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StrikeWatch: Day Two

A day later, the issue on everyone's minds is still the WGA strike.

The effects of yesterday's WGA strike launch were immediately felt throughout Hollywood, with several ongoing series affected by the picket lines. Studios were quick to respond with suspension letters to several writers with overall deals.

A quick run-down then on which scripted primetime series were immediately affected since yesterday's update:

The Office. Steve Carell, a WGA member and writer on the "Casino Night" and "Survivorman" episodes of The Office, along with writer/actors Mindy Kaling, B.J. Novak, and Paul Lieberstein did not show up for work yesterday. Additionally, actor Rainn Wilson called in sick later in the day. Production was only able to shoot two scenes yesterday and it's thought that the above actors will continue to withhold acting services during the strike period. An NBC Universal spokesperson contacted for this story had no comment on the possibility of a work stoppage on the series.

Cane. The CBS primetime soap had to scrap a planned scene at Java Cafe when their set was disrupted by chanting and screaming from nearby picketers. Production then moved to the lot but it's unclear when the scene from yesterday will be shot.

Heroes. There have been conflicting reports about the sophomore superhero series shutting down production but one source did indicate to me that the series was facing a tough time of it due to the strike. A rumor that Heroes creator Tim Kring was fired by NBC has been since disproven.

Journeyman. There are also conflicting reports about whether first year series Journeyman, currently awaiting its back nine fate, had shut down production yesterday. Sources indicated that production had not shut down.

30 Rock. Tina Fey, 30 Rock's creator, executive producer, and star, was on the picket lines in front of NBC in New York yesterday but has been quoted as saying that she will show up to film her scenes today in Manhattan.

Cashmere Mafia. ABC has announced that it will not launch new series Cashmere Mafia on November 27th, as planned. Due to uncertainty surrounding the strike and the fact that the series has not shot enough of its 13 episode order, ABC has decided to hold onto the series until next year in order to give it a proper bow. In its place, ABC will expand the season finale of Dancing with the Stars to two hours on November 27th and air specials in the 9 pm timeslot where Cashmere Mafia was supposed to air.

Meanwhile, it's predicted that showrunners, such as The Office's Greg Daniels or The Shield's Shawn Ryan, will not show up for work for the rest of the week.

As for the question posed at me yesterday by Televisionary reader A.J., about how much writers are paid in residuals for DVD sales of TV on DVD box sets, the answer I found from a studio source indicated that they are not paid by sales of the single box sets but their payment is in relation to the number of scripts they wrote for that particular season. To use the example of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Three that was given, Jane Espenson wrote three scripts that season that were produced. She is therefore entitled to four cents per script per DVD box set sold... which amounts right now to a measly 12 cents for every DVD sold. This is, of course, just information that was passed on to me, so I can't swear as to its veracity.

Stay tuned.


The CineManiac said…
4 Cents?!?!? Really? REALLY?
This pisses me off so much, without writers there are no movies, no plays, no tv shows (at least not the good scripted kind), no books, no music. Basically if we got rid of all the writers in the world, we'd have nothing, except possibly improv.
Why does everyone in this industry seem to look down on the writers?
Is it just that the studios are that f'in' Greedy?
I just don't understand it.
Pay these people for the work they do!
Anonymous said…
The studios are greedy but even more stubborn. Now I feel like they're not backing down because of ego.

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