Strike News Roundup: Mon., Nov. 19
‘SNL’ Receives Staff Cuts
Staffers at “Saturday Night Live” were handed pink slips on Friday, as a result of the writers strike, Daily Variety reports. The layoffs number in the 50s, the paper says.
The layoffs came as a shock to “SNL” staffers, as late-night crews from “The Tonight Show,” and “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” received a reprieve from the ax earlier in the week, Daily Variety reports.
Letterman Sees Ratings Repeat Rise
“The Late Show With David Letterman” and “The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson” actually saw a ratings bump over their previous season 18-49 average (9% and 14%, respectively) during the first week of strike-related reruns, Daily Variety reports. However, late-night fare on NBC and Comedy Central saw a significant downturn in ratings during that first week of forced repeats, the paper says.
WGA Support Goes International
The International Affiliation of Writers Guilds is holding an International Day of Solidarity in support of striking Writers Guild of America members on Wednesday, Nov. 28, Broadcasting & Cable reports.
Demonstrations of support will occur all across the world, including Australia, Great Britain, Mexico and both English and French Canada, B&C says.
Advertiser Family Friendly Forum Postponed
The Association of National Advertisers’ Family Friendly Programming Forum has been put on hold and rescheduled for sometime in 2008 due to the writers strike, the Hollywood Reporter says.
Not directly involved in the WGA’s contract, the ANA says the strike affected the forum’s agenda. The organization hopes for a swift conclusion to the strike, the Reporter says.
‘Green Acres’ Remake in Works
Director of “Green Acres” Richard L. Bare has acquired the rights to remake the rural sitcom from the widow of the show’s creator, Jay Sommers, the Hollywood Reporter says.
Mr. Bare calls the deal coincidental to the strike, but hopes it will help his chances of selling the show now that networks are low on material, the Reporter says.
Mr. Bare says he has a pilot already written that would take place after the show’s finale in 1971, the Reporter reports.
Reading Popular Option While Favorite Shows Aren’t On
Media buyer Mindshare surveyed 703 Americans about the lack of popular programming due to the strike, and 25% said they would read a book or magazine if their favorite show wasn’t on, the Hollywood Reporter says.
Other options included 13% saying they’d just channel surf, while 12% would watch DVDs, the Reporter says.
The writers strike itself is also a popular topic, with 70% of those interviewed aware there is a strike, the Reporter reports.
Some Readers Finding Variety WGA Coverage Bias
Copies of Daily Variety placed at the John Edwards WGA picket site were found trashed, showing writers’ distaste for the trade’s WGA coverage, Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily reports.
Ms. Finke claims the paper’s coverage tends to favor the AMPTP’s side of the argument, and offers several examples, including a refuted article about scabbing “The Young and the Restless” writers.
She also says a confusing Variety.com headline that implied WGA resistance to returning to the bargaining table was changed after she posted it at her site.