In Depth

Writers Strike News Roundup: Friday, Dec. 14

Late Night Hosts Mull Mid-Strike Comeback...
Sources close to late night shows said several hosts could be back on the air by Jan. 7, if not sooner, Daily Variety reports. Nobody knows who would come back first, but plunging ratings are worrying networks, the newspaper says. Insiders are saying that Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien might come back first, but there are talks involving all four hosts, including David Letterman and Craig Ferguson, returning around the same time, the newspaper says.

Scripted TV Completely Halted Due to Strike
Scripted television will officially darken in January due to the writers strike, Daily Variety reports. “October Road,” the last hanger-on, will wrap production in mid-January. The loss in direct production spending alone is around $2.75 million per each hour-long drama is scheduled but not produced, the newspaper says.

Stars Vexed by Picket Line Question
Stars interviewed about their Golden Globe nominations yesterday mainly stood behind their writers, saying that if the Globes ceremony is picketed, they won’t cross the line, Daily Variety reports. Glenn Close, David Cronenberg, and “Mad Men” executive producer Matt Weiner all said they would be hard pressed to cross the picket line, the newspaper says. Some stars, like John Travolta or screenwriter Christopher Hampton, are on the fence about attending, saying it’s too soon to make a commitment, the paper reports.

Picketing Writers Endure Sleet and Snow
Sleet and snow hit Writers Guild of America East supporters picketing in New York on Thursday, but it didn’t diminish their showing, the Hollywood Reporter says. The picket drew more than 200 writers and college students outside of Viacom headquarters, according to the Reporter.

(Editor: Baumann)

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Comments 26

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So those overpaid late nighters are going to actually DO something to earn their inflated salaries! Well, when they fall on their face attempting to ad lib like Johnny Carson, who will be left to notice or care?

Biodredd

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Who says they are ad-libbing? The most logical idea for their return is to add an additional interview segment until the strike is over. Which is something I had suggested in another place when the strike only a passing thought.

Frank Uslan Charlie Kartler

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Man, if those WGA people picket the golden globes and oscars, They will lose ALL of my support!

Brian

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I could care less if they come back at all. They only left because of their lamely written monologues that I never watched anyway so I wouldn't miss that part of the show at all. I think the networks should say either comeback now or you are cancelled permanently and replace them with their own late night news shows.

photoman

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As I have read, if writers are getting paid as much as an L.A. surgeon then I don't have any sympathy for them. I hate the way unions operate. In my opinion unions have basically spoiled our country's employees over the past several years. Our unions promote too much greed. It encourages people to over spend and want too much.

Joe

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What is everyone talking about? Get your facts straight.

The vast majority of union members are middle class, and a large percentage barely qualifies as even that much. It is true that some are highly paid and successful, but those members account for - at the most - 8-10% of the membership.

Not to mention the fact that their employers didn't provide health insurance until 1988 - and that was only after a 22-month strike.

Make no mistake, the media business is run by corporate America. These companies are ruthless and wouldn't hesitate to destroy all the workers' unions if given a chance. Not everyone in Hollywood is a billionaire. Only the CEO's.

Joe

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Sorry, typo: the 1988 strike was 5 months.

DATmafia

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So, we are supposed to feel sorry for people who belong to a union that is out to protect the interest of the union? And that benefits everyone how? Whiny useless writers who in the past 5 years failed to produce anything half as good as what was being released in the 1980's for TV or movies. Aside from Titanic there hasn't been a classic movie in over 15 years. It's all garbage and the writers want to be rewarded for lame and boring TV and movies thats more about beating America over the head with the gay agenda than it is about entertaining people. I hope the writers screw themselves forever. No one is caring about the restaurant or hotel or durable goods businesses forced to close in the areas where studio business sustained their living? What spoiled brat union is representing them? I have not paid for a movie or TV programming in 7 years due to the fact there is nothing worth watching. The video store has plenty of watchable titles that don't suck not to mention the free internet. If the writers think the internet revenue's are going to make them more than a few bucks they have a rude awakening coming. tudou.com streams billions of free minutes of media a month that is ad supported-not content supported. That's the way the internet was designed. The entertainment industry as a whole is a bunch of worthless whiny people who are so selfish, self-important and self-absorbed to care about anyone but themselves. I hope they make all the studios shut down. TV has sucked since 1990-so in my opinion it can't get any worse. I say stop whining and get a real job. Playing pretend for a living isn't work. It's really gay and very sad. Actors should make around the national average. Lets see how hard they would work if they had walmart pay for their ultra-easy pathetic existence. Tabloids is where the real entertainment is. Can anyone really get enough of pop tarts shaved beavers? Guess not. Please destroy everything you can SAG members! The entertainment industry needs to be redone from the ground up with people who have talent and not good male member sucking abilities.

Joe

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Alright. I'm glad you feel self-important.

Cory

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Wow Datmafia your logic is really dumb. So you think that writer's hold so much control that they are solely responsible for you not enjoying TV... but they shouldn't be given any of the benefits that TV studios make from DVD sales and ad revenue. Well as someone who works in TV (the animation union which is not affiliated with the WGA) you are wrong about everything. My friends who write don't make a ton of money... in the area of $70k-$100k a year... it really isn't much in LA or NY.... and that's if they work the whole year. Writers are always the first to be laid off and have to wait for executives to renew the season, which usually doesn't come until a quarter through airing. They also don't have complete control over what airs that is up to the producers you love. Writers are usually bogged down with notes and rewrites by people who claim to know what audiences will respond to. So if you think that somebody needs to be fired so TV will be better wouldn't it be the executive producers who ok everything and write the notes.

DATMAFIA= dumb and misinformed.

Fate

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This strike is going to be the most devastating in history. No strike has ever taken down a whole industry because you think people are not that stupid. However as Fate or I would have it, it is a perfect storm. WGA strategy would've worked if they had struck 20 years ago, 10 years ago or even 5 years ago. As Fate or I made it, their former weak leadership took the producer bribes and didn't strike. Now the producers and studios are backed by corporations who eat unions for breakfast. Reality TV has taken full hold. Scripted television as dwindled in importance. Still you think how can two sides bleed each other for any much longer. Well they all said that about every conflict in history. Oh it will end soon. If you have to say that, then you know you are in big trouble. Fate or I will have this strike go on for 1 year. It will get to the point where both sides will sever relationships for good. The landscape of television will change. For good or bad? Only Fate or I know.

TV Fan

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To Bad the writers could care less about support staff like Production Assistants that can't pay their rent now because of the strike. What are they doing for the rest pf the people they put out of work. And now they want to complicate things fither..I have no sympathy for them. I hope they get broken in two by the Studios.

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