I have learned that Sony late last night presented a new financial package to the WGA writers of Sit Down, Shut Up! — but it still keeps the animated series an IATSE show. A Sony insider tells me that if the WGA writers won’t agree to it then “the show won’t go forward”. There have been some other interesting developments since I first broke the news about the turmoil behind-the-scenes of this show scheduled for midseason on Fox in the coveted 8:30 PM time slot between The Simpsons and Family Guy. Remember how I told you that the WGA writers worked without a contract or paycheck based on lies from Sony that Sit Down, Shut Up! would be a Writers Guild show? Well, Sony/IATSE rushed out checks on IATSE time sheets to the writers’ agents hoping to resolve the stand-off through such an all-too-obvious ploy. But rather than deposit the checks, the writers instructed their agents to mark them “Return To Sender”.
Meanwhile, the WGA found what it considers a loophole in the IATSE Local 839 contract that also could have resolved the standoff: a provision that if workers appropriate to the task at hand cannot be found within IATSE then the show can subcontract the work with no penalty as long as the deals made are the same or better than IATSE’s. “It’s a fully legitimate solution which provides Sony a fig leaf by letting them call this an IATSE show even though the writers are hired under the WGA,” another insider tells me. “But Sony doesn’t want to do it. The studio would rather flush away some of the best animation real estate on TV.” The reason is that Sony keeps telling the WGA that the studio can’t fire the 14 IATSE writers in order to hire the 14 WGA writers without being sued. But the WGA keeps responding, “Of course you can. They’re the same people.” This has turned into one of the “back and forth crazy mindfucks” most of the participants have ever experienced, which is why many of the WGA writers are already looking for other work.
- UPDATE: Now Breach Of Contract Letters
- SIT DOWN, SHUT UP, NOW WALK OUT! WGA Writers Stalk Off IATSE TV Toon; Sony Kept Lying It Would Be WGA Show
I’m told that senior execs in Sony’s marketing / advertising / distribution departments will be rewarded with bigger titles in coming days. It’ll involve “a lot of promotions”. I can confirm, however, that one exec who’s not being upped (but is … Read More »
How often does this happen? Will Smith was on Letterman last night and noted that his 7-year-old daughter Willow’s film Kit Kittredge: An American Girl opens wide against his Hancock in U.S. theaters on the same day (July 2nd). Said Will, … Read More »
I just heard from a source that showbiz PR man Howard Brandy died last night after a long illness. He was always a gentleman to journalists, with a dry wit and an ability to laugh at his clients’s many antics.
I have a major package all about SAG/AFTRA/AMPTP posting later. It is multi-part and contains a lot of new and urgent reporting, commentary and analysis.
Last year the Los Angeles Times‘ Patrick Goldstein graciously handed off the Los Angeles Press Club’s Entertainment Journalist Of The Year title for print, broadcast or online to me, and now I fittingly hand it off to the L.A. Times‘ John Horn after Saturday’s 2008 … Read More »
I’ve just been told by a source that George Carlin died this evening. This is indeed shocking. Last week, it was announced that on November 10th the veteran comic whose infamous “Filthy Words” routine reached all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court would be the 11th person inducted into … Read More »
With Comic-Con fast approaching (July 24-27) and all the Hollywood studios getting ready, I understand that Warner Bros has been nervously monitoring the deteriorating situation at its subsidiary DC Comics. There could be a major shake-up – especially if … Read More »
This has truly turned out to be the indie film shoot from hell. The political comedy Nailed, directed and co-written by David O. Russell and starring Jessica Biel and Jake Gyllenhaal, was shut down by IATSE on Friday for the same reasons as before: crew not … Read More »
SUNDAY AM: The No. 1 movie was Warner Bros’ mediocre laffer Get Smart, which opened in 3,911 theaters to a better-than-expected $39.1 million weekend. (The studio had been projecting $35M.) Exit polling showed the … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In the old days, to be a board member at the William Morris Agency, you had to be an “Elder” with white hair, a slight stoop, Red Buttons as a client, and pants pulled up to the waist. … Read More »
FRIDAY UPDATE: I just heard from a knowledgeable source that the Mark Burnett-IMG deal may be as rich as $500 million — $250M upfront, the rest earned out…
EXCLUSIVE: I chased a rumor from a month ago … Read More »
The Fox Searchlight exec VP Joey DeMarco died of apparent cardiac arrest. He’d been ill and scheduled for surgery, sources tell me. He was only 48. He’d joined Fox in 1990. This was sent out to employees from Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos: ”We are deeply saddened to inform you that our beloved friend … Read More »
AMPAS just released this news release:
Beverly Hills, CA –– The governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences approved the rules for the 81st Academy Awards at their Tuesday evening (6/17) meeting. The only significant changes were in the Music – Original Song category. Other modifications of
… Read More »
Given that Grand Theft Auto IV blew away the global retail sales record, a day doesn’t go by that I’m not asked about when it’s going to be made into a movie. Of course, that happens with every best-selling video game. But this isn’t a case … Read More »
I give TV and movie fans a lot of credit: when they get mad, they scare the crap out of the moguls. That’s happening at Lionsgate where the studio’s phones and email accounts are jammed with angry fans for the past week. They’re … Read More »
You know how there’s no fool like an old fool? Well, how about a vengeful fool? So fired New Line founder Bob Shaye told his close pals the following story: Years ago, as everyone knows, New Line had Iron Man … Read More »