Writers Strike News Roundup: Jan. 14
Directors Put Hope Into Writers Talks
The Directors Guild of America has entered into contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, and could end up with a good deal in new media reuse, Daily Variety reports. The DGA contract could bode well for the Writers Guild of America, which is currently on strike regarding Internet compensation for work, the newspaper says. Optimists hope that the DGA’s deal could act as a beneficial template for the writers contract, the newspaper reports.
ABC Studios Cuts Writers Citing Force Majeure
Nearly two dozen writers were cut from the ABC Studio roster due to force majeure contract clauses, Daily Variety reports. The clauses allow studio to dismiss staff members after a certain time of unforeseeable inactivity, such as a strike. Insiders say the firings cut loose writers and non-writing producers not working on major series, like “Desperate Housewives,” the newspaper says. The cuts don’t appear to be completely strike related, with hints that ABC-Disney might be preparing to produce fewer pilots next season, the newspaper reports.
‘Daily Show’ Writers Plan Benefit
Writers from “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” are holding a benefit sketch/comedy show at Ars Nova in New York on Jan. 22, Broadcasting & Cable reports. The writers, along with talent John Oliver, are producing the show to give proceeds to the Writers Guild Industry Support Fund, the newspaper says. The show follows “30 Rock,” “The Colbert Report,” and “Saturday Night Live” in planning live events to benefit the Writers Guild, B&C says.
Casting Begins on Fox Pilot, Sans Script, Order
Fox pilot “Inseparable” has been given the go-ahead for casting, but the show lacks a script and a pilot order, the Hollywood Reporter says. The script is held up due by creator Shaun Cassidy, and Mr. Cassidy can’t pen the script until after the strike. Fox won’t order a pilot until they receive the script, the newspaper reports. In order to get a head start when the writers do return to work, Fox is moving forward with casting, the newspaper says.
Video Sharing Sites Get Boost During Strike
YouTube saw an 18% boost in traffic during the first two months of the writers strike, leading some to believe that viewers might be replacing rerun television with new material on the Internet, the Guardian reports. Other video sharing sites, such as Crackle and Dailymotion also saw modest upturns in traffic between September and November, the newspaper says. MSN, Yahoo! and MySpace did see drops in their traffic during those time periods, the newspaper says.