Writers' deals slashed at TV studios

All it took was one studio leading the charge. After ABC Studios cut about 12 writers from its roster on Friday because of the ongoing labor dispute, three more TV studios jumped on the bandwagon today by dropping pricey overall deals. About five scribes were cut by Warner Bros. TV, according to one insider, while another source says that 20th Century Fox TV released around 15 writers. CBS/Paramount dropped an unknown number of writers, as well. A good portion of the deals involved writers who recently had their shows canceled by the networks. Obviously, hitmakers like CSI exec producer Carol Mendelsohn and Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry were unaffected by this latest round of cuts. Explains a WBTV spokeswoman about that studio’s cuts: “As an unfortunate but direct consequence of the strike, we have been forced to release some of the valued members of our roster from their development deals.”

In response, a WGA spokesman released this statement: “The companies are making a terrible mistake by alienating the very creative force that has made entertainment one of the most successful businesses in the country. We are ready and willing to negotiate a fair deal that will put the town back to work, but we can’t do it on our own. The big media companies must come back to the table with the will to make an agreement.”

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  • Jackie

    My comment is this:
    Those writer’s need to get off their asses and go back to work or face a Union-buster…
    There are plenty of “Us” out here just waiting to fill their seats and we have plenty of fresh ideas, too!
    I can’t help that your ideas were sold and you can’t help but to feel jilted but you know what???
    We, the starving artists out here, don’t give a damn, and we will gladly step in where you stepped out…
    Call me a “scab”.
    I have a library of ideas all in type that are just dying for a chance to hit the Director…
    I don’t need a friggin contract or a Union to call up my imagination…
    It’s waiting in the wings like an understudy…
    I hate to say it but, bust that Union…

  • Seann

    This is refreshing, indeed. It’s time to show those bratty writers who’s boss. Their little tantrums have cost us, the Americans, our entertainment, and has gone nowhere. So it’s truly wonderful to hear that networks are showing some of them the door, and their expendability. I realize this strike has supposedly been for the “little guys”, but it’s time they fight for themselves. In the meantime, here’s to hoping that those booted are replaced with writers who have even fresher ideas than their precedents, who must’ve filled their diapers too soon.

  • jds

    Let’s stop blaming the writers for the studios’ refusal to negotiate.

  • Jackie (a different Jackie)

    Wow, the studios must be paying people to come on here and badmouth the writers. I sincerely hope people realize that without the writers, there would be no Hollywood. There was NO reality TV in the golden days, people! Without the writers, we’d be stuck with nothing but garbage like “American Idol” and “Wife Swap.” I’m just thankful Fox has a couple new episodes of “Bones” and “House” left and that in a couple weeks, we’ll have eight straight episodes of “Lost” to enjoy!

  • Anonymous

    Go writers. Their cause is just, not greed. I just can’t stand reality TV so I value very much their work. Suits have no sensibility, they are drones thinking in how to get more by giving less. That’s greed.

  • LM

    Writers might have the right to strike, but producers and studios have the right to fire them, too.
    I personally don’t think unions help. If someone doesn’t like what they’re getting paid – or their benefits – uh, here’s a novel idea…find a new job.
    I say let the producers/studios go to the table and offer money only if the writers learn how to tell a story better. Ever watch some of the dreck on television??
    Unions hurt their members ALL THE TIME. And they’re hurting other people in the industry who are not getting paid as well. They are hurting the entire industry, not helping.

  • LM

    I am not hired by anyone to voice my opinion. I know a lot of people who think the writers union is hurting not helping..And I also know people who don’t watch television and don’t care.

  • to Jackie

    The studios don’t need to hire people to be unsympathetic to a bunch of overpaid, whiny writers. It comes naturally.

  • to the other jackie

    Who hired you to say that?

  • Nathan

    Now that the Globes have been cancelled, the Oscars are in danger and SNL is basically done for the year, I really don’t care how long this strike lasts, I hope they all go hungry!

  • Moe

    Stay strong writers! Those lousy studios will be crawling back to you soon enough – obviously you were talented enough to get a development deal in the first place, so you’ll get another!
    Seems all the major studios have all signed on to sell the shows via iTunes…this is what the writers are fighting for, people! Their teeny-tiny share. As it is, the studios will profit big time – and unless things change, the writers will get NOTHING again.
    I support the writers! Stay strong – you are right and just! The studios are greedy pigs.

  • Oy

    To Jackie and LM, who are all for strike-breaking and would happily take what they believe are the striking writers’ plum jobs. If there were no union, you would not get those jobs. Those jobs would go to twelve-year-olds who are willing to bring their own chair and their own typewriter to work for 50 cents an hour in a room filled with asbestos and benzene. Well, if unions everywhere eventually fail and we all have to work in sweatshops for 14 hours a day, without paid sick days, vacation or holidays, without safety equipment or adequate lighting, at least we’ll know who to thank.

  • sam

    The WGA is looking at this strike as a “blue collar” issue. There’s nothing “blue collar” about writing. What’s the worse that could happen? Blisters on your finger tips? The WRITERS walked off the job. The WRITERS added 3 more issues to the contract. The AMPTP said they wanted to talk about NEW MEDIA, and nothing else. So, who’s not moving? WRITERS talk about NEW MEDIA only, the AMPTP will probably beat you to the bargaining table.

  • Nick

    Now that the producers got this releasing-the-contract thing out of their systems, can they please go back to the negotiating table?

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