☀️WGA DEAL Next Steps; Box Office Hits New Low
PAR shifts 2024 release dates / TNF holds strong for AMAZON / FOX 2023 salaries revealed
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty (connect with me on LinkedIn here if ya like), and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on MONDAY Sept 26, 2023.
Where yes, this is my best and final version of this newsletter. Ok fine, ‘best’ is arguable. Either way — Janice, TSwift is now publicly a huge football fan… time to get on board.
Although given that it feels like Travis Kelce is now in every 5th TV commercial on NFL Sundays… not sure he needs more exposure this year.
But he and the CHIEFS definitely put on their A-game for Taylor, crushing the BEARS 41-10… and it wasn’t even that close.
PLUS: Usher is your SUPER BOWL halftime show act in Vegas this Feb. So much for those N’SYNC / BSB rumors I guess! (which would have been fun ☹️)
AND: MAX’s latest gambit to up usage - adding a UK dating show called Naked Attraction where contestants are evaluated fully naked (with a lotta medium closeups of everything), which is in its seventh season in the UK on CHANNEL4. Remember folks - MAX is how we used to refer to CINEMAX at HBO, and old habits die hard. Either way… WBD definitely upped X’s engagement yesterday.
NOTE: Depending on the news output on Yom Kippur today… there may or may not be a WAKEUP tomorrow, and a gmar tov to those observing.
WAKEUP BOX OFFICE RESULTS
Kudos to the many here - tracking was way off (as was I at $14 mil)! I’d blame the strike but uh… yeah think that’s just one factor on this one.
🪧 DEAL FORCE
Agreements have been reached on all points on the 146th day of the strike (no deal points have yet been released), as it’s now pending a final language stage, and then an eventual vote for member approval.
No more active WGA picketing, but writers are encouraged to join their SAG-AFTRA brethren on the lines if they choose.
Late night & daytime syndicated shows will return soon after the WGA gives the greenlight to members.
Although as SAG is still on strike… they’ll definitely need to get a bit creative with the booking. But at least the reruns from February can stop, err soon.
The procedural steps still to go here:
Once the deal the fine print is complete (no specific timeline stated):
WGA Negotiating Committee votes to send it onto the WGAW Board and WGAE Council for approval.
Board & Council will then also vote to approve the deal being put up for a vote by WGA membership/set that in motion.
If/when this happens - they could also set a date for writers to get back to work while that member ratification vote procedure occurs (i.e. before final 100% signed & sealed ratification).
So, barring anything unusual… writing in Hollywood will begin again in October, although we’ll always have the Tweets.
SAG-AFTRA is now at least on deck, although no specific conversations are set… as the two sides still haven’t sat in a room together officially since the SAG strike started almost 2.5 months ago.
As to when Hollywood is fully back to work - that’s wholly a matter of your optimism (early Nov?) or pessimism level (Dec, if there’s a significant “break up period” involved, like with the WGA), and nothing more at this point.
Here is the SAG doc released on July 13 with where deal points stand for anyone needing a refresher.
AND KUDOS: To both #MediaTwitter’s inability to take a weekend break from tweeting, and creativity in finding ways to still tweet about basically no WGA-AMPTP news all weekend until the 10 p.m. ET statement last night.
Heck, I even doubled my daily X usage from 5 mins to 10 mins yesterday just to catch all the mentions of what time the sun set last night in L.A.
For the record it hasn’t stopped raining in the NYC area since Friday - we’re keeping it thematic by 🙏 for glimpses of sun by tomorrow, in conjunction with the WGA deal fine print being completed.
OH AND TODAY IN AI: It’s still racing forward
META will add AI chatbots to FB & IG as soon as this week, each with ‘distinct personalities’, including “GamGamBot” and “High School Reunion Politics Guy”. No wait, looks like they’re instead going with things like:
“Bob the robot,” a ‘sassmaster general’ with “superior intellect, sharp wit, and biting sarcasm,” according to internal META documents.
AMAZON is investing $1.2 billion and possibly up to $4 billion in an AI company called ANTHROPIC, as they hope to challenge MICROSOFT, GOOGLE and META in the field (naturally).
The company was founded by two former OPEN AI employees, who created a bot called “Claude”. We’ll work on the name.
See, this is why AMAZON PRIME VIDEO is becoming the largest ad tier in the country come early 2024… that $4 billion’s gotta come from somewhere, and it ain’t BLUE ORIGIN.