WGA negotiating board, I believe.

This strike wasn't exactly a surprise, so it wouldn't shock me to learn that the late night shows either have a lot of material stashed away (in Stewart or Colbert's case, pre-taped bits). Or, maybe Stewart/Colbert/Dave/Leno/Conan/Ferguson had a couple of rerun weeks scheduled for early November just to see if they can wait the strike out.

I have to laugh that this is over a matter of four cents vs. eight cents per DVD sale. Writers are treated like such dirt by the studios, I don't blame them for striking.
hansen9j
Andouille








Since: 7.11.02
From: Riderville, SK

Since last post: 7 days
Last activity: 6 hours
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.43
Thursday's Daily Show ended with what was basically a goodbye for now, with Stewart strongly hinting he was on the guild's side.

I would be shocked if Kimmell continued, because from all accounts it's a very tight-knit fraternity composed of close friends of his, and it'd be kind of weird if he kept the show going while they were striked out.



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Since: 13.2.03
From: Chicago

Since last post: 50 days
Last activity: 47 days
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.34
Comic/TV writer Mark Evanier (newsfromme.com) writes a blog that has been covering this from the writer's side of the dispute, for those looking for a break down of what's at stake. The gist being that the writers got hosed in the last negotiation over DVD royalties, and don't want to get shafted again in regard to payments over internet, and any future 'new media' platforms that might come up.

There's also quite a few great insider stories from this guy's career, which stretches back at least to him writing for "Welcome Back Kotter".

It's my understanding that Letterman, Leno, Conan, Kimmel, et al can continue to host if they choose to - interviews and musical guests are fine, but no sketches, monologues, or anything that would come from a writer's room.

If Raw ends up on NBC primetime, is there any chance Mean Gene can come back for one more interview?




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Since: 20.9.02
From: New York, NY

Since last post: 873 days
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.31
My friend is a strike captain. I was going to stop blogging in solidarity before I realized nobody would give a doodoo.

But having stuff registered with WGA East, being a wiener liberal and having acquaintances if not friends on their board, it's pretty obvious where I fall on this stuff.





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Since: 4.9.02
From: California

Since last post: 1948 days
Last activity: 1680 days
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.91
I hope this isn't bad news for Big Bang Theory which just got picked up for a full season of 22 episodes.

I live in Hollywood FYI, and I'm anxious to see if the city really will collapse as all the news outlets are saying. I would also totally scab for red carpet privileges with Angelina Jolie.

(edited by The Vile1 on 3.11.07 0328)



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