MPAA’s new Chairman/CEO Chris Dodd held his first official Board meeting in Washington DC today. But here’s what I find most interesting: following the meeting, the members of the Board from the major studios suddenly embraced the leaders from the major entertainment industry unions DGA, IATSE, SAG, AFTRA. Notably missing was the WGA which keeps being ostracized by the other unions not to mention the studios. The MPAA tells me the studios and other unions “scheduled meetings with key members of Congress and the Administration to discuss the critical importance of curbing online content theft and improving international market access”. Hmm.
UPDATED: Rich Frank & Jeff Kwatinetz’s Prospect Park, the company that announced several weeks ago that it has licensed canceled soaps One Live to Live and All My Children from ABC to continue producing them for online distribution, is finding just how hard is to transfer broadcast network series to the Web. The company just released a statement addressing some of the guild and union issues it faces in trying to continue to produce the two series for what I hear are target re-launch dates during Q1 of 2012. (All My Children will end its run on ABC on Sept. 23, One Life to Live in January 2012.) The statement was timed to coincide with the two soaps’ return from their planned hiatuses. With the casts and crews back to work, reps for Prospect Park have started to meet with casts and crews to discuss the move, with conversations with the guilds and unions involved also underway. (Unions, including AFTRA, also have been setting up meetings with current employees from the shows to advise them on the provisions of their current bargaining agreements.) Under the terms of the arrangement between Prospect Park and ABC, Prospect Park has committed to “continue to be delivered with the same quality and in the same format and length,” meaning that the company plans to deliver five broadcast-quality episodes a week each of One Life to Live and All My Children. Here is the statement:
LOS ANGELES (June 8, 2011) – Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists announced today that members have approved three-year successor agreements to the AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Non Broadcast/Industrial/Educational Recorded Material and the SAG Industrial and Educational Contract.
Overall, the memberships of SAG and AFTRA voted 95 percent to 5 percent in favor of the new agreement.