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UPDATE: Casting Directors vs Studios: Studios Digging In, CDs ‘Holding Strong’

Nellie Andreeva

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 »

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Standoff Between Casting Directors And TV Studios Threatens Primetime Pilot Season

Nellie Andreeva

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 »

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Mike Sitrick, Shame On You…

By | Thursday July 12, 2007 @ 5:31pm PDT

sitrick.jpgI’ve known Mike Sitrick for a long time. He’s a PR maven who prides himself on being a family man. Which is why he should be filled with self-loathing for allowing his firm to promote a torture porn pic like Captivity, much less an even more disgusting premiere party whose selling point was its political incorrectness. (Let me make it perfectly clear: I support talent’s right to make the movie, just not business people profiting from it.) Sure, I received all those inane emails announcing the bash, and I did the right thing: I trashed them. Other journalists fell all over themselves covering the event so as to diss it: really, they’re lemmings hurling themselves off the cliff. There is only one way to stop the business of these torture porn movies: by shaming the people who receive money for releasing them, publicizing them, having anything to do with them. So, Mike, how could you? (And how could you, After Dark’s  Courtney Solomon and Allan Zeman?) Take that Captivity money and donate it to charity and pledge publicly right now you’ll never get involved with torture porn pics again. Until Mike does, I urge Hollywood and other companies to shun Sitrick and Company because there is such a thing as guilt by association.

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