☀️WGA on Strike - what lies ahead in May; VICE preps Bankruptcy
Jason Reitman doing SNL movie / ABC gets 911 from FOX / Pedro Pascal & Paul Mescal get big new roles
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty (connect with me on LinkedIn here if ya like), and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on TUESDAY May 2, 2023.
Where the MET GALA probably picked the wrong day this year for industry coverage 🤦♂️. In a nice nod to us East Coasters, the WGA & AMPTP called off their negotiations by Midnight ET, and the WGA is now on strike.
The core chasm as expected really seems to be the future of TV writing employment:
Studios & Streamers are showing an unweilding preference to keep (and perhaps even further) embrace the ‘Gig Economy’ ethos that Streaming has brought with it.
The WGA is fighting to maintain the ‘Staff Job’ nature of TV writing, upon which the industry, and untold number of stable careers have been built for decades.
From the statements in the Q&A with WGA leaders here on this matter, yeah - this is gonna be a minute…
Given that this issue is pretty unique to the WGA in Hollywood - the core nature of most DGA and SAG/AFTRA work has always been more ‘gig-like’… with the exception of series regular work, something that is also apparently even undergoing changes in Broadcast TV as we speak #L&O, #Bob❤️Abishola. So what happens with the other guilds may play as important a role here as any new WGA negotiations.
Perhaps even more so - any potential actions from unions like IATSE and the Teamsters, which famously “doesn’t cross picket lines”… although it remains to be seen how that’s gonna work out when picketing starts today (their Studios deal is up next year btw).
But this week, Late Night TV shows and SNL do the full rerun thing, strikes begin today in LA at 1p (and in NYC, 👋 PEACOCK Newfronts at 1p) and I take a look at what’s ahead on the industry calendar this month… much of which just got a lot more complicated.
So yeah, may be time to call Clayton into the bullpen for when negotiations resume.
From developments at the Guilds… to the latest on negotiations… to the picketing frontlines… to updates on projects currently shooting and deal ramifications for talent as time goes on and much more. As it’s free, you do need to enter your email separately here 👇 to get it.
MEANWHILE: Some AMPTP members apparently decided to return to the 90s yesterday for an escape:
NETFLIX set the Menendez brothers as the focus of the 2nd installment in their Monsters series… so finally this story will be documented on TV!
Proof that PAR+ Marketing campaigns really do work - Stallone is doing a Cliffhanger sequel to be directed by Ric Roman Waugh (Angel Has Fallen), a movie from 30 years ago. Thus Stallone is reprising a role… with arguably one of the least believable character names he’s ever played: “Gabe Walker” (anyway we can we work a double identity into the sequel plot?). No studio currently attached, and will hit casting soon.
AND: Here are your 2023 TONY Award Nominations.
OH: NIELSEN added 2 Million viewers to the SUPER BOWL… 3 months later. Yeah this doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. Official total is now 115 Million.
VIEWING RECO: I caught the APPLE TV+ Boris Becker docu Boom Boom! by Alex Gibney this weekend, and highly recommend. I’m not a huge tennis fan but it’s a fascinating story of not just tennis, but celebrity and pop culture from the 80s to today… filling in some holes of stories around Boris and big names in tennis that I only recalled vaguely.
For my own edification/correction: I know it’s Steph not Stef Curry… however my phone-correct apparently prefers my friend Stef. Game 1 vs. LeBron is tonight.
IN TODAY’S EDITION:
The WGA Strike - what’s ahead for the next few weeks.
Bankruptcy looks to be a likely direction in VICE’s near future.
AMAZON sets plan to bolster FREEVEE by adding PRIME VIDEO Originals (and utilize it to promote new seasons of shows… a la PLUTO & PAR+/CBS).
They also formalized a branded-home for FAST Channels on AMAZON FIRE’s OS.
Jason Reitman sets SNL movie at SONY, as Pedro Pascal and Paul Mescal set new high profile roles (also that’s a casting duo waiting to happen).
GERSH AGENCY sells a 45% stake.
911 now has 2 Broadcast homes, and… yeah it’s a busy day let’s just get moving.
THE STRIKE & THE MAY INDUSTRY CALENDAR
Changing it up a bit today, and kicking off with what to watch / where executives will have to address the WGA strike publicly on the overall industry calendar this month (although thinking CANNES will at least be somewhat of a safe haven - then again the French do love strike talk).
THIS WEEK: EARNINGS CALLS
Q1 Earnings Season continues this week, and they might wanna boost the dial-in line capacity. First up…