Strike News Roundup, Thurs., Nov. 15
‘Young and the Restless’ Writers Refute Scab Claim
Writers for soap opera “The Young and the Restless” are denying claims of crossing the WGA picket line, Broadcasting and Cable reports. The original claim, made in Daily Variety earlier in the week, said several “Y&R” writers were revoking their WGA rights to return back to work. But a memo signed by all 18 “Y&R” writers state that the Variety report isn’t true, and the staff fully supports the WGA, B&C says.
Letterman Paying Staff Through End of Year
Late night talk show host David Letterman is paying his non-working staff through the end of the year, Deadline Hollywood Daily reports. The money is coming directly out of Mr. Letterman’s funds, the blog reports.
Networks Clamp Down on Excessive Spending
Fox network executives were warned Tuesday to watch discretionary spending, such as travel and transportation costs, as the writers strike continues, Daily Variety reports. Other networks have recently made similar moves, including NBC, which opted out of the winter Television Critics Association press tour, citing financial concerns, Variety says.
WGA, SAG Execs Head to Washington
WGA president Patric Verrone and SAG president Alan Rosenberg met with lawmakers from California and other states in Washington, D.C., to update them on the process of strike negotiations, Daily Variety reports. Mr. Rosenberg joined Mr. Verrone in a show of solidarity between the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America, the newspaper says.
Fifth Avenue Site of Latest NYC WGA Picket
WGA picketers, nearly 400, gathered outside of the World of Disney store on Fifth Avenue in New York City for one of the most spirited demonstrations yet, Daily Variety reports. A large inflatable pig smoking a cigar was stationed at the march site, and celebrities including David Hyde Pierce made appearances during the four-hour demonstration, the newspaper says.
SAG, WGA Stand Together, Even if DGA Cuts Deal
If the Directors Guild of America cuts a deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, WGA president Patric Verrone said the WGA will continue fighting for rights alongside the Screen Actors Guild, Broadcasting & Cable says. Mr. Verrone also stressed that he is willing to go back to the bargaining table as soon as the AMPTP is, the newspaper reports.
Viacom Next WGA East Picket Victim
Viacom’s corporate offices in New York City will be today’s WGA East picketing spot, the Los Angeles Times reports. The location more than likely was picked after Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone said Paramount and CBS would be able to withstand the strike, the Times says.
Marginal Shows Might Benefit From Strike
Networks are going to be less likely to pull shows now that scripted entertainment is a more valuable commodity, which means shows with mediocre ratings, such as ABC’s “Carpoolers,” might benefit from being allowed a second look, the New York Times reports. In a regular season, middling-rated shows might get pulled a few weeks into the season. Networks don’t have the freedom to do that as the strike continues without a definite end in sight, meaning borderline shows will continue until they run out of episodes, the Times reports.