The ongoing dispute between casting directors on pilots and TV studios continues with no end in sight. As we first reported on Thursday, studios have not been able to sign deals with casting directors for the past couple of weeks over the issue of pay for casting assistants. While studios pay for casting directors and associates, casting directors in many cases have to foot the bill for an assistant, a non-union position not covered by the casting directors’ contract with AMPTP. Casting directors now insist that studios cover the cost for that, with the fate of 80+ broadcast pilots that have to be cast in the next 2 months at stake.
I hear the studios are still not budging. ABC Studios, which has received a number of early pilot orders over the past 2 weeks, has begun to cast them internally. Other studios are preparing to do the same. Over the past 48 hours, we also had the first deal with a casting director that closed without the assistant provision. Casting agency La Padura & Hart Casting, whose credits include the High … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The broadcast networks are starting to pick up drama and comedy pilots for next fall. But who will cast them? I hear no deal with casting directors for the pilots ordered since the beginning of the year have closed as casting directors and TV studios are in a bitter standoff. The issue at hand is who will pay for casting directors’ assistants and associates, with casting directors demanding that the studio pick up the tab. I hear in the past TV studios would sometimes cover those costs on a case-to-case basis but this time, casting directors have banded together to demand that this becomes a standard industry-wide practice. The TV studios have refused, and the two sides are now at a standstill.
In 2005, the film and TV casting directors became unionized, joining the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. So I hear the teamsters have now gotten involved in the conflict and are meeting with the studios. “It will be very interesting,” one talent agent said. The timing of the action seems carefully chosen as it jeopardizes the broadcast networks’ pilot season, the most intense production period on the TV calendar. Some 80+ pilots are cast from January to March every year by the broadcast networks and delaying the start of that process could wreak havoc in the networks’ upfront plans. (The last time the networks’ pilot season was pushed was during the 2007-08 writers strike, with some networks, like CBS … Read More »