The Writers Guild of America (WGA) went on strike from Monday, November 5, 2007 through Tuesday, February 12, 2008. This included all the WGA writers who work on ‘The Office.’
The strike came after “three months of negotiations between the WGA and the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers).” Areas of contention included DVD residuals and payments for “new media” (like last summer’s webisodes).
Feb. 26: Writers Guild Members Overwhelmingly Ratify New Contract — “The members of the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) today put their final stamp of approval on the deal that ended their 14-week strike, giving writers new rights and protections for work distributed on and created for the Internet and other new media platforms. An overwhelming majority of the WGA membership voted in favor of ratifying the three-year contract by 93.6 percent of 4,060 votes cast in Los Angeles and New York. The term of the agreement is from February 13, 2008 through May 1, 2011.” More NEW
It looks like, after many long months, the writers’ strike will be ending very shortly. The vote to temporarily lift the strike while we vote on the contract passed with an overwhelming majority on Tuesday, and while we still technically have to ratify the contract (in a separate vote that takes place over the next two weeks or so), that vote was a very strong signal that we’re almost back to normal.
It was a difficult struggle, and we don’t take lightly the problems it caused for our crew, our actors, and the viewers of the show. In the end, though, we believe it was worth it, because writers have managed to win a share of the future of the industry.
We just want to thank you for the incredible display of support you have given us over the last four months. We never forget how lucky we are to have a fan base that cares so much about what we do, and we are excited to be going back to work, which is the only way we can try to pay you back.
It seems like we will be making six more episodes this year, the first of which is scheduled to air April 10. Right now, that episode will be “Dinner Party,” written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, which we had just begun to film when the strike hit. Also, although we aren’t 100% sure yet, it looks like we may have an hour-long season finale. All of this is subject to change, but seems likely. (Just stay tuned to OfficeTally — tanster will probably somehow find out all the developments before we do.)
In the meantime, we’re back at work, and would like to thank you, again, for everything.
As much fun as I had these past few days hanging out with some of The Office writers, I don’t want to minimize the seriousness of the strike. The writers are clearly weary, worried about their crew, and ready for everyone to get back to work. They do try to keep the mood upbeat, though, because they are, after all, comedy writers, and the funny just kinda flows out of them without much urging.
Update: live blogging from the picket line continues today at 10:30am PT; check back often! (And if you have a message for any of the writers, please post a comment. I will try to show the writers your notes on my phone while we’re walking!)
I’m going to try to report live from today’s picket line via Utterz, which lets me blog on-the-go right from my cell phone. Newest updates will appear first.
Everything I post will end up in the widget below. Just click the Play button!
Tip: Go to my Utterz page to see the full-sized versions of the photos.
Tonight I received this email from Michael Schur, writer and co-executive producer of The Office:
Saw this somewhere and thought TallyHeads might be into it.
This site, Firedoglake, has made it really easy to send emails to the companies on behalf of specific shows. I’d encourage them not only to do it for The Office, but for any show on any network they like and want to see come back.
Constant pressure on the networks is having an effect — and on advertisers, too. At least one large national company is considering pulling ads from shows because of pressure from consumers. (Unconfirmed but there’ve been a lot of rumors.)
Anyway, thought this might be something good for the site … as always, thanks.
If you wrote and sent a letter the first time around, you are a-w-e-s-o-m-e. Now it’s time to do it again. Tell those network execs to get back to the negotiating table!
“The strike started one month ago. While negotiations are ongoing, it’s pretty clear we won’t see a Christmas episode of “The Office” this year. Don’t get me wrong, I fully support the writers and the WGA. But, the Christmas specials hold a little spot in my heart because “Christmas Party” was the episode that made me a regular viewer of the show.
I put this little Christmas video together for the fans, writers, cast and crew of the show. Miss you!
P.S. Anyone want to Yankee Swap an episode of “Celebrity Apprentice” for some real television? Write a letter.”