May 8, 2009
TV's Staffing Depression
Just in time for the weekend comes another horror story from the front lines of Hollywood's war on costs.
My former Variety colleague Cynthia Littleton has an article out today nicely summing up the nightmare that is this spring's TV staffing season. I've seen Tweets and blog posts about how tough it is for writers to land gigs on shows; Littleton explains just how bad things have gotten.
Industry sources say studios producing skeins for Big Four nets are pushing for cuts of as much as 10%-15% in the writing budget for returning series, while new shows will start out with smaller staffs than first-year shows in recent seasons. Where skeins once had as many as 10-12 writers, not including the showrunner(s), the new norm is becoming six to eight.
You can read the full story right here.