The Aftermath of the WGA Strike

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Good morning: In today’s edition of The Industry we look at:

The aftermath of the WGA strike e.g. when to expect your shows back, a reboot of The Office but can it ever be as good as the original version? Nicholas Cage shows up in your dreams and red envelopes without the chocolates!

Let’s Go!

IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE STRIKE

WGA strike

In the aftermath of the WGA strike, network executives quickly began running back-of-the-napkin calculations on how much of Thanksgiving and Christmas vacation to axe to get their shows back on the air:

A “13-episode network season could still be saved” if “everybody agreed to one week of Christmas Break.” Said Warren Leight, ex-showrunner for NBC’s Law and Order: SVU.

However, any writing is conditional on the WGA members ratifying deal terms, which the WGA suggested could happen by the end of the week. It is believed that the majority of network dramas and comedies are expected to return in the new year.

However, there were still rising concerns from some executives who decried short seasons as a financial pitfall. “From a studio perspective, producing six to eight episodes is terrible financially,” said one source.

Cementing the idea that new network shows like those on ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC will be aired next fall, another exec added:

“Unless you have obscene amounts of money to blow on the episodes, you have to order more than six episodes,”

But the good news is, that loosely scripted Late-night talk shows such as “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” are projected to start within weeks.

SNL will pick back up as soon as they get the all-clear due to their members being under the SAG-AFTRA’s network code deal, which was secured in 2022.

However, with the rest of the SAG strike still ongoing, it’s hard to imagine shows like SNL working quite as well without their star-studded 2023 line-up, which included Woody Harrelson, Pedro Pascal, and Jenny Ortega.

The last remaining piece of fine print between WGA and AMPTP guaranteed that writers who wait to return to work until after the SAG-AFTRA has a deal would not be penalized.

For More:

SAG-AFTRA guild leaders are ready to strike over video game contracts. 98% of its members authorized a strike if negotiations with Activision, Epic Games, and EA broke down. The voice actors, motion capture performers, and stunt actors are advocating for a livable wage and protection against AI-generated replicas.

Joe Biden applauded the WGA and the AMFTP for coming to a good-faith agreement. He encouraged all employers “to remember that all workers — including writers, actors, and autoworkers — deserve a fair share of the value their labor helped create.

Count your lucky stars. Dancing with the Stars hosts will have nothing but WGA-penned zingers for contestants like Mike Walsh (Veep) when the series returns to ABC this Tuesday.

THE INDUSTRY NEWS

Killers of Flower

As Scorsese watched Killers of the Flower Moon before its Oct 20th release, he reflected on his own mortality, a roller coaster career of critical success and failure. He lauded the Safide Brothers and “Chris” Nolan whom he thinks are keeping the next generation of cinema from dying. Scorsese himself, it seems, had tied his own mortality to the fate of cinema.

The Office is being rebooted. Series co-creator Greg Daniels is expected to return. No word yet on Steve Carrol’s involvement, but in the meantime, you can check out the Indian version of The Office (trailer).

Wubaluba dub dub. Rick and Morty season seven trailer finally answers fans’ unending questions about who will voice the dynamic duo since Justin Roiland’s ouster, kind of. The new trailer does show relatively accurate voice soundalikes, but Adult Swim has decided to wait until the premiere to reveal casting. The jury is still out on whether Roiland’s replacement will cause a Schezwan sauce-level meltdown.

Blumhouse TV (Sharp Objects, Kevin Bacon’s The Bondsman, and History’s Greatest Mysteries) has hired Jeannie Koenigsberg as Head of TV Physical Production. She is a former EVP at SK Global and VP of Production at Paramount TV. No word yet if someone is getting the axe.

THE ACTOR SPOTLIGHT

Sophie Loren

Sophia Loren, Academy-Award-winning megastar and international sex symbol of the 1950s, underwent leg surgery following a fracture she suffered during a fall at her home in Switzerland. The actress is expected to make a full recovery. If you have her address, we’ll send flowers.

Bruce Willis’ wife spoke with Today about Frontotemporal Dementia, looking to bring awareness to the medical community about how it can often go mid-diagnosed as depression, bipolar disorder, or Alzheimer’s. She sees herself as Bruce’s “care partner” and looks to charities like Hilarity for Charity and The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration for help.

Nicolas Cage-aholics rejoice. Everyone is seeing him in their dreams. Ok. So, not really. But that’s the premise of his new film, Dream Scenario. His grounded performance in this A24 film could tee him up for his first Oscar since Leaving Las Vegas. Is Cage becoming the legend we know he was all along?

THE TECH NEWS

Tech news

An end to badly dubbed films? Spotify is leveraging Open AI’s new voice-generation tech to seamlessly translate their most popular podcasters into foreign languages by making them sound identical to the original speaker’s voice. Imagine Joe Rogan speaking French or NPR in German. We’ll have to wait and see how that affects the legion of foreign actors who have built a career dubbing American films. Let’s hope that’s one deal point SAG will lobby for.

Joining the ranks of Netflix, Disney+, and Max, Prime Video is adding commercials to its TV and movies. We should have seen it coming. After Jeff Bezos decreed, “When we win a Golden Globe, it helps us sell more shoes,” it became obvious that Amazon Studios was just another part of the business flywheel. Starting early next year, customers will have to pay an additional $3 to swat away those pesky commercials.

Indian Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull cinematographer, Janusz Kamiński (The Diving Bell and the ButterflySaving Private Ryan) had issues with the script. We skipped this movie but what he said in an interview with Slash Film, seems on the money,

“When I read the script, I was concerned with the amount of action; a lot of dialogue is delivered while the characters are fighting, kicking, riding motorcycles and jumping from car to car…There were very complex shots, and we were also shooting anamorphic, which complicated everything even more.”

The next item of news…

There are some things that just remind me of childhood. 
Tomato Rotini soup. Glow in the dark stars on my ceiling. And red envelopes with Netflix DVDs. Sadly, Friday marks the last day that customers will receive a physical version of their movies. At least this time, you won’t have to send them back.

THE INDIE FILMMAKER

Under the Skin.

The new Jonathan Glazer film is already here. We’ve been in withdrawal since Under the Skin. A master class in surrealism and sensory filmmaking. His long-awaited follow-up project premiered at Cannes and is set by A24 to release on December 8th. I’m giddy to see to it, and therefore determined to shield myself from any and all spoilers so I haven’t even read the synopsis but you can here!

HGTV parody meets paranormal activity. That’s the premise for A24’s latest TV show The Curse, the brainchild of Benny Safdie and Nathan “for you” Fielder. The series follows a couple, (Fielder and Emma Stone) as they help makeover homes for the struggling residents of Española New Mexico, all while battling their producer, Benny Safdie’s, demons.

Rounding out the A24 trio is Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla. Projecting my own desire for this to be an emotional analog for the issues of male celebrity and female loneliness portrayed in Lost in Translation, I can only hope that Coppola’s distinct rendering of the female gaze will carry the picture into those ranks.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

a silence

Cannes darling Joachim Lafosse (Our ChildrenThe Restlessfilms have played in the Official Selection, Director’s Fortnight, and Un Certain Regard. His cinema has a penchant for monstrous characters and stillness. His latest, A Silencemarks the degradation of a bourgeois father suspected of pedophilia.

A captivating new trailer for Poland’s Academy Award submission, The Peasants. The directors of the literally picturesque Loving Vincent come from an adaptation of the Nobel Prize-winning novel about… you guessed it, a peasant. But seriously, check out the trailer (link above) – it’s phantasmagorical.

On This Day

1949 Groundbreaking ceremony for the Hollywood sign in Hollywood, Los Angeles; old Hollywoodland sign torn down, reconstruction of a replacement begins with just Hollywood.

Today’s edition was written by: Gabriel MillerClarke Scott, & Spencer Carter.

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