WGA Strike: Was it Worth it?

wga strike

With the WGA Strike (almost) over, this TV Addict must now take a moment to ask the obvious yet slightly painful question. Was it worth it?

Sure the WGA got their foot in the door when it comes to internet residuals, but at a pretty hefty price. The reality of this unfortunate situation is that this three month old work stoppage may have irreversibly changed the television industry forever.

Writers returning to work may soon find themselves facing fewer jobs, fewer shows and worst of all, fewer viewers.

So post away with your thoughts. Good Deal or Raw Deal?

WGA Strike Negotiation Breakthrough

Breaking News: Hollywood’s striking writers and the AMPTP have resolved key issues, moving them closer to a final agreement that would finally end the seemingly never-ending WGA strike. According to the LA Times:

“After two weeks of talks, the parties Friday bridged the gap on the central issues surrounding how much writers should be paid for work that is distributed via the Internet, said three people close to the talks who asked not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential.

A final contract could be presented to the Writers Guild of America’s board by late next week, the people said.”

Needless to say, while nothing is official, this TV Addict is thinking positive thoughts and readying the champagne.

The only question remaining (aside from the official announcement that puts an end to these dark times) is who had February in theTVaddict.com Strike Pool!

The Top 6 Reasons why the WGA Strike will be resolved in time for the Oscars

Reason #5: New episodes of most of our favorite television shows are becoming as scarce as laughter in an ACCORDING TO JIM studio audience. [For a handy guide to how many episodes are left of your favorite shows, click here]

Reason #4: It’s one thing to help shut-down the Golden Globes, but the Writer’s Guild of America will face a far more serious backlash, not to mention PR nightmare if they help put the kibosh to Hollywood’s most important night of the year. How else will millions of woman around the world know what to wear on the off chance that they’re invited to an event with a red carpet?

Reason #3: Billy Bush’s Golden Globe Performance. ‘Nuff said.

Reason #2: The accountants of Price Waterhouse Coopers spend weeks carefully tabulating the awards results. Do they not deserve their moment in the sun. For the love of God, will someone please think about the accountants!

Reason #1: Because Nikkie Finke said so.

And the only reason that counts: Money. Be it actor, producer, studio, network or writer, the Oscars equals millions to everyone involved. Actors who walk away with a little golden statute can double their asking price. Nominated films see a substantial boost in both theatrical and DVD revenue following the awards. And the telecast itself, often referred to as the Super Bowl for woman generates millions in advertising for broadcaster ABC.

If there’s one thing everyone Hollywood understands, it’s money. Hence, the show must will go on.

WGA Gets Serious, Heads Back to the Table

The TV Addict here with a glimmer of hope. WGAw president, Patric Verrone and WGAe president, Michael Winship just sent out this letter to the members of the WGA. Is the TV season about to be saved? Stay Tuned…

To Our Fellow Members,

We have responded favorably to the invitation from the AMPTP to enter into informal talks that will help establish a reasonable basis for returning to negotiations. During this period, we have agreed to a complete news blackout. We are grateful for this opportunity to engage in meaningful discussion with industry leaders that we hope will lead to a contract. We ask that all members exercise restraint in their public statements during this critical period.

In order to make absolutely clear our commitment to bringing a speedy conclusion to negotiations, we have decided to withdraw our proposals on reality and animation. Our organizing efforts to achieve Guild representation in these genres for writers will continue. You will hear more about this in the next two weeks.

[Read more…]

DGA Reaches a Tentative Agreement with the AMPTP

The unthinkable has happened.

Not only has theTVaddict.com scooped Deadline Hollywood Daily (Hey Nikki, there’s no such thing as vacation in Hollywood!), the Director’s Guild of America (DGA) has tentatively reached a deal with the AMPTP following a mere six (no really, six!) days of negotiating.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the DGA announced that the new deal:

• Increases both wages and residual bases for each year of the contract.
• Establishes DGA jurisdiction over programs produced for distribution on the Internet.
• Establishes new residuals formula for paid Internet downloads (electronic sell-through) that essentially doubles the rate currently paid by employers.
• Establishes residual rates for ad-supported streaming and use of clips on the Internet.

Naturally, the speed at which this agreement was reached begs some obvious questions. Namely, how long until the WGA and AMPTP reach an agreement? Why has the WGA strike managed to last almost three months while the DGA negotiated an agreement in six days? And most importantly, can the WGA ‘borrow’ the DGA’s negotiating team to help reach and fair and equitable agreement faster.

Not to sound incredibly selfish or anything, but this TV Addict can’t take much more of this. For God sakes I watched a LIFETIME movie last week, a LIFETIME MOVIE!

[UPDATE] For statements from both parties, click here for the DGA, and here for the AMPTP

The WGA Writers Strike Back

BREAKING NEWS: TheTVaddict.com just received this secret video of the closed-door negotiations between the writers and the producers.

What’s worse. The video titled ‘Hollywood Rumble’ is well acted, excellently shot, and scariest of all — FUNNY!

In other-words: WGA, AMPTP, be afraid… be very afraid. Because this is just the beginning.

Watching television is habitual, an addiction if you will. Take THE DAILY SHOW and THE COLBERT REPORT. When they went off the air in November was I disappointed? Absolutely. But after seven weeks without my Comedy Central fix, I’ve found new ways to entertain myself [see: my Nintendo Wii that’s recently found a permanent spot in my living room]

When are both the WGA and the AMPTP going to clue into the fact that they’re doing irreparable damage to the television industry we all love and get back to the negotiating table?

The TV Addict to NBC: Holy Conflict of Interest Batman!

We interrupt your pleasant evening for a quick rant from theTVaddict.com.

NBC Nightly News is leading… I repeat LEADING with breaking news on the WGA Strike. At 6:30PM, Brian Williams gleefully announced that Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien will be returning to television on January 2, 2008. With Letterman working feverishly to negotiate a deal with his writers to do the same.

Now, the TV Addict is no Brian Stelter, but does NBC News leading with a story on the WGA Strike not reek of a massive conflict of interest? I mean seriously, is NBC Nightly News really going to report anything negative about the AMPTP considering they’re owned by NBC?

And don’t even get me started on the fact that with an upcoming US election, a massive snowstorm across the northeast and that little skirmish still going on in Iraq, NBC Nightly News is leading with Jay and Conan returning to TV.

Since Stephen Colbert can’t say it, this TV Addict will. Brian Williams — you’re on notice.

Leno & Conan Return to Late Night in January

It was announced today that Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien will return to work on January 2, 2007.

In statements released this afternoon, Conan defended his decision by saying, “Unfortunately, now with the New Year upon us, I am left with a difficult decision. Either go back to work and keep my staff employed or stay dark and allow 80 people, many of whom have worked for me for fourteen years, to lose their jobs.”

In an eerily similar statement, Leno said, “Now that the talks have broken down and there are no further negotiations scheduled I feel it’s my responsibility to get my 100 non-writing staff, which were laid off, back to work. We fully support our writers and I think they understand my decision.”

The TV Addict’s take: While I appreciate the difficult situation both Leno and Conan find themselves in. I’m incredibly disappointed that they decided to go back to work.

Late Night is not only an enormous profit center for ABC, NBC and CBS, it’s an integral tool for the studios to use when marketing their major motion pictures. Leno, Letterman, Conan, Ferguson and Kimmel’s solidarity with the WGA was sending a very powerful and important message to the AMPTP.

Their return to work will be seen as nothing short of a serious blow to the striking writers. And while I respect that both Leno and Conan just gave around two hundred employees one helluva early holiday gift. Lest we forget the tens of thousands of workers still seriously affected by this strike.

Agree, Disagree, Post away.

WGA Strike Watch: The AMPTP Fires Back

Mark your calendars folks. The gloves are officially off.

Apparently, the AMPTP doesn’t find the recent parody website mocking the organization very funny and in response has decided to release a press release chastising the WGA for what they believe is a “personal attack.”

This TV Addict’s concern: That the ridiculous public posturing by both the AMPTP and the WGA are keeping both sides from real negotiations. More importantly, it’s looking less and less likely that we’ll find a signed agreement between the two sides under our Christmas Trees (or Chanukah bushes) come December 25.

Judge for yourself by reading this AMPTP press release that just found its way into this TV Addict’s mailbox.

By now you know that those in charge at the WGA have injected substantial new doses of vitriol into the important and continuing debate on our industry’s future. On Monday, in a letter to members of the WGA East, the president of that organization wrote: “They lie. And then they lie again. And then they lie some more.”

Then, someone from the WGA offices happily distributed the link to a hijacked parody website that even many rank-and-file WGA members felt was over-the-top. All of this is happening right along with the WGA’s continuing series of concerts, rallies, mock exorcisms, pencil-drops and Star Trek-themed gatherings.

Amidst this alternating mix of personal attacks and picket line frivolity, we must not forget that this WGA strike is beginning to cause serious economic damage to many people in the entertainment business. While the WGA’s world-class health care benefits remain secure, tens of thousands of below-the-line workers are seeing their health insurance jeopardized by the continuing strike. In addition, our entire Southern California community is beginning to feel the effects of the grinding shutdown of an industry that is the lifeblood of the region’s economy.

[Read more…]