The Theory of Chaos

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I am NOT going back to work...on Monday, at least

Word out of New York and Los Angeles is that, despite some last-minute attempts by 20th Century Fox's lawyers to play Calvinball with some minor deal points (way to change that reputation as a petty, money-grubbing bully, Mr. Murdoch!), the membership is solidly behind this proposed deal. I was not able to attend, but don't regret in the slightest what I was doing instead, and it sounds like the standing ovations for our board and negotiating committee did just fine without me.

Instead of immediately lifting the strike as of Monday morning, the board changed their tune out of respect for the membership, allowing us instead to vote as a full body on this matter. This means an extra 48 hours to get the details of the deal disseminated and arrange a vote. In all likelihood, this puts us back to work on Wednesday; and 10 days after that, we have our vote on the actual deal. And barring any nasty surprises, it sounds like it will pass with a healthy margin.

The Oscars will be saved, and maybe without so many months to over-think jokes it might be a bit brisker a show (a guy can dream, right?) A stripped-down pilot season for this fall can be salvaged, and the "Back 9" (the mid-season order of 9 episodes that completes a scripted series' full 22-episode season) for many shows will be thrust back into production. Your talk shows are going to get much funnier again, your soap operas won't be written by scabs, and after a few weeks of madcap crewing-up around town, scripted primetime shows will be back in front of the cameras in about six weeks, and in your homes a month or so later. By late April/early May, TV should be relatively close to what it looked like before the strike hit.

Features will rush back into production, but are likely to still be a little gun-shy pending SAG's deal. Their contract expires at the end of June, and if you thought the writers were able to grind things to a halt, just watch what happens if the studios try screwing with the actors. For the moment, any feature that isn't likely to be in post-production by July will probably avoid going into production. And if the studios are smart rather than simply mean, they'll start negotiating with the actors lickety-split. They played the strongest hand they had, and they lost.


Post a Comment

<< Home