Latest WGA strike news

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).

Latest news:

  • 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

Videos: The Office is Closed | Why We Fight | This Is Our Moment

Call to action: Write a letter | Write a letter (part 2)

Ongoing strike coverage: Deadline Hollywood Daily | United Hollywood

Previous news after the jump.

Tipsters: Rayne, Jules, GMMR, Wasa-B, Annie, Dean, AKH, Jodi, Lori, Carly, Kelsey, JustCari, Amy, Secondrink, Alyssa, CH, Arden, llynn20

The Office


998 comments

  1. No! This is so sad! :-(

    We better still get a full season out of this. Hope the strike ends soon.

  2. Given there are only two episodes shot, the strike came at the best time. Since Thanksgiving is looming, usually networks tend to show reruns around that time anyways. That’ll give them at least a couple of weeks. Regardless, it might give the US audience a chance to see David Brent in action.

  3. Our set visit was scheduled for next week so you guys can imagine how my group is feeling about now. :(

  4. I wonder if this will affect the actors’ and actresses’ blogs, especially since Jenna wrote LolliLove, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Angela and Kevin have written as well.

    Hopefully not…

  5. As much as I can’t stand the thought of more upcoming Thursday nights with nothing to look forward to, I’m glad the writers are striking. Good writing makes or breaks a tv show or movie, in my book – not that any Dunderhead is already unaware of that. Quality writers need to be able to keep their jobs and be compensated fairly. Lets all stand behind them, Tallyheads!

  6. I can’t believe it’s come to this. I really hope the strike will be resolved quickly. I would hate to see The Office and tv in general fall apart, because the studios and writers can’t get their issues resolved. It’s hard enough to find quality programming as it is now. I don’t want to think about what it will be like in 2008 if this strike lasts for a long time.

  7. I’m so depressed. Does anyone know if reruns were already scheduled for after the Deposition or is this just going to force the reruns? This whole thing is so darn confusing. I would love to hear more from the other writers/actors on the show as to how they are handling this.

    Well if they are gone for a bit, I will be glad to see the BBC version of The Office again versus some other NBC crap, plus those who haven’t seen it can appreciate that version and the whole “Office world” in general even more.

    This is a sad day. :(

  8. The last writer’s strike in 1988 lasted five months, this one is about among other things percentage of royalties from DVDs and internet content, the WGA wants a higher percentage than the studios.

  9. I come from a Union family and married to a Union member (not WGA). I agree with why they are striking and I wish them the best. But on the selfish side, I hope they resolve it quickly because I can’t live without my Thursday night line up!!! Ok, I can live without it, but it won’t be very fun. :(

  10. jon-

    i could be wrong, but i don’t think their blogs are effected because it’s their personal writings….they don’t write FOR the show, per se. i really hope this is resolved soon though- the entertainment industry as a whole will lose so much money that i feel like the studio heads are cutting off their nose to spite their face, if anyone knows what that means, ha

  11. A similar strike happened recently in Canada, but it was the actors who went on strike battling for the residuals of DVDs and internet streams. Fortunately, It didnt take long to resolve, so maybe they(the studios) could take a page from the Canadian situation, and put an end to this.

    I enjoy the prospect of seeing the BBC version. Its been a while since Ive seen them.

  12. I completely support what the writers’ guild is doing. They don’t get a fair share in DVD sales and I don’t think they get anything from online airings of their shows (despite the fact that others profit from the advertisements played during the online videos)

    However, this sucks. Big time. Ugh. I am going to be so sad if we have to lose episodes because of this strike.

    Also, I read here that Steve is also being pressured not to go to work (like BJ, Mindy, and Paul, he’s written for the show– Casino Night!)

  13. I have one more thing to mention. Is anyone surprised The Office doesn’t have more scripts/episodes stockpiled. I’m a little surprised that The Deposition could be our last one till who knows if this thing goes on for a bit. I guess I never realized how up to the last minute they get these episodes out. Wow.

  14. I understand that this is neccessary, but it’s also heartbreaking. I hope all of this is resolved soon.

  15. Like everyone else, I support the writers and I understand why the strike is happening… but I hope it doesn’t last long! I really don’t want to miss out on a Christmas episode! (Jam’s first Christmas.. I need to see it!!)

  16. Well to try and look on the bright side, IF we are denied a Christmas episode, maybe they will make it up to everyone by having a St. Pats episode finally in Scranton. Just trying to find some positive. :)

  17. There would be more episodes in the can (as they say) if there had not been the four one hour shows. Each of those was equal to two regular shows so they got behind doing the long shows.

  18. I just hope that the strike actually works for the writers. All I care about at this point is that they are fairly compensated. I wouldn’t mind missing out on an episode or two if it meant that network conglomerates weren’t allowed to steal people’s wages.

  19. I just have to echo #21 LL’s thoughts on supporting the writers but still in need of Jam’s first Chistmas. hehe Let’s hope this doesn’t go on for very long and the writers get what they deserve!

    Meanwhile if this does go on past the three episode mark I personally will be boycotting TV altogether. I mean why should they get ratings and make money off of me watching reruns of a dvd I already own? I mean maybe it’s a bit harsh sounding but I will not support the studio’s effort of keeping up their profits/ratings/whatever during a strike. They should realize that without the writers they will lose money and that should light a fire under their butts to get the writers back however they can.

  20. This sucks for us, but I truly hope the writers get what they are asking for…without them, there would be no shows to begin with – they deserve to be compensated.

  21. The thing I hate most about this whole thing is simply that it is a very harsh reminder that “The Office” is just a television show, meant to make money. I’m so into the world of “The Office” and it’s so well-done that it’s easy to delude myself into believing it’s real…and I want things to stay that way! Know what I mean?

  22. I also thought at least a couple more eps beyond The Deposition would have been shot by now. I thought they’d be about one month ahead but perhaps with breaks in the schedule and anticipated regular reruns for around Thanksgiving and in December/Christmas they wouldn’t be that far ahead right now. In any case, I understand the reason for the strike but hopefully they can get an agreement soon for everyone’s sake.

  23. While I’m going to hate not having The Office plus the other shows that are affected, sometimes a strike is absolutely necessary.
    It’s not like the writers want to be out of work, so you know that these issues are extremely important to them.

    I hope these issues will come to a conclusion soon!

  24. I know I already made a comment… but wouldn’t it be great if the writers got some inspiration from all of this and decided to do an episode on a strike at Dunder Mifflin?

  25. From James Gunn’s blog today about the strike… “already, WGA member Steve Carell didn’t show up to set, so this season of THE OFFICE could be kaput after the next few already-shot episodes”

  26. If I were a writer, I would want to be paid for each free “webisode.” One my off days I would watch those over and over. Ka-ching!

  27. I am all in support of the writers. It really sucks because the writers,actors and directors aren’t seeing any money from new media. It’s sad to see how Hollywood treats the people that make them the money. Hopefully everything works out. I think that they have a few scripts, but they have to do rewrites. I guess that’s what he means by theoretically. I rather have no new episodes, than for them to shoot episodes that are under their regular standards

  28. The writing strike is already taking its toll on The Office. WGA member Steve Carell wasn’t on set today (according to James Gunn). It’s time to support the writers. When The Office does come back it will be better than ever.

  29. I have to agree with comment #29. It would be hilarious if the warehouse would go on strike and maybe some of the office workers would have to help out.

  30. I am in full support of the writers. According to this Hollywood Reporter article, Oscar Nunez said both Steve and Rainn refused to show up to work today.

  31. #34…unless you have a Nielsen box hooked up to your TV, they won’t get any ratings information from you. So, feel free to watch away and know you’re not affecting the ratings at all.

  32. To someone wiser than I:

    Does this strike affect only writers associated with the show, or any WGA member? In other words, would John and Jenna sit out for “Brief Interviews…” and “LolliLove” respectively, even though they have nothing to do with The Office?

  33. Good for Steve! I’m sure it was a hard decision to make.

    I don’t even care about the episodes right now.I hope the writers win.

    And I too will stop watching after the new episodes air……no need to support the network when they treat the writers like this.

  34. Maybe they should shoot some unscripted episodes where all the actors adlib working in the office. They might get some interesting and entertaining results that way.

  35. Thanks for all the updates, Tanster. While I’m selfishly sad to hear we may not get any new episodes after the next couple of weeks, I’m fully behind Greg Daniels, the show’s staff & cast and all those fighting for what’s due to the WGA members.

  36. This hurts my heart but as a TV major I totally understand. I’m just kind of selfish and wish it wouldn’t effect my shows. :)

    I know it’s only been one day, but I just wish it would end already!

  37. It’s sad to see the writers have had to resort to a strike, but I support them 100%. They are the reason we laugh (hysterically), cry, and love the characters of The Office. If it weren’t for the words they write, actors wouldn’t be able to bring the characters to life and there would be no show. They deserve to reap their fair share of DVD sales and internet outlets.
    I applaud Greg Daniels and the rest of the Office cast, production team, and writers for standing up for what they believe in. Please know there are many fans who support you!

  38. “Mr. Daniels said there’s only one unproduced ‘Office’ script that’s ready to go, but it’s a good one.

    ‘Last week we had our best table reading of the entire run of the show, and that’s what we were going to shoot this week,’ he said.”

    :(

  39. It would be cool if they could shoot a 100% improvised episode and air that. Most of the cast has a lot of experience doing that. It could be set up as just boring office footage of all of them doing their actual jobs, the stuff the “documentary crew” would normally edit out because it’s dull. I think it would be hilarious to see 22 minutes of Meredith asking Pam about faxes and watching the sales team make a complete sales call. Maybe not hilarious, but at least completely novel.

  40. You know, I used to be a strong supporter of the writers’ cause, but after reading some of the quotes from the picketers, I’m beginning to wonder. Some quotes from Greg Daniels especially bother me, including:

    ““We’re trying to shut down ‘The Office,’”

    (Seems a bit harsh considering that it’s his own show. He had better watch out or he might just shut it down for real.)

    and also

    “Mr. Daniels said there’s only one unproduced “Office” script that’s ready to go, but it’s a good one. ‘Last week we had our best table reading of the entire run of the show, and that’s what we were going to shoot this week,’ he said.”

    (Which sounds a bit like a kid saying, “Well I was gonna give you something cool, but now I’m not!”)

  41. “‘Last week we had our best table reading of the entire run of the show, and that’s what we were going to shoot this week,’ [Greg Daniels] said.”

    Salt, meet wound.

    “Remember, remember the Fifth of November…”

  42. I support the writers and think it is cool that they have this much power. But, I hope that the strike ends soon because I don’t want the office to disappear. Why can’t NBC just suck it up and give them what they want? Stupid TV networks!

  43. To answer #47- It does not prohibit a person like John or Jenna from acting in a television show being shot this week, since acting is governed by a different union, the Screen Actors Guild. But because they are members of WGA, they may choose to participate in the strike. That is exactly what Steve Carell is doing.

  44. While I fully support the writers and I am happy that nobody has crossed the line, I am incredibly sad that production on The Office has shut down. Particularly in light of Greg Daniels’ comment about the best table read ever, that they were going to shoot this week. I’m heartbroken. What are the odds that this will be resolved quickly?

  45. In that article about Greg Daniels he said last week they had their “best table reading of the entire run of the show.” I don’t want to miss out on that episode! These studios need to get their acts together and make the writers happy by giving them what they’ve earned.

  46. hey phyllis*farm, I think the strike applies to anyone who’s a WGA member. If John or Jenna has a WGA card from their previous work in movies or TV, the strike applies to them as well.

    I’m really sad that it has to come down to this. My sympathies are with the writers, and I can only hope that there’s an expedient resolution to this impasse.

  47. phyllis*farm: It depends if John and Jenna are WGA members. I’m going to guess that Jenna is not, so she could show up for work if she wanted to. I’m not sure about John. It gets tricky when people are both SAG (Screen Actors’ Guild) and WGA members.

  48. I support the writers. All I ask is that when it eventually ends, please guys film the Christmas episode.

  49. Re: WGA & SGA membership

    I wonder if it’s the individual’s preference as to what takes precedence, or if it’s governed by where the bulk of their income comes from: John would be actor/writer but BJ would be writer/actor.

    Regardless, the way I understand things is that, at least in the case of The Office, the entire production of the show is being halted in a show of solidarity for the writers. Nothing is going on, writing or otherwise, with the exception of these last two episodes (ADR, editing, etc.).

  50. I support the writers as well (don’t know if anyone else heard Jon Stewart’s bit about the strike last week, but it was hilarious and right on target about how silly it is for the industry to say it cannot come up with a proper scheme for paying for online content). I do think they will be able to come to a resolution of things relatively soon (I know, famous last words). The writers don’t want to be on strike and I think if they are made a fair offer, will be inclined to take it and be thrilled to get back to work.

  51. Ok, I’m really confused, every article I read anywhere says that all the shows, including NBC should have scripts leading into the new year, why is the Office the only one that seems to have already run out? I’m so utterly confused!

  52. The Nard Dog is generally pro management, but in this case the writers clearly need a cut of whatever revenue ends up coming from “new media” broadcasts of their writing. It’s nice to see what looks like the whole Office family pulling together as one, and demonstrating their teamsmanship on this. The actors are going to face the same problems when their contract is up, so it is in their interests to help out the writers by not crossing the picket lines.

    I can watch DVDs of Season 1-3 and my DVR’d Season 4s for as long as it takes.

  53. Nov. 5: I just talked to another Office source who states, “There are many of them, including actors, picketing outside their set offices.”

    This made me giggle just a tiny bit because from what I have read/heard the Office set isn’t really visible to anyone from anywhere.

    Overall though, I am not giggling and I think it is what needs to be done even though it could mean hard times for the people who work behind the scenes for much less money. The studios need to get their act together quickly, and audiences need to turn OFF any attempt at “filler” reality programming.

    [from tanster: that was my first reaction as well — you mean they’re picketing at the end of a cul-de-sac in the middle of nowhere? but when you think about the quirkiness of this show, you wouldn’t have it any other way.]

  54. This breaks my heart. It’s like being right in the middle of the best book you’ve ever read in your entire life, and someone walking up and snatching it out of your hands.

  55. I really hope this gets resolved soon. I never knew that writers didn’t get any profit from online things like that, and I agree that it is really unfair! I hope this won’t last as long as the last one did. We can only hope that us fans can maybe cause enough pressure for the studios to reconsider and give the writers their due. I am glad to hear about solidarity amongst non-writers too. Maybe that will cause this to end faster! We can only hope. Five months without The Office would make me cry.

  56. Hey, I just wanted to thank you for the up-to-date coverage on the strike and how it affects the show. When someone told me the show had officially shut down production, I wanted to verify it and, honest to God, I thought, “Wait, Office Tally will know.”

  57. Can we help the WGA by writing in support of them to the networks? I saw an interview with Tina Fey saying that audiences should do that….would it really help?

  58. For all those people who think John isn’t a member of the WGA; he actually would be. He’s writing/directing ‘Brief Interviews with Hideous Men’, which would mean he would almost certainly be part of both guilds.

  59. 62 | Sarah

    He isn’t doing this to try and hold anything over anyone head but the studios. The studios wanted ALL showrunners, actors, AND writers who are also in SAG to show up for their acting and non-writing jobs.

    This is the studio’s way to buy more time. By someone like Greg Daniels standing up and saying NO, he is only putting pressure on the studios to get their stuff together. In a week, the studios won’t have any new programming to run. In November sweeps.

    I also urge all audiences to turn off their televisions when the programming runs out. Don’t be duped into reality crap.

  60. This upsets me a lot! I really hope it doesn’t last for as long as it did last time! Question: So, why did Steve and Rainn refuse to show up for work? Sorry, I don’t quite get this strike too much yet…
    But yea, I agree with previous posters, I would rather have the Office temporarily go off air for a while than them airing new episodes. Even though I love new episodes, it just seems better.

  61. This might seem strange, but this whole strike thing actually makes me sort of glad that the agreement with ITunes didn’t work out. Think about it…the deal fell through because NBC wanted so much money for their shows that Apple would have had to jack up the price per episode to unreasonable amounts. Now we find out that if that had happened, none of that money would have gone to the writers. I guess sometimes things happen for a reason.

  62. I may suffer from a mental breakdown, like Jan, if this goes on.

    I am fully supporting the writers, and although I don’t know every detail of this conflict, I do know, that, if production stops for a long time, I don’t think I can handle it.

  63. For the love of God (or some other deity with the head of a walrus and the body of a sea lion), just pay the writers their share of the new media profits and let The Office crew get back to work!

  64. I’m all for the writers doing whatever they need to do. For some reason, I feel like this hiatus could be just what The Office needs right now.

  65. I think its great that the writers are taking effective action towards a just cause. We are all visiting this website, looking at these comments, because we love The Office. As cast members have said countless times, the magic of this show is all because of the writers’ work.

    I’ll be sad to see the Office go for now (and I’ll probably be a little nutty, as well), but I hope that, when it returns, the writers will have a new fervor and our favorite show will be better than ever =)

  66. 49. littlestitous….

    That’s a pretty good idea. So many of the stars are trained in improv so that would be pretty cool, kind of like Curb your Enthusiasm

  67. I support the writers 100% but does that mean that Rainn and Steve were supporting the actors?

  68. To those wondering about Rainn and Steve: they’re supporting the writers by not working, not protesting the strike, as it were. The networks are trying to make actors, producers, and other non-writers continue to work despite the strike so they (the networks) can keep making money off the shows. By refusing to work, the actors are putting pressure on the networks along with the writers, showing that they don’t support the unfair contracts either and that they’re willing to suffer financially to make a statement.

  69. This is a grim day for all Office Fans. I hope that 30 Rock survives…it had a rough ratings battle last year, and it was really starting to get great! And Scrubs is in it’s last season! How will they end it with the Strike? I hope this only lasts a few days. After reading all the articles, I think that both sides need to come to an agreement. I think that the writers are being fair, and that the studios are trying to keep costs under control. I understand why this stuff happens, but I still feel sorry for everyone!

  70. 85 | Luke

    That is an excellent question! I distinctly remember one of the writers at the Convention (during Writers Block) say he’s responsible for the site (or at least for coming up with the idea).

    So if all the writers are on strike, I imagine that means DMI goes on hiatus as well…

  71. @ Hannah and the dundies

    Steve, Rainn, and John all wouldn’t show up to work because they are all probably part of the WGA themselves (Steve – having written ’40 Year-Old Virgin’ / ‘Office’ eps, Rainn – has film scripts in pipeline, and John – ‘Brief Interviews with Hideous Men’)

    I’ve also heard that many television actors not associated with the WGA have also been turning up and showing their support for their television show writers/producers too.

  72. GMMR, I’m with you on just watching the office cast members chat on camera! I would watch them balancing their checkbooks :-)

  73. Has there been any mention of fans taking action, i.e. having a “black out” of some sort and turning off the television when our shows should be on to show our support?

    I know I can watch reruns anytime, and the UK Office is also on DVD, so I would rather try to make a statement than watch a substitution.

  74. Tori and Tanster – You have me giggling at the visual of The Office workers striking in the middle of nowhere. It’s just so very ‘Dunder Mifflin’.

    Also, maybe this is just my Office obsessed mind, but I wonder if the show had any impact on the font used on the WGA picketing signs. It’s clearly The Office font.

    Anyone else on board for a REAL Dunder Mifflin documentary. I’d gladly watch the cast just sitting around the set talking every day.

  75. according to James Gunn’s blog (Jenna Fischers husband) over on myspace, steve carell didn’t come into work today… and there are links all over the internet saying that no actors from the OFFICE have crossed the picket lines… looks like we have two episodes left…
    as a film student i’m okay with the writers asking for more… as a tv fan, this sucks.

  76. I can’t believe the bad luck – Greg Daniels said they had the best table reading in the entire run of the show and they were going to shoot it this week – and they had a hiatus last week. Why couldn’t they just have shot one more episode and taken this week as the hiatus? Now we could be faced with months of wondering what that great episode is.

    And for everyone on board with the writers – it seems so obvious that they should be getting a share – but just remember there are 2 sides to every argument. Just because we are not hearing the other side doesn’t mean they don’t have some valid points. After all, unions are what have brought the state of Michigan to its knees.

  77. For all of the money that these big-dog companies make, I can’t believe that they’d completely disregard (or ignore rather) the fact that these shows wouldn’t exist without writers/actors. So why not give them their fair share?! The Office is the show. My show. From it’s debut, The one thing that I look forward to weekly. It’s comedic venture has seriously helped me get through some of the toughest times I’ve had in these past few years. I wish I were on the front lines with them. Stay strong!

  78. This whole thing is making me feel a little sick if I think of possible months of waiting and hoping for new episodes. I’m on the writers’ side of course, so I just hope they get what they want soon.
    I’m just so, so glad that the convention happened before this strike. I’d be infinitely more upset if they had to cancel that because of the strike.

  79. Amazing idea! Who knows the most about The Office? Tanster! She could take over writing if it’s cancelled. (Seriously consider it)

    [from tanster: that is the funniest thing i’ve heard all day. thank you. :) ]

  80. Is it weird that I get sick to the stomach thinking that The Office is not, as of now, being made? I mean, I fully support the writers in what they are doing but it’s just weird that something I have come to care about so much is now off the air. It kind of makes me realize how much this show means to me.

  81. I’m so sad and angry over this it’s ridiculous.

    Everything’s always about money. It astounds me how greedy and cheap some people can be. Just give the writers what they deserve, it’s not that hard.

    There’s got to be something we as an audience can do, right? I’d boycott television if it meant getting The Office back on track again.

    If season 4 suffers for this it’s going to kill me, an audience member who, along with many others, have up until this point gladly given NBC my time and money in support of my favorite show.

    I hope they remember that.

  82. Has there been any mention of fans taking action, i.e. having a “black out” of some sort and turning off the television when our shows should be on to show our support?

    I have to say, anybody who is watching the videos online is giving NBC more money.

  83. Support the writers 100% and I hope the they get what they want.

    (Soon!)

    I don’t really know what the fans can do to help except not watch the substitute programming. =/

  84. This is really disturbing stuff, and I’m not just saying that because we the fans will be Office-less for however long. This strike is really an eye-opener as to what goes on behind the scenes of television and movie sets, in terms of legal issues and conflicts.

    I’ve been learning alot today about exactly whats’s going on with the WGA and such, and it really is frightening. I mean, even Steve and Rainn declining to work… thats upsetting.

    For the record, I’m on the writers’ side. I agree with what they are going through.

  85. I don’t get this. The strike is going to hurt the wrong people. Execs and producers make millions of dollars a year, and if they need to make money, all they need to do is put an unoriginal reality show on the air and voila…the writers can keep picketing and their wallets get fatter.

    The people who are being punished are the extras and caterers and cameramen and editors and sound mixers and so on and so forth…those whose livelihoods depend on shows like The Office to remain on the air.

    Don’t get me wrong…I TOTALLY think the writers have a case here, and the studios are being piggish. But isn’t there a better way of proving your point without hurting the little guy???

  86. Yes, it’s sad that our favorite shows may not be there. But I’ll make this sacrifice for this good cause. Basically, these writers are middle-class folks with families to support, just like you and me. They deserve to be paid for their creative efforts and hard work. If your boss had treated you like the Studios are treating these writers, you’d be picketing, too.

    Some required reading about the strike

  87. 119 | Aaron
    “If this strike goes on for long, the networks may just fire all the writers and just air reality TV shows”

    Aaron, the odds of that happening are about 10,000 to 1. Now, Kevin would take those odds, but…

    “These days, though, [unions] almost always do more harm than good.”

    Um… if there was no writers’ guild then the writers would have little to no recourse to get fair pay. Fair pay is just as important today as it was a hundred years ago. Ergo unions are still needed. (my logic prof would be so proud!)

  88. “Reality TV shows are far cheaper and easier to produce and generally get much better ratings. If this strike goes on for long, the networks may just fire all the writers and just air reality TV shows.”

    That’s not necessarily true. Scripted comedies aren’t the only things on TV. Shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, CSI, etc. have huge fan bases, and if you look at ratings, even though American Idol has the highest ones on TV, it’s about the only one. Other quality reality shows have good ratings as well, but they still are not the majority of top-rated programming. Even with networks making more reality shows to try and compensate, they will eventually lose enough money to give the writers what they want. There are only so many reality tv shows that the American public is willing to watch on broadcast television. The question is how long will it take for studios to realize this inevitable impact and get their act together.

    I might cry if The Office shuts down for the rest of the season.

  89. AMPTP-

    Pay Them and lets get back to The Office. Seriously. This is infuriating for fans!! We LOVE this show, don’t hurt us cause you can’t fork over the $$!

    I’m tired of all this.

  90. I wouldn’t watch crap reality shows. They just don’t satisfy like the Office does. Hope that the networks know what they’re doing, cause this is going to be a LONG ride. -_-

  91. Would it be weird if I showed up to the set (which is a minute and a half away from my house) in support of their strike? Really, would it? lol.

  92. I don’t know what I will do without this show. It makes my week.
    Give the writers what they need and keep our shows going.
    I can assure you that I will NOT be watching a reality show or UK version of anything. Reality shows are just too much.
    In summation. End this strike. Return to work on our show. The end users like us (viewers) are being severely hurt.

  93. I support the writers and really, truly believe they deserve equal compensation, but I can’t help but feel that, as actors, Steve and Rainn are letting down their cast by not showing up for work.

    I mean, hell, Steve asked for a big raise and got one last year as an actor. Granted, he’s not the most paid actor on television, but he makes almost as much as the Grey’s Anatomy cast despite having less than half their audience. I mean, isn’t that money that could have gone to the other writers? Or am I misreading the situation?

    I just hope the writers get the pay and respect they deserve soon and everyone goes back to work.

  94. it’s so cool that we have this website where we all come and support our favorite show. sometimes we get people that complain about an episode, but ultimately this is OUR show. we will always stand behind it, no matter what. i don’t know, that is just really awesome.
    the office is so much more to us than a show. it will be back.

  95. Although I will hate to see fewer episodes of The Office, it will actually be in the fans’ favor, and to the writer’s advantage, if actors like Steve and Rainn don’t work. The only way to force the AMPTP to get back to the negotiating table is to make sure they have nothing to put on the air; every single episode that gets made during this strike is another blow against the bargaining power of the writers (and, later, the actors and directors when the SAG and DGA contracts come up for renewal in the Spring). Far from castigating Steve (who is, after all, a WGA member) for refusing to cross a picket line, I am glad he is supporting his fellow writers, and hastening the end of this strike.

  96. 2 thoughts:

    1. Go writers. Everyone is entitled to fair pay and compensation for their work.

    2. If there is one thing the online world was good for, helping to garner support for deserving causes is it… There’s probably something we, as concerned viewers, could do to help.

  97. No, I get the point of the strike, but it just seems a little off that only a couple of actors are NOT showing up to work (that we know of, at least) while everyone else is. I just feel like a lot of other people are getting hurt by this.

    And from what I’ve seen/read, most television writers make about $200k a year, which is certainly disproportionate to the millions that studios take in, but it’s not as though they’re living below the poverty line and unable to support themselves. Combined, my parents don’t make that much annually. Am I just being naive here?

  98. “Excuse me. I’ve been told there’s been some interest in forming a Union and that Michael supported it. Obviously he’s not a friend of yours because he didn’t tell you the facts. So let me. If there is even a whiff of unionizing in this branch, I can guarantee you the branch will be shut down like that [snaps her fingers]. They unionized in Pittsfield and we all know what happened in Pittsfield. It will cost each of you a fortune in legal fees and union dues and that will be nothing compared to the cost of losing your jobs. So I would think long and hard before sacrificing your savings and your futures just to send a message. If you have any further questions you can direct them to… to Michael.”

  99. I really wish as a viewer, and an aspiring writer myself that there was some way to show solidarity with the writers guild so we could kinda force the studios to agree to the writers terms quicker…which I think would be mutually beneficial for both viewers (who would get their shows back) and writers (who would have their terms met and have income coming in again).

  100. i guess what i don’t understand is why people are picketing the office set. it doesn’t seem proactive to me. isn’t there someone higher up who has more control over who gets paid?

  101. As much as I will miss the show if this strike goes on, I understand why they are doing it. Rainn, Steve and Greg are doing the right thing in standing up for the writers.

  102. “And from what I’ve seen/read, most television writers make about $200k a year, which is certainly disproportionate to the millions that studios take in, but it’s not as though they’re living below the poverty line and unable to support themselves. Combined, my parents don’t make that much annually. Am I just being naive here?”

    We always complain about athletes, usually, when it comes to salary and complaints about their salary. “How can they complain about making millions to play a game?” But look at the revenue the teams generate, and the profits that many team owners pocket.

    The point, however, is an economic one, too. Google: Marginal Product or Marginal Value.

    Compared to my salary, 200k is quite nice, though I don’t think it’s that much for every writer. But that person’s labor is valued so highly because of what a good end product can generate in revenue that 200k is a justified rate for some writers.

    Furthermore, considering the money going toward digital and new media, I see no problem with them striking. Ability to assemble is a God-given right, and a 1st Amendment right; and striking is as American as apple pie.

  103. Ahh well. At least I still got South Park for a little bit.

    I bet they will do an episode on this.

  104. I get that Steve and Rainn and others are supporting the writers by not coming in to work, but it doesn’t seem right to me. Don’t these people have contracts to work? Won’t they be breaking their contracts by not showing up to work?

    I don’t know how the show business works, but I assume these people have contracts they have to abide by. But there isn’t going to be any consequences for these actors for breaking their contracts because of who they are.

    If I chose not to show up to work because I was supporting a cause not really related to me, I would be fired. And that is because I’m a nobody. But these actors can get away with stuff like that; even breaking their own word (contracts) and not suffering the consequences.

    I love all the actors on The Office, but I don’t think what they are doing is right.

  105. This is what I’ve heard.

    I heard that the WGA gets around $.04 for each DVD sale/rental. The main point of contention based on what I’ve heard is the new method of re-airing shows and movies on the internet; the writers don’t get a piece of *that* pie because the networks/studios are saying that the medium is still too new to put a price tag on it.

    The last time the networks/studios claimed that to the Writer’s Guild? …Back when DVDs were a new medium.

    Again, that’s just what I’ve heard.

  106. Well, all of this kinda sucks. I was really looking forward to that 30 episode season too. I do think the writers deserve money made from online viewing too, it’s just too bad it all had to work out this way.

  107. I’m confused… the entire cast must not have crossed picket lines if they were able to film two scenes yesterday… Did Mindy and BJ and Paul work or not? All we’ve heard is Rainn and Steve and a pic of Ed.

    And is there a place we can look and see who is a member of the WGA instead of all this speculation? John and Jenna may not be considering they’re producing their own scripts… I don’t know how all that works. But we haven’t heard about them picketing or not.

    I figure if anyone has done the research, it’s Tallyheads! :-)

  108. Arggghhh!!
    I just read the Nov. 5th “Daniels Pickets Office Production” and got even more upset over this strike!

    “The best table read yet this season and that’s what we were going to shoot this week.” Come on! The prospect of only 3 more Offices is already killing me enough!

    Hope this doesn’t last too long…

  109. I feel anxiety for myself…what will I do if Office episodes go missing this season??!

    But more importantly, I support the writers–I hope they get what they deserve (which is the moon and stars).

    Thanks for this non-hysterical coverage, Tanster. I see lots of “OMG”-type posts in other places. I love coming here for a calm summary of these events and how they affect the most brilliant show on TV.

    [from tanster: you’re welcome. :) ]

  110. One more question: Wouldn’t Ed have to be a member from his work on The Daily Show, like Steve?

    I looked for an official list and couldn’t find one… anybody have better luck?

  111. I’m supporting this strike 100%, everyone deserves a bit of boost in their salaries and pay bc with everything going online and dvd sales making a ton of profit the writers and etc are getting shafted
    and as much as i love the office I really think this is needed to balance things out.

    and besides, it’s not just the talents of the actors but also the writers on this show that make it spectacular! so we as Office fans need to be supporting this 100%.

    thanks for all the updates!

  112. Re: Comment 157

    It’s unthinkable that someone would cross a picket line set up by a union of which they are a member. Both Rainn and Steve are WGA members, whether or not their primary roles as part of The Office are actors or writers. The lines just seem to get blurry when you’re dealing with people who are members of multiple unions.

  113. Think about it, The Office is easily the highest rated show on NBC and Steve Carell is the biggest name on the network. Without him or the highest rated show, NBC is left without one of their biggest money makers. They can’t do the show without Steve and without the show, there are no viewers. It makes perfect sense to me. The writers (and everyone else) need to show just how much they stand to lose without them.

    Let’s remember too, that BJ, Mindy, Paul, Steve, etc. were all struggling at one point. They need to support the thousands of writers who haven’t gotten a regular gig and are struggling to get steady work. We, the fans, are secondary to them supporting their colleagues and that is the way it should be.

    Power to the people. Moment of silence for our show.

  114. You can find out who the members of the West Coast guild are on the guild’s Web site http://www.wga.org – unfortunately the East Coast guild’s member search function isn’t working.

    However, just because someone is not a member of the union, this does not mean they would be forced to cross the picket lines – and they may not even be legally required to cross the picket lines depending on the wording of their own contracts, or even the wishes of the network. A network that asked people to cross picket lines on the first day of a strike may risk alienating its actors, writers, and even viewers.

  115. Okay, here is my take. The Office is so good because it is written by, acted by, and produced by writers! Not to mention Paul, Mindy, and BJ, Steve has written episodes and movie scripts, Rainn has written a short and is married to a fiction writer, John, Ed, and Jenna have written movie scripts, and Oscar, Kate, and Angela are writers and very creative improv performers. It has so many talented writers contributing every day. This is why the show attracts rabid fans like us and extraordinary guest directing talent like Harold Ramis and Joss Whedon. More than most other shows, there will be solidarity within The Office cast and crew. Good luck, everyone (both fans and WGA members).

  116. I’m a card-carrying member of a newspaper union, so as much as it is KILLING me to even consider that we will miss out on ANY Office episodes that even just hypothetically existed at one point in a writer’s computer or head, I fully support this strike. I am so wowed by the cast and crew for the support they are showing their co-workers. It says so much of who Steve, Greg, Dwight, Ed, etc. are as people. I love this show. And Tanster, thank you for the updates!

  117. Kelley,

    I can’t say for sure, but the Today show had coverage of the strike earlier this morning and they showed B.J. and Mindy picketing pretty enthusiastically, so I’m assuming they have no intention of acting again until this all gets sorted out.

    I feel a little crazy for admitting this, but the whole situation is really screwing up my day.

    I need a new hobby.

  118. I think it’s premature to say the show is done for the season. They’ve only been on strike for one day! Yes, it’ll probably be a shorter season, but they generally shoot until March, and that’s four months away. Let’s wait and see what happens.

  119. Doesn’t anyone else find it selfish of the actors to be protesting? I mean think about it, by shutting down production for god knows how long, they’re putting a ton of other workers out of jobs for a while. Food caterers, janitors, technicians- everyone doing these “menial” jobs are being paid low wages and the writers are complaining about $200,000 salaries? Get over yourselves, I would kill for such a salary. Yeah, they do deserve more profits from online sites and DVD sales, but they need to think about people other than themselves. Have they even mentioned upping the pay of these workers or is it all about them? Plus, they’re really going to anger and disappoint their fan base, the people who support them in the first place. Just my two cents for the day.

  120. “Has there been any mention of fans taking action, i.e. having a “black out” of some sort and turning off the television when our shows should be on to show our support?”

    Well, my take on this is that The Office is literally the ONLY thing I watch on TV, so it’s a guarantee that mine will be off until they’re back on the air.

    And… as a designer, I totally back the writers on the strike. They deserve to be fairly compensated for their creative efforts over time and especially for new media. It may suck for us, the viewers, but in reality, it’s not the end of the world. I hope it’s resolved soon, but not to the detriment of the creatives who are not millionaires. We all have to eek a living out somehow, right?

  121. its not about the people making 200k a year…its about the people that are struggling to get by, and have a lot of down time between jobs, so that in the mean time they can put food on the table. If they get these benefits, other workers will too as time goes on. Its alot more selfish for the studios to deny them a cut of the money they’re getting in based upon work done by the writers.

  122. I absolutely believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I must, however, say I could not disagree more at the notion that the actors, producers, etc who aren’t showing up for work are being selfish. The fact of the matter is, without writers, there wouldn’t even be an industry. I find it honorable that they are standing behind and supporting the writers. If fact, I would be disappointed if they weren’t supporting them. Anyone of us, if we created a product, would want to be fairly compensated for it. The writer’s aren’t asking for anything they aren’t rightfully due.

  123. Ok Tanster I want your opinion. Do you honestly think that the show is done for the season?
    What makes so many think that is the case? I’m just still very confused by this and its making me a little crazy, it all happened so fast. I can’t even imagine this show (or all the shows) being done for the season, it seems so wrong. We just got our shows back! I can’t imagine that the writers/actors would possibly sacrifice the entire season! I mean would they? Even more so the people who have the power to stop this, how could they allow that? ugh, I’m depressed.

  124. #188,

    The last writers’ strike in 1988 lasted for 5 months. If this strike lasts anywhere near that long, it will be past the scheduled end of shooting for this season of The Office. Since many of the actors are contractually obligated to shoot movies during the summer months, it’s nearly impossible that they would resume shooting The Office past the predetermined shooting date. Also, keep in mind that this strike seems (to most people) to be more serious and more bitter than the last one was. That means that for all intents and purposes, this season of The Office is over. To be honest, at this point fans should just be hoping that it comes back at all.

  125. Whether “The Office” and other scripted shows are done for the season will depend on how long the writers strike goes on. If it is just a few days or weeks, there should be little impact on TV shows. If it goes on for several months, then yes, many shows could be done for all or most of their seasons. We will have to wait and see what happens. The last time the writers struck (about 5 years ago?) it lasted only a few days. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

  126. As a union member, I’m sympathetic to the writers and what they’re trying to accomplish and wish them the best of luck. Unfortunately, sometimes a strike is the only way to let management (in this case, the studios) know you mean business. Let’s hope both sides can come to an agreement soon so we can continue to enjoy new episodes of The Office — I hardly made it through the summer!

  127. Correction to my posting #192. In 2001 the WGA threatened to strike, but it was resolved at the 11th hour, so no strike actually happened then, and TV programming was unaffected. The last strike, as others have already pointed out, was in 1988, and it went on for about 5 months. Let’s hope this one is resolved much sooner than that.

  128. The last strike, in 1988, went from March to August, so had a smaller impact on TV series. It shortened the seasons of some shows by a few episodes and delayed the start of the fall season. With this new strike happening in November, it could possibly have a bigger impact on the shows, since it is in the middle of shooting season.

  129. Whether or not you believe they’re doing this for the little guy or not, even those who earn salaries of $200K+ (wayyyyyy more than I make) deserve to get their fair share of the pie. The fact that they eat from a bigger pie than I do makes little difference.

  130. Post 190:

    “To be honest, at this point fans should just be hoping that it comes back at all.”

    I’m sorry–that really doesn’t make sense. Pessimism and realism are not the same thing. I really doubt that EVERY show on television will be cancelled over a strike. I do think shows on the verge of being cancelled could be in trouble, but that isn’t the case with The Office. It’s actually lucky this strike is occurring now instead of a couple years ago, when ratings weren’t as good.

  131. Where are people coming up with this idea that the SERIES could be done forever? Where?! I really want to know this, I get sick to my stomach even typing that. This sucks so much.

  132. #198:

    Here’s the source of my pessimism/realism:

    Most media experts still maintain that the networks still have not recovered from the strike of 1988. That strike caused a permanent 10% decline in viewership for the networks, and led to the sudden popularity of cable TV. If this strike goes on for the same amount of time as the last strike, in the heart of the season rather than during the summer, with cable TV already being immensely popular and taking viewers away from the networks, with ratings already way down for the networks, with the networks missing the influx of money from November AND February sweeps, it is entirely realistic to believe that some or all of the networks may be facing bankruptcy. If that’s the case, then all current TV shows on that network would be canceled. That’s the irony here: the writers are striking for more money, but instead they may just be putting themselves out of a job.

  133. The Office is not going to get cancelled. NBC’s Thursday night lineup is strong because of it’s high popularity with 18-24 year-olds(well, 18-40-somethings in general too). You don’t cancel shows that get younger viewers because advertisers pay the most for commercials during those shows.

    The only Thursday show that will definitely have problems is Scrubs, since this is it’s last season anyway. But come on, people. Why on earth would NBC cancel The Office?

  134. The $200K figure has been batted around – From what I can tell, it came from a Nov. 4th NY Times article, and the full quote reads that “The average working writer in Hollywood takes home about $200,000 a year”

    Note the operative word, “working”

    The article also states that “About 48 percent of West Coast members are unemployed, according to guild statistics”

    Sounds like writing can be a boom and bust gig – Get on a hit show for a few years and its great, but you need residuals to make it through the many years you either aren’t working or aren’t working for a big moneymaker.

  135. Thanks blacklamb… my dad works for CBS in my small town, so my TV is tuned to him the in the AM… I didn’t catch Mindy and BJ.

    And I do think it’s extremely pessimistic to say the show is gone forever… even that the season is over. I think we’re all getting overly caught up in our little cyber-world here and scaring each other too much.

    We can’t forget: no one wants this right now. Everyone (even the studios) is losing money. And since money is all this is about and all anyone thinks about, I think we can count on more discussion soon.

    Deep breaths, people. :-)

  136. While I would agree it MAY be possible the season is over, I’m a little shocked people think it’s the end of the series. We’re not the only show on strike. And if every show that went on strike, DIDN’T come back…ever…? Well, I highly doubt that will happen.

    Let’s stick with the reality of the situation.

  137. Ain’t It Cool is reporting “The Office” is offically shut down. aintitcool.com (it’s on the right hand side)

    Apparently, Jenna and John have joined Steve, Rainn, Paul, Mindy, BJ and Greg in not crossing the picked line, thus the show has shut down.

  138. I think a lot of the confusion comes from the fact that people see that writers make somewhere around $33k an episode… which is great, EXCEPT for many freelancers, they’re lucky to get to write a couple episodes a year. For them, the kickbacks off of DVD sales and reruns really do matter, so the same obviously goes for new media.

    Sure, some of the rich may be getting richer but the studios – the richest of them all- are totally getting away with robbery. They get TONS of money from advertising on the websites, so it wouldn’t be a big deal for a percentage of that to go to the people who created it.

    And it’s not selfish of the actors to be picketing.. they’re going to be facing the same issues when their contracts are up at the end of the year. And with Greg Daniels refusing to work, it’s not like the show can go on anyway.

  139. I don’t think it’s selfish for the actors to refuse to come to work. In fact, I wish more actors were doing that. Execs are counting on the bank of already-written tv and movie scripts, and if they can’t count on those I think they’d be more likely to settle this mess faster.

    Until then, I think we should all stay away from the deleted scenes and online episodes. As much as I hate it, it’s something small we could all do for the writers.

  140. Wow. This is all so unfortunate… Do you really think the show is done for the season??? I will be so upset (as will all fans) if this is the case. :(

    Thanks tanster for all the updates on what’s happening! You do an amazing job here!

  141. The quote randomizer! Won’t someone think of the quote randomizer!

    [from tanster: yes. the quote randomizer is NOTHING without its writers.]

  142. I am extremely confused. When source 3 says “completely shut down” this just means until the strike ends, correct? I know that “The New Adventures of Old Christine” is “shut down,” but this is just until this strike ends, right?

  143. Wow, I’m just realizing exactly what all this means. No more Office?
    I really hope not. But I’m in complete support of the writers.
    But, because I’m selfish, I still want my Office. I don’t even care about my other shows, I only care about the Office :(

  144. So production has shut down officially. Does anyone (tanster, I’m looking at you) know what the scenes shot yesterday were for? Last minute shots for The Deposition or normally scheduled shooting for the not-to-be-aired-anytime-soon Episode 4.09? In other words, is The Deposition officially in the can and set to air on the fifteenth?

    [from tanster: yes, ‘The Deposition’ is officially in the can, so the scenes shot yesterday were for a brand new episode.]

  145. “Nov. 6: From Office Source #3 — “the studios decided this afternoon to officially shut our show down, so all production on it has ceased.” ”

    NO! NO! :'(
    I’m all for small-scale writers getting paid what they need and everything, but come on! big-time writers like those on The Office and other primetime shows? I know they’re doing this to further make a point, but it still SUCKS! :(
    Also…just wondering…if they pick up where they left off with the strike, does that mean the season will go into the summer or something? Because I think I’d have to spork my eyes out if the just cut it short.

    :[

  146. “I want to do something to their eyes!!” (The network studios that is)!

    I completely understand the strike and hopefully these studio execs will come to their senses NOW and give the writers what they deserve. If if weren’t for them, there would be no shows!

    Please let this be over soon or I will seriously cry…… in the mean time I have the DVR’s season 4 episodes and the first 3 seaons on DVD which is better than nothing.

    I hope this comes to a resolution soon!!

  147. The show’s been officially shut down! No! I really hope that this all gets straightened out soon. Not just because I’ll miss the show dearly, but think of everyone on staff who has been put out of work. And the writers really do deserve to be paid for all forms of media. What a sad, sad day :(

  148. 218:

    I think the way to look at it is if the more well off writers failed to strike, then the networks would just ignore the “small-scale writers” since they presumably work on less popular shows, or aren’t working at all. So by striking, the better off writers support the less well off writers.

    202:
    Don’t worry about a popular show like The Office being cancelled. NBC Universal being forced into bankruptcy by this is very unlikely, particularly since GE their parent corporation generates income from many sources other than TV. But even if it happened, it would likely be a workout program rather than a liquidation. Like when Delta filed bankruptcy but stayed in operation. Thus no wholesale cancellation of shows, since they are how a network makes money.

  149. The picture on that myspace page is so bittersweet and sad. I hope this gets fixed, pronto.

    (I was sad thinking that the temporary “fate” of “The Office” was announced in Michael’s condo…they might as well of done it in the DM parking lot, seeing that nothing good comes from that location! :( )

  150. Well, good for the cast. It’s nice that they are supporting their castmates and friends. It makes sense, considering that most of the cast have written before (Steve, John, Jenna, Rainn) or are married to writers (Angela and Jenna [for all intents and purposes]). How could they consider not shutting down? We always get warm and fuzzy about how close the cast is in real life, so how can we expect them to do anything other than support each other?

    There are no good-byes, only see you agains. So see you, The Office, hopefully soon.

  151. I am really sorry about this strike, but I do support the writers. I mean what a terrific job they do and just think of all the hours of enjoyment that they give us. I am glad that the actors are supporting them too. Lets just hope that it doesn’t last too long.

  152. I’m so conflicted, part of me is in full support for the amazing writers, the selfish part of me just wants my Office back.
    It also makes me more depressed to see the quotes on the randomizer and applying them to the current situation, one because they are the work of our beloved writers, and two because they echo the sentiments I’m feeling:

    “I have no words.”
    “Clearly, Karen is trying to get back at us because Jim dumped her.”
    “You’ve been like an uncle to me. Like a kind old Uncle Remus.”
    “Mo money, mo problems, Stanley. You of all people should know that.”

    And, possibly the most saddening (and God forbid a foreshadowing)

    “Fly away sweet little bird. Fly away and be free.”

  153. So is that it for the season now? And what about the fact that NBC bought a certain number of episodes for the season? Will those still be honored and shot once the strike is over? Or is this just over, see you in season 5?

  154. Seeing that there are highly complex employment law issues here, does anyone know the contractual ramifications for the actors (those who are not members of WGA)? It seems apparent they are in breach of contract, but does a strike like this engender any legal remedies actors can pursue?

    I do support the WGA and the actors in their stand against this inequality – I sure hope the TV execs understand what they are doing and the two parties can reach a reasonable resolution soon.

    Au revoir, Dunderheads – hopefully we can watch some new episodes soon.

  155. Yikes, if the strike drags on the networks may begin cancelling shows with mediocre ratings such as The Office, which finished 4th in it’s time slot last week.

  156. i wouldn’t expect anything less from a cast like this, but honestly –the thought of no more office till however long makes me depressed. at least tanster gets some rest ;) ..although i doubt it with this coverage/fan base.

    [from tanster: no rest for me. at least not in the foreseeable future.]

  157. I seriously can’t imagine my life without The Office. I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s my all-time favorite show. I thought that after I saw everyone at the convention, it would be the best Office year ever! But now it looks like we could have a 7 episode season ): . But who knows, really. This whole thing could get resolved tomorrow (I hope!).

  158. I’m a member of a newspaper union in Canada. I’m not entirely sure how these things work in the US, but I would imagine that, when you’re dealing with a situation with multiple unions at a single workplace, as a sign of respect you refuse to cross picket lines once they are set up. But if an injunction is obtained by the employer or some threat of penalty is issued against other unions not involved in that particular job action, you do report for work. That’s generally how things have worked on labour disruptions that I’ve covered as a reporter.

  159. i am crushed. i cannot believe it. my stomach has sunken. i love the office so much, i hope it returns. please return!

  160. Tanster: I’m just curious what your take is on this.

    [from tanster: there’s a reason why i labor over ‘favorite quotes’ and the quote randomizer every thursday. i support the writers 100%.]

  161. This is all so upsetting. And what can I not get out of my head? These lines: “It feels like somebody took my heart and dropped it into a bucket of boiling tears and at the same time, somebody else is hitting my soul in the crotch with a frozen sledgehammer and then a third guy walks in and starts punching me in the grief bone and I’m crying, and nobody can hear me, because I am terribly, terribly, terribly alone.”

    That’s pretty much how I feel too, Michael.
    I support the writers 100%, but please get this resolved soon, I want my Office back!!

  162. Argh. Well usually reading things on Officetally makes my day ever so pleasurable. Reading Dan Beal’s Myspace blog, however was not so pleasing. I support the WGA, but still — I am heartbroken at the thought of spending my winter with nothing to look forward to on Thursdays. Hopefully this will blow over. If not, In the words of Michael Scott: “I am going to drop a deuce on everyone. “

  163. I’m sure this has been said before, but this feels like somebody took my heart and dropped it into a bucket of boiling tears. And at the same time, somebody else is hitting my soul in the crotch with a frozen sledgehammer. And then a third guy walks in and starts punching me in the grief bone. And I’m crying, and nobody can hear me, because I’m terribly, terribly… terribly alone.

  164. It feels so strange to feel so sick to my stomach and yet so proud of the cast of The Office for shutting down production. I keep thinking about all the people who aren’t going to be working because of the strike, and who can’t afford not to work. But the writers are right. They just are. The AMPTP… those guys are a bunch of JERKS.

    I keep hearing about the fans who are sending pizza and food to the picketing writers. Someone needs to send some pizza and some baked goods to the crew, who are really the ones out of luck here.

  165. LOL Elisabeth! And how amazing is this show that we even have quotes like that to begin with?? We owe so much to the writers. They are truly incredible!!

    Thanks for keeping us updated Tanster. I’ve been refreshing this page like every 10 minutes!

    [from tanster: you’re welcome. hopefully i’ll have more to update later tonight.]

  166. I saw Seth Myers on the subway this morning and asked him if he was headed to the strike, he said yeah…and I started crying as soon as he got off.

    this is so terrible. I feel really dumb for being upset but I’m glad people here are sad too.

  167. oh no! it has shut down production? this isn’t good. well i am fully behind the writers on this one. i just hope we get it back soon :]

  168. Yeah, thank you so much, Tanster. This feels like the election coverage or something…except I actually care.

    [from tanster: ROFL!]

  169. Tanster thank you so much for putting all of this together.

    I’ve been obsessing over this all day.

    And, yes I spell checked obsessing so this comment would get through.

  170. Reading the words “production officially shut down” makes me sad. This is only until the strike gets resolved, right? Or is this kind of it for The Office?

    To NBC/Other Studios: Give the writers what they want, or you’ll have not only a strike but a mob of protesting fans! :'(

  171. this was on yahoo news…

    “The girl named Lakshmi is joined to a “parasitic twin” that stopped developing in the mother’s womb. The surviving fetus absorbed the limbs, kidneys and other body parts of the undeveloped fetus.”

    It reminded me of Dwight…I’m going to miss this show soooo much =(

  172. Everybody needs to think before they type. The Office is one of the top rated shows on television, and Season 4 may be shortened, but there is no way the show is going to close over this strike. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.

  173. Question (for tanster or whomever has an opinion on this):

    If we watch the full episodes on NBC.com (as linked to in the weekend tally), are we hurting the writers?

    The writers don’t get any portion of the advertising money from those online episodes, and that’s one of the main things they’re fighting for. If we can support the writers by tuning out when the networks air repeats, shouldn’t we also support them by not watching the online episodes?

    [from tanster: excellent question. i have asked it as well, and hope to get an answer soon.]

  174. I’m somewhat angry, and feel a little cheated, at the media sources that provide the “free” programming. I’m a dedicated fan of many TV shows, including The Office, and I make it a point whenever possible to watch the show when it’s aired on the networks. Am I wrong in feeling this way?

  175. HA! Oh, Steve! I’ve been so bummed about this whole thing, so I’m grateful for all the laughs they can give. Apparently, they can give a lot.

  176. props to steve…i know rainn wilson also called in sick when the strike began…i wonder if he was afflicted with a similar malady =P?

    anyway, i’m glad actors like steve carell are taking a stand and showing their support for this strike. if others like him take the same initiative, i can see a possibility of a quicker resolution of this whole affair. in the meantime, i hope the crews and staff of this show and all the others can feel some support too…i read somewhere that the ER cast is going to raise money to help out members of their crew who will have more financial difficulty during this time, which i think is really great of them.

  177. Writing to Office Tally isn’t enough. Send a letter to your local TV stations and promise that you’ll not be watching their programming until the writers get the compensation they deserve. Send a letter to the network corporate headquarters as well. TV consumers have considerable power in this issue and we can put pressure on to resolve the issue.

  178. Steve is definitely the best, as if there was any doubt. Great quote to NBC! I do think it’s great that Steve and other actors have taken this stand on the strike, but on the other hand, I also understand other actors who have continued to report to work per their contracts. It’s such a complicated matter, so I don’t fault those actors, particularly those who are not writers, who have continued to film their shows or movies.

  179. I support the WGA with all my heart, and hope the writers can get a fair contract. It’s too bad it puts the Office out of business for a while, but the folks who create the words of Jim, Pam, Michael, Toby, Ryan, Kelly, Kevin and the rest of the bunch deserve the compensation. I’m going to lay off the network site and not watch the streaming video (nor those commercials)or download anything until this is resolved. Keep up the good fight, writers! And, Steve, I hope your balls never get small.

  180. I am in love with that man. Seriously, he’s the best smartass in Hollywood. No, excuse me, THE WORLD.

  181. Once (and if) this whole ordeal is resolved, will the office resume, or is it gone forever?

  182. Hollywood’s Nice Guy + Balls=Steve Carell

    Boy, if he really said that, it’s hilarious.

    I will miss the show desperately, but I agree with the writers one hundred percent. Our “Office” writers are not only incredibly talented, but tough!

  183. #272:

    That’s a very good question. At this point no one can say for sure. But the antagonism that the writers and actors are showing NBC right now combined with the mediocre ratings The Office is getting combined with the fact that if the writers “win” the strike all of The Office’s online content will skyrocket in price, seems to cast some doubt on the future of The Office.

  184. I think our talented youtube-mash-up-makers should splice together old “Office” clips and dialogue to make “new” episodes for us while the well is dry. It could be a fun new OT challenge!

  185. Ok, the last link scares me. The Office shut down for good!?! For good as in until the strike ends or for forever?

  186. This is a telling reason why the two sides need to sit down and resume talks NOW:

    “When someone is not in the entertainment business, I do not think he or she realizes how many people it actually requires to produce a show… These are the people who put in 15-20 hour days on stage or on grueling locations. These are the people who miss out on time with their families to finish a picture…”

    Full letter

  187. #274: Although the Office is in the middle overall in terms of ratings, it’s a top 10 show among the 18-49 demographic, the only one advertisers really care about. It’s also the most popular comedy on NBC. I am more worried about one of my other favorite shows, 30 Rock.

  188. Chill out guys. The show will be back when this is resolved. What’s this about mediocre ratings? It’s as strong as ever in the key demos.

  189. The “Brass Balls” article says the crew has been asked back to “strike the location”. Doesn’t that mean tear down and throw away? When I first heard that they were dismissing the crew, I just assumed this meant they didn’t want to pay those salaries while the strike shook out, but this sounds like ENDING production. I hope “the location” is just Michael’s condo.

    Also, does anybody know if the residual rate is split between the writing staff or for each writer? Because 2.5% over a writing staff of 10 shoots up to 25%. Can that be right?

  190. Tanster and Shan21 — the online content is a big part of this problem and one of the key pieces of the WGA’s platform. They are seeking a portion of the profit from online content equivalent to that they hope to receive from the DVD sales. So, yeah — online content is a no-go.

    I’m really glad I watched the United Hollywood video and The Office is Closed. I had no idea the writers weren’t paid for the Accountants’ Webisodes or for writing promos for other shows. But I’m sure Jeff Immelt’s shiny new mansion in the Hamptons is worth it.

  191. Post 274:

    Mediocre ratings? The Office is one of the highest rated shows on NBC. Not only that they have some of the highest ratings for adults 18-49 for any show on any network.

    NBC would lose viewers and be the subject of many write in campaigns and online protests if they tried to cancel our little show after the strike.

  192. #274-
    I will have to respectfully yet strongly disagree with you. Although the show does not have the best ratings in the overall category, it’s easily in the top 10 for the 18-45 category which matters the most to the networks. The Office has an amazing fan and critic support and it’s one of NBC’s biggest hits in the past ten five years. There’s a very little chance that NBC will cancel the show.

  193. Why don’t the studios just pony up and give them their fair share? Like Mike Schur said it’s only like 11 cents for every 270,000,000 downloads. And to whoever said they’ll start making us pay for online content, I don’t believe it. The studios have enough money and make enough off of the DVD sales and the past iTunes downloads to give the writing staff their cut of the dough. Just get it over with!

  194. Some of these quotes belong in Officetally’s subhead.

    “You know what’s my favorite promotion? Lost.”

    “Steve Carell informed NBC he is unable to report to work because he is suffering from ‘enlarged balls.'”

  195. What does “The Office is shut down for good” thing mean? Like shut down forever or just until the strike ends? My world is falling apart!

  196. I respect the writers, but think fans would love a wordless episode. just our fav cast doing “office things.” A whole hours worth. Copying, pouring coffee, fooling with the venetian blinds, scratching. Give it to me.

  197. No, please tell me they haven’t shut it down for good! I love this show, and I am the most obsessive fan ever. I get giddy on Thursdays at the slightest thought of a new episode, and I watch my DVDs of previous seasons every day. If it is shut down for good, we’ll miss you guys. The writers are brilliant, and they deserve more, but this is drastic. Come back soon!

  198. On an ironic and illogical note: Angela, Brian, and Oscar are scheduled to appear on “Deal or No Deal” in early December. While the show was surely taped before the strike began, you’d think these actors would have the sense enough not to appear on the type of show (Reality) that may inevitably replace writer-centric shows, should the strike go on for longer than a couple of months.

    It is like buying a fancy new perfume for the girl who stole your boyfriend.

  199. They should be kissing the writers’ asses by now! More power to them! I love the Office cast and crew!

  200. 274,

    I’m more optomistic than you on this point. The way I see it, there is no reason why a network would cancel a popular show with a loyal following in a sought after demographic, and replace it with an unknown new show due to a strike. A network can make more money with a show that has a proven audience, so I don’t see why they would replace it with something new that might bomb. Particularly since, if the writers win their demands, all shows, new or existing, will be subject to the same new media residual requirements.

    In summary, “The Office is shut down for good” means shooting is shut down for the duration of the strike.

  201. RE: #276

    Oh my god! Great idea! Whoever has the technological capabilities should get started on this… stat. Ooh! And it would be great to use a lot of deleted scenes in them, because then they’d feel newer.

  202. I’m actually crying. I don’t mean to be selfish, I mean, I support the writers (whom I love dearly) in their strike, but I might DIE of deprivation if there is no more office. And according to Jenna’s blog they had to stop shooting the best episode yet. Please please please make the writers happy so they can start shooting again.

  203. I think Angela said it best.

    Angela: I know that patience and loyalty are good and virtuous traits but sometimes I just think you need to grow a pair.

  204. Okay, i watched a YouTube video of the writers’ demands, and they seem okay. Just four more cents per DVD sale, and when an episode streams on the interet, they want to get paid as if it is on TV. Doesn’t seem TOO bad, but if they are gonna shut down the best show on TV for an extended period of time, well I am not okay with that.

  205. beewcar — as with most commercial enterprises, it’s not nearly that simple. This is a huge battleground. I feel exactly the same way you do; but studios are parts of huge conglomerates (NBC is actually a division of GE) and are answerable to those conglomerates. Those conglomerates demand a certain profit margin and while eleven cents seems like nothing to us, given the volume we’re talking about and (as Jenna noted in her blog) the fact that the internet is the future of TV, we’re potentially talking about a *huge* chunk of profits. So there’s a lot at stake here.

    Which isn’t to say that I don’t agree. It’s just not a matter of a CEO making $60 million instead of $61 million. Both parties are thinking long-term.

  206. Is anyone else having trouble watching episodes on nbc.com. I can’t even get to the page that has the videos!

  207. Re Kim (289):

    That is such a fantastic idea!!!!

    Tanster, if this strike goes on longer than the filmed episodes last, could we please put up hilarious strike quotes?

  208. Is there any way online fans can actively support this strike? There are a heck of a lot of us. Would it make any difference/ help the WGA at all?

  209. Who else thinks that it’s completely hilarious that the first repeat shown will be “The Coup”? That’s irony if I’ve ever seen in.

    [from tanster: yes! made me giggle.]

  210. A couple of things:
    1. GO STEVE!!!
    2. GO DANIELS!!!
    3. Go and read Jenna Fischer’s new blog
    4. And you’ll think like me why don’t you give them the money and start filming
    all ready!!!!

    GO The Writers Guild of America !!!!!

  211. Steve was very cute on Leno last week…you could tell he was awestruck by Manny Ramirez (as he should be).

    As for them not getting paid for the webisodes then what did they do them for?

    So the gripe is about getting paid for their written word appearing in places other than television sets. Seems fair. And America slowing down and not watching so much tv is not a bad thing.

  212. Wow, they struck the location. That means that at the very least they’re done shooting for the season. It could very possibly mean even more than that.

  213. I know how tempting it is to join them in condemning THE EVIL STUDIOS, but let’s keep a few things in mind.

    1. Any increases in writer pay for online content and DVD sales will come from the pockets of consumers.
    2. Without the support of these studios, low-rated shows like The Office would not get a chance to shine. They stood by this show through its rocky start and its long struggle to find an audience.

    I’m really disappointed that these overpaid writers have decided to put their own interests ahead of those of the fans. I may not watch The Office when/if it returns. No big loss, since the current season hasn’t been all that great.

  214. I don’t know if this is a reasonable idea to attempt via internet… but I’d really like to show some support for these writers that we all adore and hopefully support during this controversial time. I’d like to think it will give them a mid-week boost to send something nice to them at the picket lines. Like what? A cookie cake! Cookie cakes make everyone happy, right? Plus we could personalize it with a fun quote or picture. I’ll be brainstorming on ideas on how this will be possible. (I know someone earlier said they live near universal studios.) Meanwhile, I’d like to know how many other people even think the idea is legit.

  215. Hmm, I just noticed The Coup added to the schedule as the first rerun to be shown. I wonder if that’s commentary on NBC’s part about the current situation…
    I wonder if Money will be next. Or, if I’m optimistic, Conflict Resolution and then The Return :)

  216. Does anyone know where Greg and the rest of the writers are picketing? I’d love to get some people together and send some food over there.

  217. I don’t know if this is a coincidence or not, but I just tried to watch the deleted scenes and none of the on-line video for the office is avaliable. there’s just error messages.

  218. This strike makes me cry. How could they just completely stop a wonderful little TV show just like that?

  219. My mother doesn’t know anything about the strike. I started explaining to her a little bit and all of a sudden she made the best point..

    “That is ironic because in the music business, songWRITERS make all the money.”

    It’s so true! In music the value of good writing is taken seriously and writers are given what they truly deserve (great money).I thought it was a good point.

  220. I haven’t been here since this morning because I was hoping for good news when I logged back on—“enlarged balls” for Steve Carrell–NOOOOO! Come back Office! I hope there is a resolution SOON!

  221. Guys – there have been times when people are upset with the Networks that letter writing campaigns and online campaigns from the “Average Fan” have been huge. Has anyone come across links to this sort of thing yet? Can we get that posted if anything comes up? Can we start something in support of The Office specifically? Usually someone is able to track down the mailing addresses of the Network executives offices, and then mass mailing campaigns (like coordinating dates to send stuff so they get TONS at one time, and like, a formal outline of what to say so it’s a billion of IDENTICAL pieces of mail, that sort of thing) can begin.

    I’d start this, because I’m totally in support of participating … but I lack the technical knowledge to have the website going, and the knowledge of any executive contact information or what we can do.

    But let’s try to figure out something as TV viewers that we can do in support of our favourite show, and the other programs we all enjoy every week! :-D Maybe Tanster can help us do something through Office Tally.com ?

    And if not mass mailings to NBC, maybe at least support mailings to The Office staff?

  222. I just read that the season finale, or at least the last episode until the end of the strike will be “The Deposition!”

    Writer’s Strike = Good!
    No more Office = Bad!

  223. 325 | Mani

    Hilarious! That was great.

    330 | Ryan

    The writers would get a portion of the money that advertisers pay to put their commercials in the middle of the shows.

  224. Exactly how would they get paid for online episodes? People can re-watch them a million times…they shouldn’t be paid for all of those viewings.

  225. Hey, I put together a small clip on YouTube with two clips from The Office for the strike. I want to basically comp the writers for the use of their media on the internet, and I was wondering how I can do such.

    My video is available at:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mr-erj15-yg

    If you know how I can reach my goal, I’d appreciate it!

  226. I just read Jenna’s blog and it makes you realize just how much this strike effects their lives!

    It’s just like the auto workers, nurses or teachers, etc. who strike and lose compensation for their living wages while they do so…….everyone is a human being and has bills to be paid!

    I hope for everyone’s sake in the cast and crew that this ends soon! We all LOVE our FAVORITE show on TV, but their livelihoods are at stake! It almost seems selfish to have our entertainment be the most important thing here.

    Come on studio execs, get your “poop in a group” (a.k.a. get your “sh%t together” and end this strike NOW!

    We will unite with our letter writing campaign………..and who here thinks Tanster should become the “Regional Manager” that leads the way? You have done so much for this show and it is so appreciated by everyone involved I’m sure, including us die hard fans!

  227. just my two Abe Lincolns in support of the writers. That youtube video of Michael Schur, Mindy, Paul, and Greg is fantastic. Even in such a serious situation they make people laugh. They’re really what makes the Office so phenomenal and they deserve every penny they’re asking for!

  228. I like the way Greg Garcia put it, “I want to throw up and cry!” I hope they can resolve this issue soon.

  229. Hopefully, this will get resolved quick, not just so we can continue to see new episodes of our favorite show but so all the various crew members and the various industries connected to the film industry who will be hurt by this won’t be too hard bitten.

  230. Greg’s my hero. I’m so proud of him for not giving a damn. The writers are what MAKE television shows. I’m surprised other shows haven’t shut down yet.

    Yes, the strike sucks. We all want more Office. But look at how close this has brought the entire cast!

    326… hahaha.

  231. Steve, if you are reading this, and need an excuse for next week, you should tell NBC that you burned your foot on your George Forman grill. That should buy you at least a couple of weeks.

  232. I don’t share the confidence that many here have that The Office is sure to come back after the strike. That’s because there’s something in Hollywood that’s even more important than ratings or money. That thing is EGO. It sure seems like Greg Daniels and Steve Carell are going above and beyond in this strike–really rubbing it in and being bitter and snarky and relishing it. (cf. enlarged balls comment) That can’t sit well at all with Ben Silverman who was their biggest supporter at Reveille and is now in charge at NBC. He’s gotta feel pretty betrayed by all of this. If this keeps going, Silverman may just cancel The Office and be willing to give up ratings for a while for the sake of winning the battle of egos. That’s the scary part of all this.

  233. ITA, Marcus. I think my favorite part was when one of the writers (I’ve not seen most of them in person, so forgive me) says “I’d like to punch up this interaction, but I’m on strike.” HA.

    Meghan, they might have pulled the online content because it’s in dispute in the negotiations — either that or the volume of visitors is crashing the site.

  234. Just read Jenna’s blog, I’m just sick that the next episode in production was going to be “the funniest one ever”!!!
    THIS IS TORTURE!

  235. The networks are corrupt and greedy.

    The writers are ungrateful and whiny.

    A pox on both their houses!

    My hope is that the networks go bankrupt and that the writers’ strike lasts forever. Then the networks will have to start over and hire new writers with fresh ideas. Maybe then TV wouldn’t be the vast wasteland (with one or two good shows) that it is now.

  236. I’m sorry if this question has been answered already, but there’s so many comments and so many things to search through that I honestly have no idea where to start looking. I was looking through some of these comments and I saw that someone mentioned that crewmembers have been laid off. Is this true, or did I just read the comment wrong? If it is true, why have they been laid off? I hope it’s not because they are supporting the writers!

  237. Pamera,

    Yes, all of the crew members have been laid off. Since the show has officially been shut down “for good”, there’s no need to be paying the crew any more. It’s just a bit ironic. In their noble quest to help the “little guys” (the struggling writers), they have really hurt the real “little guys” (the crew members).

  238. #352 Pamera – they have been laid off because there is simply no work to DO right now, and the studios have no reason to pay or employ them. I’m under the impression, however, that it isn’t a permanent situation – meaning, they’ll get their jobs back when production starts up again on The Office.

    (Correct me if I’m wrong.)

  239. It’s interesting that in Jenna’s blog, she says that if Hollywood was shut down, she wouldn’t have any money to pay for her electric bill. I love Jenna Fischer and her work, but that’s a really pathetic statement. She’s basically saying she’s above getting a real job and would never even consider it, even when her house has gone dark. It’s kind of sad how far removed Hollywood is from the real world at times.

  240. #361,

    Thanks for the link to that. It makes some of the same points that I’ve been trying to make here. (But he makes them much better than I ever could.) Everyone here should take the time to read what he has to say. In my opinion, the writers aren’t the noble, selfless heroes that many people are trying to make them.

  241. #348 –
    If you read the chat with Mike Schur, he said that Steve did not actually say that, it was written as a joke by a blogger at UnitedHollyWood.com.

    Also, I highly doubt they will cancel the Office because of this, but don’t think that the Office will live forever. Like all great shows, the people eventually want to move on.

  242. 358, Greg:
    I think you are being a little harsh. I think what Jenna was trying to say was that everyone is threatened by the strike. It is basically a snowball effect: the “little man” will eventually affect the “big man” in the long run. Hollywood is a fickle town; you can be on top one minute and and then completely forgotten about the next. I think Jenna is aware of that and therefore knows that even a big name like her is not safe.

  243. Just FYI, John (ex crew member, i think propmaster, of the office) has written a blog discussing the strike from a crewmembers point of view. Very interesting. It can be found here

  244. Jim, I don’t think anyone is suggesting that the writers are noble, or heroes. But they are workers who are, in part, not getting paid for work they’re doing (e.g., promos and webisodes); and workers who are, in part, losing out on money that some of them need because the networks have interpreted their contracts to exclude streaming video. The WGA is correct that there may come a time in the not-distant future when most or even all of the networks’ profits will come from internet-based viewing. They’re currently interpreting the writers’ contracts to include residuals only from television airings. As Jenna said, even she might have to depend on residuals to pay her bills one day — and for the unemployed 48% of WGA members, that’s a reality today. Shows like Lost never show reruns so that people have to buy the episodes online or watch them again with ads. Those writers and actors will never see a residual dollar.

    I don’t know that I’d characterize the strikers as “heroes,” but they’re standing in solidarity and fighting for fair contracts. There’s nothing wrong with that.

  245. “I don’t know that I’d characterize the strikers as “heroes,” but they’re standing in solidarity and fighting for fair contracts. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

    Except for putting a bunch of middle-class crew members out of work during holiday season.

  246. “Except for putting a bunch of middle-class crew members out of work during holiday season.”

    The problem with this argument is that work is out there for anyone. Yes, it may not be what you love to do and yes, you may be vastly overqualified for it, but I have little to no sympathy for people who cry that there’s no work to be found when there clearly is. And that goes for anybody.

  247. Blame for crews being laid off can’t all be put on the writers. The quicker the producers cave, the quicker the crews can go back to work.

    What alternatives do writers have if they aren’t being paid for their work? They could quit, and go into another career. Which, if it happened across the spectrum, would result in just as many crew layoffs as the strike. Or they could stay on, and continue to be paid less and less as more of their work is distributed on residual free new media.

    Writers are paid based on their writing being used. By using their writings, making a profit, and not paying, the networks have forced the writers in a corner. Because of this, I’d say it’s the networks who are more to blame for any crew layoffs.

    If the networks don’t make any money from a particular form of new media distribution, fine, don’t pay the writers. But if a network does make money from a new media distribution, the writers should have a share, just like they have a share from a TV broadcast that brings in revenue.

  248. OK, here’s my honest, but blunt, advice for the writers:

    1. Don’t claim that you’re doing this for the little guy when your actions are directly hurting the little guys (crew members).

    2. If you still insist on claiming that you’re doing this for the little guy, then don’t publish a tape in which all you do is b!+c# about how terribly NBC treats you. (If you’re making 6 figures, you’re not being treated terribly. Period.)

    3. If you’re so worried about those lean years when you’re not working, I have a solution for you: save some money. We normal people have to do that. Give it a try. You may not be able to live your six-figure lifestyle, but you’ll make it.

    4. If you don’t want to save any money now, here’s another suggestion for those lean years: get another job. It isn’t beneath you to get a non-glamorous, non-Hollywood job. Again, we normal people do it all the time. Give it a try.

  249. Just want to let you know that there is an online petition to AMPTP on the unitedhollywood site. Last time I checked there were almost 1500 signatures. Woo-hoo!!

  250. Why does everyone (including the writers) say they aren’t getting paid for their work? They do get paid for their work. It’s in their contracts and obviously they get paid. What they don’t get is EXTRA pay for episodes on the internet and episodes sold on the internet. But the thing is, a lot of people do extra work on their jobs and they don’t get paid for it. If you don’t like how you aren’t going to get paid for the “extras” then maybe you shouldn’t agree to work for that employee in the first place.

    Seriously, folks. THEY GET PAID! Just not extra. Yeah, maybe they should get compensated for the extra stuff but they agreed to that by signing their contracts. In my opinion, after that contract is signed, you have no room to complain. It’s your fault then.

  251. #372:

    Amen, brother! (or sister!) That’s what I’ve been saying all along! The networks are paying them according to the contracts they signed. Simple as that. If I do a great job at work and make my company lots of money, I don’t expect to get anything from it. All I expect is to make the salary I agreed to. And if I were to picket my building and insult my bosses trying to get more than the salary I agreed to, I would be fired. Simple as that.

  252. #372: When the contracts were set up, there were no Internet airings, so how could they have been included?

    The writers’ pay is set up to include upfront fees and residuals. By reairing episodes online instead of on TV, the networks avoid having to pay residuals. That’s the issue. The residuals have ALWAYS been part of writers’ income; it’s not something new they’re demanding.

  253. It’s not that I feel they don’t deserve their slice of the pie. In a utopian world, everyone would get paid exactly what they deserved.
    Like others here, I feel very sorry for all the people losing their jobs because of this. People who will never have the clout and power that writers and actors have. They put their blood, sweat and tears into their jobs too…why do they deserve so much less?
    As for the studios taking such a large share…They assume all the risk. If millions are spent developing a show and it fails and loses all that money, are the writer’s willing to “give back” a certain percentage of the money they were paid? Seems like it should work both ways.
    Maybe I’m just being selfish. I want my Office back…and heck, if I thought there was a chance in hell I’d get paid for residual profits from my job, I guess I’d probably try for it too. Wish we all had that luxury. I’m one of those loonies who settles for being paid by the HOUR! Oh the horror! (Tanster: It’s hard to rant in under 200 words *g* )

  254. #376: “As for the studios taking such a large share…They assume all the risk. If millions are spent developing a show and it fails and loses all that money, are the writer’s willing to “give back” a certain percentage of the money they were paid?”

    The writers do assume a risk–if their shows don’t do well, they won’t get residual payments because they’ll never be re-aired.

    I do hope things get settled quickly, for the sake of crew members and people in related industries, but I’d rather see a long strike than major concessions by the writers.

  255. V. disappointed with Jenna’s blog. She’s worried about residuals, yet she’s reported to be making close to $100K per episode. Poor thing, must be rough to be making that kind of money in a year.

  256. 380 Andrea, i think Jenna meant to explain how important the residuals are to _other people_, ones who make a lot less than she does. relatively few writers ever become as successful as the ones on The Office, and their income stream is often irregular. they depend on those residuals to get by during the dry times.

  257. #378, I agree with you. The people who are really being hurt by this strike are the ones who make the least. I was in favor of the writers at first, but I have kind of changed my opinion after reading more about it. I don’t know how many of these writers really want to go on strike, but do it just because the union is telling them to do so. I go to work every day, create a product for clients, and don’t expect to get paid anything extra for multiple uses of that product. The company that I work for does, and I understand that is just how business works. They say that writers don’t have much job security, and that is why they want to make residual profits for the work, but not many people in this world really do have much job security…and yes I am bitter about losing my favorite television show of all time, so it may be jading my opinion.

  258. I wrote down all the advertisers who were on during last night’s show. They were: Crest, T Mobile, Universal, KMart, FedEx/Kinko’s, McDonald’s, Honda, Shrek on DVD, Target, Seinfeld on DVD, Verizon, Macy’s, Applebee’s, Chuck and Larry on DVD, Secret antiperspirant. I plan to write emails and letters to any company who “crosses the line” and advertises during reruns that air during the strike suggesting that they might support the writers by pulling their advertising temporarily.

  259. I’ve been having difficulty figuring out how I feel about all of this, but reading Ellen Degeneres’ decision to cross picket lines for her show to go on just summed it up perfectly. I think concessions like hers need to start happening:

    “I want to say I love my writers. I love them. In honor of them today, I’m not going to do a monologue,” she’s quoted as saying. “[But] people have traveled across the country. They’ve made plans. They’re here. I want to do everything I can to make your trip enjoyable and give you a show.”

    In the name of entertainment, which is the purpose of these shows, this strike has some big slaps in our (the loyal, viewing public) faces.

  260. 373,

    The contract’s term is over. The strike is a result of the breakdown of talks to negotiate a new contract. So the writers strike doesn’t breach their contract, since it’s no longer in effect.

    Residuals aren’t extra, residuals are the measure by which the writers are compensated. Just like hours worked are the measure of a hourly employee’s compensation. Since the current contract predates online distriubtion of the writers work, residuals for that media simply weren’t contemplated during the negotiation of the previous contract.

    In closing, Go Writers!

  261. Obviously, everyone’s entitled to their opinion. But the idea that the writers should just be paid once for their work product is completely inconsistent not only with industry standards developed over the last 80 or so years, but with copyright law. Basically, any one who creates any sort of written material has a copyright in that material just by virtue of creating it. A copyright owner has the right to control its distribution and the number of copies made, etc. From this basic concept flows the idea of residuals, where original creators are paid on the basis of copies made and distributed. Most of us work in industries where our work product is not widely distributed and thus money is not made by our employers based on the number of copies made, sold or viewed. The studios who employ writers for TV programs, movies, etc. make money based on how widely their product is viewed. Therefore, it makes sense that the creators be compensated at least partially on the basis of the number of copies out there–it should make no difference whether it’s viewed on a cell phone, over a computer, on the TV, or whatever new device may be developed in the future. Support the writers!

  262. #386,

    But the thing is that the writers don’t own the copyright on their written material. NBC owns The Office and they own the copyright on all of the writing for The Office. That means that they also own every penny that the show makes. However much (or little) of it they give to the writers is up to them, and is determined by the contracts that the writers themselves signed. So to say that the writers are owed residuals of any kind because of copyright law isn’t correct.

  263. Regardless of where ownership of the copyright for a particular written work lies, the writer’s residual compensation is based on the principals of copyright law. If NBC gains ownership of the copyright for a script, part of the consideration for that agreement transferring ownership is a residual payment when that script is used.

    Copyright and Patent law are based on the public policy of encouraging creativity and invention by giving a creator certain rights.

    Can you sign away your rights to material you write? Of course. And that’s what happened under the previous writers contract, under which the writers were not owed any residuals for new media uses of their work. But that contract is no longer in force. They aren’t breaching a contract now or going back on their word, or anything of the sort. They are trying to secure a new contract that compensates them for this new form of distribution in the same manner they are compensated for more traditional forms of distribution. This will be even more important going forward as the new media replaces the traditional distributino channels.

  264. The letter from the key grip is so heartbreaking. I never knew just how many people work on these sets and to hear that ALL of these people are out of work is just terrible. It’s so hard because I totally support the writers and believe they should be fairly compensated for their material, but I also see how this is affecting so many families.

    I still fault the studios and really wish they would give into the WGA’s demands. I can’t believe these billionaires are worried about losing a couple million (that shouldn’t even be theirs in the first place!), when thousands are going to be losing their homes and careers. I wish I could do more.

  265. Writing is a _creative_ line of work. Think of it like the music industry. People listened to music on cassettes and every time one was sold each musician, singer, and person who wrote the song got a percentage of the sale. Technology moves to the compact disk and the recording industry solely sells new music on CDs. The musicians are still going to get a percentage of the sales from CDs. Now new technology has advanced to where music is sold through mp3s. The artists still get money for the music they created. Heck, they get a check every time you hear their song on a car commercial. Technology changed, but the recording industry doesn’t hold a monopoly on an album just because a band has been paid a fixed amount for it. They get paid each time someone buys the album or the song.

    Same with these residuals. This is a work they all created and studios will make money off of for a long time. They get paid their percentage each time the studio makes a profit off of the creative work they made. Just because the technology has changed, doesn’t mean they don’t get paid.

  266. “is determined by the contracts that the writers themselves signed.”

    Yep. And those contracts are up. The strike is related to a breakdown in negotiations over a new contract.

    I feel bad for the crew members. This sucks. But I think we’re all assuming that they’re dirt poor or just scraping by while the actors and writers are millionaires. That’s not really the case. Good crew people are *very* well compensated. Men and women in the industry’s technical professions have chosen to work in a volatile industry. Shows get canceled and scaled-down all the time. There’s no sure thing. People get laid off from all kinds of jobs all the time. But I don’t see why that means that the writers should just take whatever contract they’re offered.

    If we’re going to admonish the writers to save better and make better plans, shouldn’t we admonish the crew members similarly? I’m sure many of them have had the experience of being laid off when a show got canceled or dropped from the schedule. And it’s not like the strike was a total shock. The writing has been on the wall for quite a while.

  267. 382- Huggy Hugs – You are exactly correct. We all work and don’t get paid down the road for work done years ago. We are supposed to be responsible and create nest eggs for those down times. Absolutely no one in today’s world has job security – it’s not just Hollywood writers.

    The repercussions of this strike, and an actors’ strike when their time comes, are not confined to the entertainment industry. Things like this have a ripple effect throughout the whole economy and the economy does not need this now.

    Unions had a noble and good purpose 100 years ago; but that noble purpose has been replaced strictly with greed and demands that are not in touch with the world we live in today (see the auto unions for a prime example). I have no doubt there is greed on both sides of the table here; it’s just too bad unions weren’t squashed in Hollywood years ago.

    Dunder Mifflin had the right idea – NO UNION! Free market – after all, Darryl was barely making less than Michael.

  268. 383 | RLH – That is a great idea. I think that the only thing that can end this is more “money talk”. A major sponsor needs to tell the networks to get their act together or they are pulling their advertisements.

    384 | Danna – I don’t agree. You either support your writers or you don’t. (Actions speak louder than words.) Maybe Ellen has a big heart and (unsuccessfully) tried to please everyone but it could also be is that she is in syndication and up against non-variety shows that won’t go off the air (Oprah, Dr. Phil).

    I have a lot of respect for famous actors who stand by their writers and will lose lots of money from this strike that will never be regained by residuals. Besides now I just feel bad about watching all those shows online and NONE of the writers/actors were being compensated. Besides the WGA made an effort and took the DVD residual change off the table and the AMPTP didn’t meet them halfway.

  269. Watching this go down just gets harder and harder.

    I really, really tried to be supportive of the writers in the beginning. But I could never shake the feeling this was one big middle finger to the fans, because eventually this is going to get worked out, with both sides satisfied, and we as the audience lose. There is no win for us.

    Now that people who were depending on these jobs (and have much less power and influence then folks like Carell and Daniels) are getting laid off, it only serves to make me angrier. Reading that e-mail reinforced my suspicions that this whole thing really has less to do with “the little guy” and more to do with greed. They certainly don’t seem to care about anything other then their own money issues in “The Office is Closed” video.

    I do hope I’m not coming across as too harsh; it’s impossible to make a thorough argument in fewer than 200 words.

    Also, much love to Ellen for caring about her audience. She’s always been amazing though.

  270. Dale Alexander’s e-mail really hit home. I work for a film production company and we’ve been feeling the slowdown for a while already, in anticipation of the strike. Now that it’s in full effect, the company can’t have hundreds of idle workers, so that means staffing cuts.

    I do think the writers have a point, but it’s also important to remember that the their decision to strike has a huge financial impact on many, many people who didn’t have a choice one way or the other (and who usually make considerably less than actors or writers). It’s a difficult time for people who are suffering through the consequences of the strike but have no potential to reap any benefits even if the writers “win”.

  271. Janet, it’s not about greed on both sides, it is about greed on one side (the Networks and Corporations) and their ability to strong arm the working people (the writers). This may not compare in size and scope, but my father works at a factory in my small town of 20,000. Two years ago, the company decided they were going to cut pay, benefits, and generally treat the workers like crap. The company’s move would have put some people out of their homes. The workers went on strike for 5 months, got the support of local politicians, and eventually, their demands were met and everyone got back to work. Yes, the writers are fighting for more money (now and in the future) and they just happen to work in an industry that affects more than just the workers and the parent company, but we must bite the bullet and support them none the less. The wga strike is proof to other huge companies that normal working people are just that: people…not mere nameless/faceless cogs in a wheel that generates the “higher ups” more money.

  272. Dwight as diplomat?
    Rainn is just awesome.And it’s good to see that they don’t lose their humor dealing with such a serious issue.Far from it.

  273. I was a little unsure of the strike, but after reading Dale Alexander’s email I am fairly certain now that this strike has got to end.

    I’m a union man myself but this isn’t a good situation for everyone. Look at the 102 people laid off just from out favorite show. Imagine how many more people are affected from the other shows we watch.

    Those people are the ones like most of us. Blue collar, paycheck to paycheck people. Put yourself in their shoes and it’s a totally new perspective on this situation.

  274. Can someone explain how the contracts for any of these unionized groups work? That is, when NBC hires a writer to write The Office, there is a specific contract for that, I assume. And some writers clearly are paid more than others. Is there only one standard contract for everyone, that says a writer gets so much percentage of what the show makes on TV ads (and thus writers for more successful shows get paid more), or can individual writers negotiate for more money or other benefits?

  275. Long time OT reader, first time poster. I just wanted to offer my support of the writers in this ongoing struggle. I am a wannabe writer, and I fully support these writers. Way to go, guys! I am also glad that The Office writers and actors are able to keep that famous sense of humor with them, no matter the situation. Great people, those people.

  276. I supported the writers until I read more about the strike. Neither side is looking good here. If the writers are hoping for a groundswell of support from TV viewers, it isn’t coming, at least from my part of the world. The writers’ “cause” is losing traction as it becomes clear they’re willing to sacrifice the financial future of working people—-not just their own crew but hourly workers in related businesses–in their “fight” for even more money. As for residuals keeping writers in the black during down times—no one has job security any more. Why should writers get special consideration? Because they’re “creative”? Come on. Put money away for a rainy day like the rest of us, you certainly have more discretionary income than most. I’m not saying the studios look any better. Their greed and stupidity, as they hold onto their money with a white-knuckle death grip, is disgusting. Figure out a way to end the strike, writers and studios, because the patience of your real source of revenue—the viewers who boost your ratings and ad rates—is wearing thin.

  277. Has anyone heard anything on when future negotiations might take place? I definitely support the cause of the WGA, but I don’t want to see all of these non-writing employees lose their jobs. So, I really hope just as much energy is going into creating a solution as is going into striking.

  278. I had no idea, until the strike, that the writers did not get compensated for the work they created for the webisodes, nor did I know that they were not paid for the episodes and clips shown on the NBC website. That is just intolerable. The fact that one show already goes straight to the web after the first run on television shows just how important this issue is and why the writers must deal with this now. I support the writers completely.

  279. 397 | blacklamb

    What are fans really losing? While many of us enjoy this form of entertainment, we aren’t losing anything we can’t live without for a short time, or ever. If it means writers who provide the entertainment will be treated more fairly in the future, I will gladly turn off my television for a while.

    Dale’s letter does make a good point; it has always been the crew who risked losing the most and it sucks they are caught in the middle. The writers didn’t want to strike; the strike came after months of negotiation. It sucks that Dale and others are stuck in this position, but hopefully this one painful strike will help keep other unions from striking when their contracts are also up.

    NBC tried to raise the price for an iTunes episode from $1.99 to $2.99. And then they have the nerve to say they don’t know if “new media” is profitable. The writers are asking for about 4%. Which side seems greedy?

    The studios are the ones who do not care about these people, or you.

  280. We should start a petition on this site, informing Mr. Zucker that all signees will in fact not be watching any more NBC PERIOD, until the strike ends. Dontcha think? Send that thing in with thousands of signatures, maybe it could help.

    I will as well, personally, be photocopying my letter to him and sending it to him in NY every other day for as long as it takes.

  281. Some gems from the GE 2006 Annual Report:

    “The most important impact of the Internet is in our NBC Universal (NBCU) entertainment business. We are a leader in content and the Internet opens up new avenues for growth. We should hit $1 billion of digital advertising by 2009.

    Our team knows that they must deliver great content with digital distribution to their customers. NBCU should grow earnings in 2007 and is well positioned for the future.”

    And they claim not to know the value of the internet.

  282. There is a Facebook Group “Support the WGA” that I urge all of you Facebook members to join, just search for “Support the WGA.”

    If it gets a lot of members, maybe people will notice that the networks’ key demographic is taking this thing seriously!

  283. Will the crew members be able to get all their jobs back once production starts again for The Office?

  284. Tori,

    What are we losing? I don’t have nearly enough space to adequately express what the Office or its characters mean to me or why, so suffice it to say this show has touched me in ways that go beyond basic entertainment. It’s gotten me (and my family) through very painful events these past few months, given me a reason to laugh when I really needed to. And it continues to do so.

    Looking back on previous entries here, I know I’m not the only one who was crushed at the thought of this being the end of Season 4. Go back and you’ll see it again and again from other fans: “This is breaking my heart”. We care about this show and its characters, and for good reason. It’s simply the best thing to happen to television in a long time.

    On one hand, I am entirely indebted to the writers for what they’ve given me, and want to support them through this. On the other, it truly is a great loss for some of us, even if you don’t feel the same way (we can agree to disagree).

  285. NBC is disgusting.

    As if they couldn’t make Office fans more angry when they tried to charge FIVE dollars per episode on iTunes, they’re practically forcing Jay Leno to come back to work so the people below the line can keep their jobs with a horrible ultimatum…

    Then they fire all 102 people below the line on The Office! NBC has lost their minds.

    All the media networks are saying that the strike won’t be noticed for another couple months, but I noticed the first day that there were plenty of differences.

    I’m not watching NBC [on tv, or online] until this gets straight.

  286. NBC continues their dirty streak by posting, front-and-center on http://www.msn.com, a link to watch Thursday’s Office. I visit MSN multiple times a day, and I have yet to see a link to watch the show right there until now.

  287. I’m sorry, but I DO NOT support the writers’ strike. This is not to say that I support the producers, because I support absolutely no one in this matter except the 102 people (and more) who lost their jobs for no good reason. I feel the same way I do when professional sports go on strike – the whole situation reeks. Yes, I realize that the writers aren’t being paid for internet content, but if they expect me to believe for a second that their strike is based on “principle” they are sorely mistaken. It is about money, period. These are not the labor unions of the 19th and early 20th century who were being paid a pittance for what basically amounted to slave labor. The writers for the Office are making more money than I ever will, and so is everyone else in the WGA. Except the producers want MORE money, and the writers want MORE, and next year the actors will want MORE. Here’s an idea: let’s send the producers and writers to the coal mines for a couple weeks, and then I’m sure they’ll immediately find a compromise on how to divide those millions of dollars.

  288. Writers want to be paid royalties before studios break even. So if someone writes a terrible movie which bombs, they still want to be paid royalties on it before the producers earn back the money they lost on the film. Basically they want to earn a profit on their bad movie while the financiers take all the losses.
    Reality TV shows and Game show writers want the same royalties and payments as movie and tv drama writers. So the writers of the Real World and Survivor should get paid the same amount of royalties as the writers of Heroes, The Simpsons, and Oscar-winning movies.

    Link

  289. #421

    “The writers for the Office are making more money than I ever will, and so is everyone else in the WGA.”

    Do you make less than 5K a year? Because that is what some of these writers make.

  290. Marie – Advertising revenue does not equal net profit. Forecasts in annual reports do not equal the ultimate reality.

    Yes, they probably have a fair idea about future net earnings from digital distribution and yes, they are being greedy. But the writers are being greedy too and next year, the actors will want some of that pie as well. But what about all the crew members – they will continue to get nada – no pay now and no residuals in the future.

    Television and movies are team efforts. It takes many people with different talents to create the product we ultimately see – it’s not like a novel that is the work primarily of one person. The writers, directors and actors are already making considerably more than everyone else on the set, yet they want more and more so if they are not working, they can still live comfortably. Who ultimately pays for them to live well – we do, the consumer – increased payout to the actors and writers = higher advertising costs = higher prices on consumer products = less money in everyone else’s pockets. Just look at what people dish out for sneakers advertised by athletes.

    I do not support the writers’s strike, nor the overall Hollywood greed on both sides. I love the Office or I wouldn’t even be on this site, obviously, but that doesn’t mean I have to support every move the writers and actors make.

  291. Everyone saying that the writers are just striking for money and not on principle, please read Mike Schur’s letter (link above).

    This is about the writers that make a middle class wage, and may be out of a job when they’re 40. They rely in residuals, and soon repeats are going to be shown solely on the “new media,” leaving the creative people with nothing if their contract is not renegotiated fairly.

    And besides, I make a lower-middle class wage, but even if I made more than 100K a year, I’d still be really angry if someone was benefiting off of my creations and not giving me a fair share! That’s what we call… (say it with me now) fighting on principle!

  292. I loved Michael Schur’s letter; I actually laughed out loud several times. The whole internet thing is really ridiculous. The letter I wrote last night it pretty much all about the speciousness of their statement that the internet is “too new”.

  293. Seriously, I don’t know what I would do without OfficeTally. It’s the best site ever, for realsies. Tanster, you rock!! Thanks so much for keeping us all informed on the strike!

  294. Alright folks, I have a brilliant beyond brilliant idea.

    Something tells me that just sending letters to the networks might not be enough. That got me to thinking…remember when that show Jericho was canceled, and its fans sent thousands of pounds of nuts to CBS? And then, lo and behold, CBS reversed their decision to cancel? Well, why can’t we do that here?

    How about we send things to the networks synonymous with writers (like…I dunno, pencils?). Or we can even send Office-themed knick-knacks!

    So everyone, grab as many yogurt lids and Herr’s Chips as you can and send them to Jeff Zucker! If it worked for Jericho, it can work for the writers!

    Who’s with me?!?!

  295. Does anyone know if the WGA shirts are available to the public for purchase? I’d like to wear one and support the cause.

  296. The writers are using you guys. Now you guys are on their side because they cater to your needs, knowing they can get what they want by being BFFs with you. They make millions a year and they’re the victim? Reality check everyone.

  297. 431-Purple Belt- I was wondering the same thing, so i searched the WGA website, ebay, even googled searched, but I couldn’t find the official t shirts the strikers wore. Although on Cafe Press people made some WGA stike shirts. If I find them I will let you know.

  298. As much as I support the WGA and know that the studios are selfish fat cats – many people are losing their jobs because of the WGA decision to strike. Some might question the ethics of that decision…

  299. Tanster,
    Can you find out if Mike and Jen (and others) think it would be a good idea to send copies of our letters of support to some of the top advertisers as well as studio heads? Just an idea…thanks.

  300. #431

    I don’t know if this is what you’re looking for but the strikeswag.com site was started by a writer and the profits go to the WGA’s Solidarity Fund.

  301. #418 – Blacklamb, you put it perfectly. Thank you. Very well said.

    I support the writers here, too, (100%) but I am also heartbroken about the possibility of having this be the end of Season 4. It’s almost sucked the joy out of watching these last couple episodes. I don’t feel like blogging about new episodes anymore(like I normally do) and the steam has just run out.

    I started to question my emotions over this whole thing last night; wondering why a TV show meant so much to me. Perhaps my priorities are out of whack, but it’s such a comfort to know that other dedicated fans (such as yourselves) are feeling rather melancholy and “heartbroken” over the (temporary) loss of such a wonderful show, as well.

    No other show has ever brought me such joy. At this point, all I want for Christmas is ‘The Office’ back.

  302. Not sure if this has already been considered, but what if, in addition to writing to studio heads like Jeff Zucker, we were also to write letters to the companies that advertise their products during The Office? Maybe politely explain our position as supporting the WGA and that a) we won’t be seeing their commercials since we won’t be watching nbc.com or NBC after the last new episode airs, and b)we won’t be buying their products so long as they support the studios. Or we could even just CC a couple of corporations on the letters to Zucker – that way they’re aware that nobody will be seeing their commercials (commercials THEY spent lots of money to create and air). All we’d really need to do is post some of the brands/products that have been running commercials during The Office, Scrubs, 30 Rock, My Name is Earl, and the companies’ contact info.

    Studios are all about money, right? Maybe pressure from corporations that normally spend big $$$ on ad buys will nudge them towards a fair resolution with the writers? Just a thought.

  303. Wow – I really should have read the comments before posting my suggestion about contacting the advertisers. Umm, yeah, Karen, I’m about a day or so behind you – oops!

  304. Mike Schur’s latest article just continues to show how out of touch everyone in Hollywood is with the real world. He finds it outrageous that the lowest-paid writers only make $62,000 a year (and that’s averaging in the “lean years” with no work). I would guess that that’s about what most people here make. It’s certainly much more than I make. It’s more than teachers make. It’s more than policemen make. It’s more than firemen make. It’s a perfectly legitimate, livable wage. It’s not a matter of these people not being able to buy food for their families or not being able to keep the lights on (as Jenna wrote). Sorry, I don’t feel any pity or sympathy for any industry where the absolute lowest rung on the ladder makes $62,000 a year. It’s pretty ironic that he whines so much about the wealthy network and studio execs, when the writers themselves are far wealthier than people in the real world.

  305. I can see why the writers want to be paid fairly for their work. However, I agree that bandying about figures like $62,000 as a barely living wage is a bit of a turnoff to me, as is Jenna Fischer worrying about her electricity years from now. Get a different job if this one doesn’t pan out, just like everyone else has to do.

    I need to stop reading all this–I enjoyed the show more when I didn’t pay so much attention to the business side of things.

  306. It’s pretty ironic that he whines so much about the wealthy network and studio execs, when the writers themselves are far wealthier than people in the real world.

    No, it’s ludicrous to act like every industry is as lucrative as the television industry. The writers’ work brings in huge amounts of revenue, whereas, in my field, for example (education), the same could never be said. Why is there no outrage about the CEOs whining about there being no money, when it’s glaringly obvious by their salaries that that is untrue.

  307. ThreeHolePunchVersion,

    No, my problem isn’t that they work in a lucrative industry. My problem is that they are trying to win support for their side by tugging on people’s heartstrings and claiming that these poor, poor writers are on the verge or poverty and can’t feed their families and can’t keep the lights on. They make $62,000 a year! That’s not anywhere near poverty. For them to claim that it is and use it to gain support is what causes me to lose respect for the writers. It’s completely disrespectful to those of us who live on much less than $62,000 and never complain about it.

    Honestly, I would have much more respect for the writers if they would just be honest and say, “Look, this isn’t about the ‘little guy’, this isn’t about paying the electric bill. It’s about us being greedy and wanting all the money that we can possibly get. What’s wrong with that?”

  308. I think Michael Shur’s reference to $62,000 is for working writers. WGA stats for 2005 show the median income of TV writers at NBC Universal was $63,500. This is in contrast to everyone claiming writers are out there making six-figure salaries left, right and centre. They are not, not even the ones with a steady paying job at a large network.

  309. P.S. if we are concerned about the 102 people who have been laid off as a result of the strike, then perhaps we should convince the studios to respond to the union’s last offer and get back to the bargaining table. Ultimately this strike happened because the studios allowed it to. (Note today’s comments from the head of Fox about how much money he will save as a result of the strike.)

  310. Mike Schur did not say that the lowest paid writers make $62,000. He said that the average was $62,000. This figure is certainly skewed higher by the few writers who make top dollar. I don’t think he was saying that this isn’t a living wage but that it is a modest income in comparison to the revenue that the networks and studios get from product for which the writers are either barely compensated (video/dvd sales)or not compensated at all (internet content).

  311. Joel Surnow quoted in the Washington Times:
    “The executive producer of Fox’s Emmy-winning counterterrorism thriller “24,” interviewed after a Saturday speech to a conservative student group, also predicted that the current screenwriters’ strike would be “hugely long” and settled to the disadvantage of the writers union.”

    Not good.

  312. Please don’t disclude Michael Schur’s article simply because he doesn’t think $62,000 a year is a decent wage.

    Remember that he lives in California, where the cost of living is much higher than it is in most other parts of the country. $60,000 in California would probably equate to a teacher’s salary in most other states if you consider the cost of living.

    I saw this article from Forbes online:

    “That $1 million house in Santa Monica will cost you $280,000 in Charlottesville, VA; $187,000 in Austin, TX; $134,000 in Knoxville, TN; $193,000 in Provo, UT; $203,000 in Athens, GA; $213,000 in Gainesville, FL; and $197,000 in Tucson, AZ. Add another 50% to get into the better school districts–hey, that’s still cheap compared with California or New York.”

    Source.

    Just something to keep in mind.

  313. “Mike Schur did not say that the lowest paid writers make $62,000. He said that the average was $62,000. This figure is certainly skewed higher by the few writers who make top dollar.”

    No, that’s not correct. He said that $62,000 was the average yearly salary for those who “work sporadically”. Thus, the high paid writers aren’t included in that average and don’t skew it higher. $62,000 is the average for the “little guy” writers who don’t work regularly.

    I wish I could work sporadically and get paid $62,000! I work daily and don’t make near that much.

  314. I just want to add that I fully support the writers. $62,000 is not a lot, considering the living standards in California. Plus, they may make average $62,000 now, but in the future where the new media is mainstream, they technically will take a drastic pay cut, given they will have zero dollar from internet streaming and downloads. Who’s the greedy side here? For me, it’s clearly the studios.

  315. “Who’s the greedy side here? For me, it’s clearly the studios.”

    Who says that only one side can be greedy? Both sides are being equally greedy. It’s pretty clear that both sides are only interested in getting wealthier than they already are. I just wish that the writers would be upfront about it and say it like it is, rather than trying to convince us that they can’t pay their electric bills.

  316. “It’s pretty clear that both sides are only interested in getting wealthier than they already are.”

    I don’t really think it is even all about that. Yeah I’m sure the writers (along with just about anybody) would like to me more wealthy. But really this is about trying to save at least the amount they are already making. The best example of this is in the case of Lost. Lost is not shown in reruns anymore. All extra viewings of this show is done online or through DVD. They are taking any residuals they made from reruns away from them and giving nothing else in return. This may be the future of a lot of tv shows. If the online bit isn’t included in the new contracts, they will be SOL in the future if reruns disappear.

  317. I think we can all agree that writers’ compensation is based on the number of times their work is distributed.

    Demanding to be paid when your work is distributed isn’t greedy. Particularly if the writers will accept a deal that gives them money from internet distribution only if profit is made from such distribution. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is the position of the WGA.

    Agreeing to pay someone based on distribution, then orchestrating a steady shift from distributions which require payment (e.g. TV original airings and reruns) to distributions which don’t require payment(e.g. new media), now that sounds greedy.

  318. 455 Nard Dog
    Agreeing to pay someone based on distribution, then orchestrating a steady shift from distributions which require payment (e.g. TV original airings and reruns) to distributions which don’t require payment(e.g. new media), now that sounds greedy.

    Very well said, ND.

    Also greedy is defining all web content as “promotions,” including entire episodes rerun on the net and webisodes, created exclusively for the net. As Mike Schur said on the Office strike video, now that is creative writing.

    If the studios are making money off of the writers’ product (and they are), the writers deserve a portion of that profit.

  319. “If the studios are making money off of the writers’ product (and they are), the writers deserve a portion of that profit.”

    They do? I produce a product for my employer. My employer profits from that product. But I don’t see a penny of that profit. I simply get paid my agreed upon salary. That’s the way it works in the real world.

  320. Sarah – the difference is, unless I am mistaken, you don’t own a copyright on the product you produce. The writers do, hence they are paid residuals from reruns and the like.

  321. “the difference is, unless I am mistaken, you don’t own a copyright on the product you produce. The writers do, hence they are paid residuals from reruns and the like.”

    No, the writers don’t own a copyright on their product either. NBC owns the copyright for all material produced for NBC. Thus, they can do whatever they want with it.

  322. “Hollywood is far removed from the real world though.”

    I think that was her point. This whole incident shows us just how far removed Hollywood is from the rest of the country.

  323. Is there anyway we can help with the strike and help it end? I just want every one to end this and just give the writers what they want.

  324. I produce a product for my employer. My employer profits from that product.

    What you produce is as lucrative as an Office episode?

  325. This whole incident shows us just how far removed Hollywood is from the rest of the country.

    You’re still coming at this like the Hollywood industry is like any other industry. It isn’t, in any way, comparable. Writers in Hollywood make their companies millions of dollars. Drones in an everyday office? Teachers educating students? Not so much.

  326. Sarah’s point may be true in her own work experience, however, in every job I have ever had there were employees paid based on a percentage of revenue produced – commissions, stock options, profit sharing, bonuses, even tips would all fall under this category and they are as prevalent in the real world as they are in Hollywood. The system of paying writers based on revenue is good for the studios – it means if the work the writers produce doesn’t generate revenue, then they don’t have to pay. The issue at the heart of the strike is not about studios wanting to do away with the current compensation system, it is about them not wanting to include certain products in the compensation system, even though those products generate revenue.

  327. P.S. My feeling is that the studios do not want to settle this strike and have no interest in getting back to the bargaining table. They want to settle the directors’ contract first then base their offer to the writers on that. The directors will not need to strike to get the studios to talk to them. They have more power than the writers do. My prediction: the studios won’t even talk until they’ve settled with the directors.

  328. I was reading the united hollywood blog and someone mailed a letter with 4 pennies taped inside (which is the amount the writers are asking for as an increase to their current compensation) It said something like I hear you’re strapped for cash, hope this helps! Maybe we could start an office-specific campaign like this? All of us sending 4 cents to NBC..I know, I know it’s giving them money, but think of how annoying it would be to get tons of letters with 4 cents in them? Like they’ll cash it. It would show how petty they’re being.

  329. I just watched two shows – “30 Rock” and “Friday Night Lights” on NBC.com. And the only ads played during these episodes were NBC ads, or NBC promos for other NBC shows.

    In other words, the executives might have a point about the how much $$$ is really going to come in via these internet replays, especially for the shows that don’t perform well when broadcast. If NBC can’t seem to sell any ad-time for these rebroadcasts, maybe they really are just “promotions.” After all, NBC isn’t paying itself to run ads for itself on the web.

    Looks like the writers may have jumped the gun on this issue.

  330. ThreeHolePunchVersion #467, #468

    What you produce is as lucrative as an Office episode?
    Writers in Hollywood make their companies millions of dollars. Drones in an everyday office? Teachers educating students? Not so much.

    I work for an oil and gas consulting company that out earns The Office by Billions of dollars per year. I see no residual checks for the geological work that I produce that gets rehashed from project to project. I go to work and get paid, and if we do a good job we get a christmas bonus at the end of the year. That is just how it is in the real world.

  331. 473 Stanleythemanley,

    Thanks so much for linking to that article. It was a well-written and informative read. This blog/article articulates so well that there is huge difference between selling your intellectual property to a company (and the agreements made between the two sides)and being hired on by a company to do a certain task that just so happens to have you ‘producing’ something. And absolutely if authors and song writers continue to reap the benefits of their work based on its’ success why should screenwriters be any different? Regardless of what ‘side’ you’re on I think there is some excellent information to be found and it might just help one understand and be more informed about the situation at hand. Personally, I feel more informed in my support of the WGA after reading this.

  332. Hey Moomintroll, your post made me laugh :)…

    But in all seriousness, those corporate bastards aren’t getting a single penny from me, not a penny, not anymore until my shows come back. So as much as I’d like to inundate them with something, it isn’t going to be money. I’d rather just send them empty envelopes with a message written on the back that says, “This is how much money you will be getting from this TV viewer until my shows, especially The Office, are back with the wonderful writers I know, pay them now, or you’ll pay later!”

    And #474, what has made you stop wanting to support the writers? Whatever you do, don’t support the greedy corporate studios. Please.

  333. 473 – Yes, this post surely explains residuals, but it it does very little to justify them, or the strike. Parts of it are unquestionably logically hollow, and often circular. For example:

    “Why don’t gaffers get residuals? Because residuals are royalties paid to an author, [and gaffers aren’t authors.]”

    None of the reasoning in the post answer the all-too-obvious and looming question: Why should writers earn residuals in the first place? Or, why do only writers and producers on a re-sellable product earn residuals.

    And, finally, the author is notably misinformed: many authors don’t receive residuals as part of their publishing deal.

    I’m with 474 on this one: I don’t support the writers.

  334. Maybe no one in Hollywood deserves as much money as they’re getting. But that’s not the point. Hollywood industries are extremely lucrative and that money has to go somewhere whether we like it or not. I’d rather see it go to the creative minds behind the show than studio execs.

  335. #479-

    Oh, there is no way I support the studios. I feel like I can’t support either side because I’ve never supported strikes in general. But if I have to pick a side, I would pick the writers over the studios any day.

  336. I know someone has already posted this, but GE predicts NBC Universal will produce $1 billion in digital advertising revenue by 2009 – I’m not sure how anyone can doubt that the studios have targeted digital media as their key growth market in the future when they are stating this directly. This is not “pie in the sky” – this is a revenue prediction from the parent company’s annual report to investors. The point of residuals is that if the studio made less than their targets, writers and others involved in creating the product would make less too.

  337. #478:

    Yours. The post was expressing support for the writers, but you said “What a great idea,” and then said you weren’t supporting the writers.

  338. 431- I have just found t-shirts to support the WGA Strike! I’m not sure how to set up links but here is the website

  339. “GE predicts NBC Universal will produce $1 billion in digital advertising revenue by 2009”

    But there is a HUGE difference between revenue and profit.

  340. #480:

    EXACTLY! The logic used by the writers is completely circular. The writers’ only claim to residuals is based on the argument: “Well, writers are just supposed to get them.” There is no inalienable right to residuals.

  341. Many of you are bringing up valid points as to why the writers shouldn’t be striking, but when you think about it, this isn’t just a black and white issue. There’s something to be said for the artistic side of this too. I believe the writers deserve their fair share of ANY money made from their art. I understand that gaffers etc. don’t get residuals, but, like it or not, writing is a much harder skill. The writers of the most popular shows are the only reason they have lucrative ad-time to sell. Why stream the shows online at all if the studios aren’t seeing profits from it? Obviously there is a huge, and very marketable, demand for well written shows to be available online. Do we really believe that NBC is streaming full-length episodes out of the kindness of it’s heart? Pay the writers what they are worth (which in my opinion is way more than the studio execs.)

  342. #474 Yeah, my earlier post was in favor of the writers. I guess I didn’t make it clear that the four cents was mailed to a studio exec. and not to a writer. The purpose was to send the four cents to the studio, in hopes of them seeing how minimal a demand the writers are actually making.

  343. United Hollywood website today said that this strike is expected to last at least 60 days, that means well into January of next year. I read a source from somewhere claimed that if the strike is not resolved by Christmas, most TV shows are done for the season. This week episode can be the last, guys. Seriously, I’m gonna cry.

    But, stay strong writers, stay strong. I support you guys 1000%. “Don’t write until it’s right.”

    [Link already posted in previous comment.]

  344. UM actually, 62,000 is enough, even in LA where I lived on less as recently as 2 years ago (difficult, but possible). This is about people who have jobs most of us could only dream of getting lost in a fight of “principles.” It’s not about the little people by any stretch of the imagination. How many of you work for corporations that make ridiculous amounts of money but pay you a very little, itty, bitty percentage of that? I do…it happens. That’s life.

  345. To everyone saying that the writers deserve no more money than the rest of us, I have to disagree.

    I’m not saying that writers have a more IMPORTANT job; I’m saying they have a rarer skill. That kind of consistent wit and creativity that the writers possess is very rare, and unlike office jobs or manual labor or even surgery, it relies more on natural talent than learned skills.

    So it makes perfect sense that they get compensated considerably for it- b/c they are much harder to replace.

  346. “But there is a HUGE difference between revenue and profit.” Yeah, although the incremental add to expenses and overhead is pretty small when it comes to online content. [/accounting geek]

    Having said that, I think all of this depends on your perspective and individual experiences. It’s one thing to support the strike when all it means is that you’ll be suffering through reruns for a while. It’s another issue entirely when you’re seeing your coworkers being laid off by the hundreds. People who are worried about paying their PG&E bill in 10 weeks, not 10 years. People who (unlike the writers and actors, if SAG takes on the issue as well) will never, ever benefit from the strike.

    So although the writers may have the “right” stand on principle, they’re taking down a lot of people for their own personal benefit. The same can be said for the studios, for not ponying up, but based on what my company is going through with all of this, it kind of gets to me when the writers are painted as innocent, purely altruistic victims. Both sides are doing this for money, plain and simple.

  347. 492 – I disagree – this country is full of extremely talented, undiscovered people who would probably drop everything for the opportunity to write for television and the movies without being in a union. They just haven’t been given the opportunity or don’t have the connections to even get a foot in the door. Just because the Office writers are very gifted does not mean all WGA writers are so talented that they could not easily be replaced.

  348. Clearly all the writers in Hollywood are not replaceable, or the studios would try to do so. They don’t currently have a contract with the union, so they’re free to do whatever they like. The fact that they’re not might actually indicate that talented writers are not “a dime a dozen” as people seem to think. I think people have missed the very simple point at the heart of this strike – the studios are ALREADY making money from new media and EVERY studio is predicting new media will be their target growth area. They just don’t want to share. Not just with writers, but with anyone involved.

  349. But TobyFan, the reason that studios aren’t just replacing the writers isn’t because they’re so irreplaceable, it’s because of what unions do to scabs. If any writer volunteered to fill-in, they would be black-balled for life in Hollywood once the strike ends. Just one more noble thing about unions.

  350. Tanster,

    I think we can all agree on one thing….we want our show back. I am just glad you gave us all a place to vent our frustrations.

  351. 494: Janet- I agree there are definitely many talented people out there who want to be in television badly.

    But the writers of The Office aren’t just lucky people who were “given” the opportunity. As far as I know, they don’t have famous parents or anything like that. The reason it’s so hard to get your foot in the door is because in addition to talent, you need the guts and the perseverance to drop everything, take a huge risk, get in touch with the right people, and do whatever you can to build up an impressive field of work.

    There is obviously some luck in there, but I think that mix of guts and talent is pretty rare and hard to replace. Which is why we should support our writers!

  352. I find it a little disturbing that on MSN’s home page, they have an article about the strike in which they mention ways for us to watch our favorite shows during the strike. One of the suggestions they have is to watch your favorite show online. Yes, watch shows online!! They’ve even got links to full episodes of some of the most popular shows, including our Office. Are they joking?!?! Have they paid any attention to what this strike is actually about?!?! How oblivious can they be?!

  353. This strike is ridiculous. The Rich want to get richer. This is just as nonsensical as NFL players lobbying for a raise from 7 million to 8 million. Just get back to making good shows.

  354. i want this strike to end peacefully with the WGA getting everything they deserve!

    Awareness now, people!!

    actors need writers
    writers need actors
    hence the reason both factions are in this strike.
    those funny zingers, those monumental one liners we often spew to punch up a conversation, those moments we can relate to..those are from writers! So we have to support or else we’re going to be riddled with tasteless reality shows from here till whenever! and from what i’ve read so far it looks like whenever is far far far away

  355. #501; Well look who MSNBC is run by! Of course NBC and Microsoft want us to watch the shows online. They are definitely on the opposing side of the writers. Man, I am so depressed that today is the last new episode! Who would have thought this would happen? Remember how excited we were about the new season, and now this? I just hope the studios wake up and give the writers what they’re worth.

  356. It’s really sad that tonight’s new episode will probably be the last one for at least ten months, but in the long run, it’ll be worth it. My hope is it’ll be over by May, the writers will have forged the path for fair play for the actors and directors and The Office will go into production on time for Season 5. Do I BELIEVE that’ll happen? Well…I hope so!

  357. Can someone answer this for me…

    After tonight, will the next episode (whenever that’ll be) still be season 4 or the beginning of Season 5? I ask because The Office always has great season finales. So is tonight considered the season finale of season 4?

  358. “After tonight, will the next episode (whenever that’ll be) still be season 4 or the beginning of Season 5?”

    It depends on how long the strike goes. As of now, it looks like the strike won’t be resolved anytime soon, meaning season 4 is almost certainly over. The earliest that we will see new episodes is probably the start of season 5 next fall.

    “So is tonight considered the season finale of season 4?”

    Yeah, that’s the way it seems. But it was written before the strike, so it wasn’t written to be the season finale. Thus, it will just be a regular episode. It won’t be a “special” season finale kind of episode.

  359. Can someone come help out WGA East? I’m not a member or anything, but the picket lines are just plain sad. The New York Times reported they’re down to ten people walking in an oval, not even chanting.

  360. tanster here’s an article from tvguide.com listing when a lot of primetime shows will go black…we all know The Office is done for awhile, but people would probably be interested in this if they watch other shows

  361. While I support the writers fully:

    Rachel’s comment, “The New York Times reported they’re down to ten people walking in an oval, not even chanting.”

    That just makes me feel like they’ve got no passion/reason to be there, it’s just sad…

  362. That article was really scaring me until I read: “Upon termination, actors are no longer paid and are free to do other projects. When production on the shows resumes, they are guaranteed to be rehired by the studios under the original terms of their deals.” Still frightening, but at least we know no one would be terminated permanently.

    This is getting more and more serious by the day, and it looks like the studios are getting ready for a long haul. I really hope that they come to their senses, and soon.

  363. After reading that, I might actually go up to NYC and join in or something.

    The latest post really scares me. If people get fired, then that’s the end, really. This is really bad.

  364. I’m confused! What does this latest post mean? That they might start firing the writers? and actors?
    WHAT!! This can’t be happening. We can’t lose any of our Office anything! omg.

  365. If anything actually happens to our writers and actors, I swear.
    In the words of Michael Scott:
    “You will have a mutiny on your hands, a mutiny!”

  366. #525, I’m sure that Greg Daniels, Steve Carell, etc. are also helping the crew. The myspace page looks like it was created by fans for fan donations, and that Kent Zbornak was just made aware of it and forwarded the site to Tanster. I don’t doubt for a second that the higher paid people of the Office will look after those who are losing their jobs with no safety net.

  367. I’m in full agreement with the comment in #525. Greg Daniels and Steve Carell should have kept working until the finished scripts were gone.

  368. I think the studio heads and writers should all sit down together, watch “The Negotiation” and share some ‘za (cause everyone likes pizza), and say, “Hug it out, bitch…and give me my money.” I can understand how the studios are raising the stakes this way, but “30 Rock” and “The Office” are NBC’s only solid performers when it comes to comedy. Are they really going to sack half of the cast and staff on a gamble?
    Doubtful.

  369. To those freaking out over the “termination” meaning the end of The Office, read all the way through the article.

    “Upon termination, actors are no longer paid and are free to do other projects. When production on the shows resumes, they are guaranteed to be rehired by the studios under the original terms of their deals.”

  370. If the actors get terminated, didnt’ the article say they would get automatically hired back when the show resumes? I think if they get terminated, they are just free to do other projects, etc. I am not too worried. The networks can’t start from scratch with all new shows after this if over. I know it will end eventually, I just hope it ends soon so that we can have more Office this season.

  371. I just reread the article. Thank God! I kinda freaked out at the word “Terminated” and stopped there. Knowing that they can come back after the strike is over is fine, I just want them to get back to work soon before this has to occur. Thanks again Tanster for keeping the fans updated.

  372. #528 Wince

    I can see why you would say that, but it seems to me that the more people that take a stand in this strike the sooner, the shorter it will be in the long run. Even if Steve Carell and the other actors went back to work today, production would shut down as soon as scripts run out (which would be very soon, since I think there were very few (one? two?) scripts ready to shoot).

    This strike is really, really unfortunate timing for the crew, but Steve Carell going back to work would not, I don’t think, make a big difference. On the contrary, he stands to play a role in shortening the length of this strike by refusing to cross the picket line, especially if other major actors follow his example.

  373. This blog post seems to explain “Force Majeure” and why the studios want it.

    From what I understand from it: If the studios hang on to the strike long enough to be able to cancel contracts on a large scale, they can weed out stuff they don’t want and keep the stuff they do. Getting rid of contracts that aren’t making enough money would be a way for them to recoup some of the money they have lost on the strike.

    I would think The Office would be something they would keep… considering how much imaginary profit it brings in through “new media,” the maybe-sorta-could-be way of the future.

  374. I support the writers in their strike but I have to agree with the second paragraph of 525 by “C’mon now”.

  375. For those people worried about the office, fear not. Even though NBC has not given the show the recognition it deserves, I wanted to share something with you.
    I went to NYC a couple of days ago and stopped by the NBC store. Most of the merchandise was for The Office. Huge posters of Steve Carrell everywhere.
    It is clear that NBC knows who are the shows that bring in money.
    I’m sure everyone and everything will be back to normal once everyone agrees on the terms

  376. I just received the following from GE:

    Thank you for expressing your views. We will pass these on to the appropriate executives at GE and NBC Universal.

    Thank you

    GE Corporate Feedback Team

    (We’ll see.)

  377. I read the article and it sounds like if they terminate the actors after the 5 week suspension period, the actors are still contractually tied to the show once the strike is over as per their original contract – BUT they have the freedom to pursue other projects.

    So it’s a lot of legal stuff but not actually the end of the world…I think?

  378. Agree #540! They could at least throw a repeat Benihana Christmas or the Christmas Party in there!

    Hey NBC producers take a hint from December 13!

  379. Ok… Now I’m really seeing a pattern with the episode selections. The Coup? The Negotiation? Business School? The writers are clearly trying to send a message. Very clever and witty, like our writers. (Quietly sobs)

  380. Wow, getting back to the negotiating table is a really big step. I’m relieved, but apprehensive. I hope they reach a fair deal.

  381. Thank God for that. Finally some development. I know it’s not much, but I’ll take it. I guess our letters and postcards did something or I like to think so. Thanks for the update Tanster.

  382. yes! im so happy that they are going to start to talk!

    hopefully these negotiations go well!

    we need our office back asap :o)

  383. I hope this changes things and fast! The upcoming schedule is depressing me :( rerun, after rerun, after rerun…

    Pay the writers! Bring back TV!

  384. If the negotiations work out during the week of Novebmer 26 and the strike ends, how long do you think it will be until we see a new episode again? I’m thinking that it will most likely be January, I’m not really not sure.

  385. All I want for Christmas is for this strike to be resolved! Hollywood, could you please give me my present early? Say on November 26?

    I am already going through withdrawal and it’s only been two days!

  386. Yay! This is a great start. Even if they don’t get everything settled, at least they’re getting things moving.

  387. IOUs for Christmas
    If you were planning to give Office goodies to your families and friends this year, how about an IOU instead? You could use your “I Love Jim” paper, or write it on a Schrutebuck, or a Stanley nickel. Let them know that you won’t be buying any licensed merchandise until the strike is settled, but as soon as the WGA reaches an agreement they’ll be getting their nifty-gifty.

  388. Please let this talk end the strike! All I want for Christmas is an Office Christmas party episode.

  389. Yikes, everyone seems to be getting ahead of themselves. What makes you all think that the studios and networks are hurting so badly that they are going to give everything the writers want at the negotiating table? After all, only one show – The Office – has come off the air. Maybe this is just the pessimist in me, but I will not be expecting a Christmas episode this year.

  390. I just want to say that on November 26th, everyone here on Officetally is going to be right behind our favorite show. We believe in you guys, and we want our show back!!

  391. I’m really glad they’re going to start negotiating. This makes me a little more optimistic.

    However, I don’t think the whole strike is going to resolve itself this soon-everyone is too stubborn; I’m still not expecting this to be over for at least a couple more months. But, in a few weeks, the TV will be full of reruns- many shows are going to run out of new episodes soon. I hope the networks realize that a buttload of reality TV makes no one happy. ;)

  392. I really hope this strike ends soon…what’s gonna happen to season 4?! Pay the writers what they deserve so we can have our show back!! No one is going to tune in to the repeats because they’re already airing on tbs on tuesday nights! I can’t imagine the Office without a Christmas episode :(

  393. I agree, 561. I’m a little surprised to hear that they’re even coming back to the table this soon. If these talks yield progress, great.

    But if they don’t – and that’s a real possibility – expect the next shot to be fired by the SAG next summer.

    I don’t like being a pessimist, either, but I definitely wouldn’t hold out for a Christmas episode. Even if this meeting does result in a contract.

  394. Maybe Office fans should send lots of boxes of jello to the bigwigs or something else symbolic of the show. :)

    The pencils campaign is okay but I’m not sure it’s grassroots enough to be effective.

    Anyway, good that they are at least talking again. I’m not holding my breath expecting new episodes anytime soon though. I’d be surprised if we even got a few more in the spring.

  395. The thing I haven’t figured out —

    the studios say there is no money from online so why don’t they give the writers a percentage of online revenue – if there is no money than 8% of nothing is nothing

  396. I love Kent Zbornak. Lots. And what he’s doing with that Office Fans Christmas Funds program makes me love him even more.

    Now I’m off to make my donation!

  397. November 26th!!! Oh man. I’m going to knock on wood, keep my fingers crossed, not walk under any ladders, throw salt over my shoulder, avoid black cats, and do a raindance in hopes that things turn out well and everyone can go back to work.

    This is progress. I’m very hopeful.

  398. Could someone clarify one question for me please?
    If and when a deal is made, will new episodes only have their chance to air during the usual time frame until May, and then that’s it no matter how many episodes there are? Or do they continue making a full season no matter how long it takes or when it ends..

  399. I do feel for the crew,I know what it’s like to go through hard times. BUT, I feel if anyone should be donating to the OFCF it should be the writers and actors first. I am sure they can afford to donate even $100. As a college students with our kids to support we don’t make enough to ensure my kids will get a Christmas either. I know this is harsh, but, it’s life.

  400. #572 Line, the above quote by Greg Daniels says that, “for every month there [is] a strike, three episodes [will] not be made.” The season will probably only go into May, if and when it resumes. If we have the immense good fortune of having the strike end soon after the November 26th negotiations, that would be about a month of strike. So, assuming Greg Daniels’ words hold true, we’re probably going to miss out on at least three episodes.

  401. I jsut saw a video by the Daily Show writers (which is, of course, the original show of both Steve Carrell and Ed Helms) and it gives some more good (and funny) information about the whole online media thing. It deals specifically with Viacom, but the general idea applies to the whole dilemma. It can be found here

  402. I’m going to be in L.A. tomorrow.. maybe I should go join the picket lines! haha. Sadly I won’t be able to, but I really hope this gets resolved as soon as possible. Strikes are an unpleasant affair.

  403. 568-Smartone – you have hit the proverbial nail on the head.

    I’m glad at least that everyone is going back to the table and my guess is that it does, at least in some respects, have to do with the fact that the strike has not gone the way the studios thought it would, with so many people, both famous and not-so-famous like us, supporting the writers. Fingers crossed, toes crossed, rubbing my lucky rabbit’s foot like crazy!!

  404. ohkrasinski…so right, so right. As much as I love the show, remind me why I need to donate to a Christmas relief fund when I read that one of the main stars (and main advocates for the writers’ strike) earns $175,000 per episode! So come on actors show your love out of wallet just as you have on the picket line! I for one will leave the cast and producers to help the crew with missing wage. I instead will donate to another needy cause.

  405. If your work is on network television, now is not the time to strike. TV is a mess…Xbox, internet porn and DVD’s have killed ratings.

    What do you think Les Moonves is going to tell the board of directors now? You just gave him a great excuse….”the reason ratings are down is because of the strike *whisper* not because we suck”.

    YOU ARE MAKING A MISTAKE. You’re not as valuable as you used to be. Frickin’ Andy Samberg went from You Tube dude to SNL regular in 6 months. If you won’t write, millions of creative people will be found who will….and TV execs will find them, wherever they are.

  406. Celebrity Apprentice. Guess who has two thumbs and hates that idea. THIS guy (or gal). I hope no one watches it.

  407. I was saying Boo-urns. I can’t believe this season is going to be 8 episodes long. With no Christmas show. What a sad time to be an Office fan.

  408. Question: What if the strike is over by then? Are we going to have to wait until the stupid Apprentice is over with? Or are they going to move “The Apprentice” to a different time?

  409. 581-RixChick
    I don’t think we should assume that the actors, writers, producers, etc. aren’t helping the crew. The Office Fans Christmas Fund is just a nice way for fans to show that we appreciate their work.

  410. Well I think that’s just dandy. At least we know that pretty much everyone in the world will NOT be watching NBC Thursday nights. Wooo boycott!

  411. Celebrity Apprentice instead of The Office???

    Wow. Just when I thought I couldn’t hate Donald Trump more…

  412. Oh crap, how do we keep people from watching that!? I have a bad feeling many people will just soak it up!

    It’s like NBC knew this would happen! GRRRRR. I’m so upset. I and as many people I can get will be going no where near that stupid Apprentice, mark my words!

  413. Boycott Celebrity Apprentice!!!! Then NBC will realize that they are nothing without the well written comedy and drama series!

  414. Did we all really need another reason to dislike Trump? And Sara (#586) raises a valid question.

    I wish they would have just chosen to air the UK version of the Office instead…

  415. Thank you Ben Silverman for coming to NBC and pulling The Apprentice out of the trash bin. And now we have The Apprentice with “celebrities”. Wow, what kind of celebrities are we getting? Chris Crocker the YouTube Brittany Spears cryer? Oh, how about Nick Lackey or that girl who beat up that other girl in Tila Tequila’s show? Cannot. Wait. Geez, writers and studios, please take your time to get a deal done. The networks are taking good care of us. Lots of commercials online, plenty of lame brain celebrity sychopants, and I hear that Paris Hilton’s dog is going to get his own show. Now THAT’s entertainment. Ha-cha!

  416. Well at least we’ll have some quality programming in place of The Office. I was worried they’d do some DUMB reality show. Whew.

  417. Celebrity Apprentice? The nightmares are becoming true…what’s next, a Deal or No Deal 24hr. marathon?

    Although, as much as I want to boycott reality TV, I am kinda excited about the resurgence of American Gladiators. Is that bad?

  418. #586: If the strike is over by then (which I’m crossing my fingers it will be) then hopefully they will cancel that stupid apprentice show because I doubt that hardly anyone is going to watch it. Come on, celebrity apprentice? That is going to be the stupidest show ever.

  419. It’s ironic how The Office started out as a filler show and now it is needy of a filler show. I know I will not be watching ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ for the sake of the strike and also because it just doesn’t sound like much fun.

  420. “Celebrity Apprentice?” Who are they kidding?
    Is there anything we can do to make NO ONE watch it.

  421. Oh Yeah..The Donald is back..with Gene Simmons WOW!..Hey NBC..give Erik Estrada and one of those guys from The Partridge Family a call..I think their schedule is wide open..(notable saracasm)BRING BACK THE OFFICE OR I’LL HAVE TO HURT MY HDTV!HA..HA.HA!!!

  422. I heard a while back that they were gonna do Celebrity Apprentice. They also said that it was gonna fill up the time slot the The Biggest Loser has since that show will be done by the end of the year. Why must they do this to us?!?!?!

    I guess there goes the thursday night get-togethers with some of my co-workers.

  423. I have no words for how disgusted I am right now. Mrs. Halpert said it perfectly in post #610: “Congratulations, universe. You win.” :(

  424. An open letter to NBC execs:

    I would rather watch an hour of nothing but commercials. Or just give me a blank screen. Seriously.

    Must Seethe TV

  425. Does this mean that The Office is done for the season?

    As much as that stinks, it sucks more for Scrubs, seeing as this was their last season.

  426. We need to do something. I’m starting to feel like it’s the olden days and I need to take up arms to defend honor and dignity. What do we do? Boycott? Picket? Write more letters? Send remote controls encased in Jello? Maybe we should make Tanster the Commander-in-Chief. Mobilize the armies! We need to fight. Celebrity Apprentice should die.

  427. Wait… I really like the idea of sending remotes in Jello. You can buy a remote at Big Lots for like 2 dollars. Send it with a lovely little note that says “If I can’t watch The Office, I won’t watch anything. Enjoy the Jello.”

  428. To not have our show for a while is one thing.
    To not air our beloved Christmas show is another,
    But when you replace with the worst idea in TV history; all I have to say is…
    NBC you have a riot on your hands, and it starts now.

  429. Thanks NBC! You made my decision so much easier concerning my Thursday nights. I won’t be watching your network.

  430. It’s weird, it just sort of hit me how long it’ll be until we’ll see some Office again.

    “Celebrity Apprentice…” are you kidding me, NBC? I was expecting crap reality, but, wow. I guess that’s more reason not to watch TV. Yay.

  431. Really, NBC? Putting a spotlight on “celebrity” has-beens? Taking a note from Dwight, won’t that shed MORE light on how out-of-date they are? I do have to commend them on thinking of this, NO other show has included “celebrities” before as a twist, this is completely original and an amazing idea.

    [/bitter from lack of good television]

  432. Wow, celebrity apprentice… television has reached an all time low without the writers. BRING THE WRITERS BACK!

  433. Yikes! Well… that’s one less thing I have to program on the DVR. I could use the space for other shows like… MythBusters. Get ‘er down. hehe. Thanks for the update.

  434. There is no way I will be watching that. It wouldn’t be fair. Not to the good fans, not to me, and especially not to the writers. Let’s not forget who this whole striking business is about, anyway. If I could leave you with one thought, remember… it wasn’t me. They’re trying to make me an escape goat. If I am subjected to celebrity apprentice, I swear to God, that every single piece of new media in this town is going to have the F-word on it. The F-word. You have one day.

  435. NBC, thank you for giving me an excuse to watch the movies I already own over and over and over again. In case that wasn’t clear enough- I will NOT be watching Celebrity Apprentice.

  436. 624 has a point. The Office has yet to even break 10 million viewers, and Survivor and Dancing With the Stars are pulling one-and-a-half times (and sometimes twice that) each week, and that is when American Idol is not on, grabbing 25 million two to three nights a week.

    Let’s face it: The Office isn’t even a top 20 show. NBC isn’t taking that big of risk by replacing it with a reality show that just might score.

    (Of course, all of this is very, very depressing…)

  437. Celebrity Apprentice to replace Scrubs and The Office. HAHAHAHAHA….oh that is the funniest thing I have heard.

    I can’t believe they would actually put this on the air.

  438. Donald Trump in place of Michael Scott, as Michael would say, This is egregious. I hope both sides are able to work out an agreement so the thousands of people whose jobs hang in the balance can get back to work.

  439. #625, you are a genius. Will you forgive me if I do that with an old remote I don’t actually use?

  440. I think the writers have done a good job justifying their position and I take their side for the most part, but until now, there were still new episodes to watch and the strike didn’t really affect me. Now, my favorite show ever is officially on hiatus, and I feel so disappointed. I just want my show back, but what if it never returns? … This is the worst.

  441. I just read on another web site that the average WGA member makes $200,000 per year. Can that be true? Is that who they are taking up a Christmas collection for?

  442. “NBC, Are you trying to have people not watch your network? If so, job well done!!!!”

    Actually, Celebrity Apprentice will get more viewers than The Office. Like #639 said, reality shows have been getting much, much higher ratings than The Office. Who knows, NBC must just realize that they can get better ratings with cheaper shows. I think the writers may be striking themselves out of a job.

  443. It’s like Friends. I’m uh..Chandler and Joey and Pam is Rachel. And Dwight is..Kramer. God! What happened to NBC. I mean seriously. Man they’ve got like nothing..

    Right you are Michael Scott, right you are…Celebrity Apprentice is more dull than Kevin…way more.

  444. Darnit, with all this lack of Office news and this horrible hiatus, I’m now forced to actually do “work” at my job. :)

    This is so depressing. Thank god tomorrow is a holiday or this first Thursday with no Office would just be even more depressing. I’m drowning my sorrows in turkey and pie.

  445. The Office Fans Christmas Fund is for the crew members. From the OFCF site:

    On Saturday, November 10, the 102 members of the “Office” production crew were laid-off WITHOUT SEVERANCE. That’s 102 hard-working people who have lost their jobs as the WGA (rightfully) fights for a fair deal.

    Crew members are arguably the most under-paid and under-appreciated people in the film and television business. They were not protected because their union is not on strike. As Kent Zbornak, co-executive producer, told me, “I had one crew member tell me that he needed to tell his children this weekend that Christmas was going to be tough and they may not get any presents this year.”

    As “Office” fans, I say we help them out! The crew have given us amazing Christmas episodes, so it’s our turn to brighten their holidays.

  446. I think if we did the remote control idea, (see #622)probably minus the jell-o, I think we could have an impact. We’d have to do it together, all at once though. Like the fans that saved their show by sending in peanuts. Jericho? Either way, I like this idea. Officetally has a HUGE audience of daily visiters…it can be done.

    And although #623 is right, NBC isn’t soley to blame, this is our favorite show…and gosh darn it, I think they’re worth it.

  447. We could send the remotes in Jello… well not Jello but silicon. I remember John the prop guy having a recipe on his blog somewhere. I’m just having a little trouble finding it. Help please?

  448. Still hoping for good news….I think there should be a food day episode where everyone brings in one dish. I think it would be funny to see what everyone would bring.

  449. I just saw a preview for the Celebrity Apprentice. And that is the last time I will watch NBC untill the office comes back.
    I would rather stick a letter opener in my skull than watch that.

  450. Yes! I was hoping the remotes in jello (or not in jello) would be an okay idea. How many people can we get in on this action?

  451. And Semi-Sweet, thank you… genius might be a bit much, but I’ll take it. And of course you can send in one you don’t use. I only have one remote, so I can’t really send that.

  452. Celebrity Apprentice?????? this will be my last post because I am going out and buy a gun to blow my brains out!

  453. I’m glad they’re replacing The Office with Celebrity Apprentice. It would suck if they replaced it with a really good show; higher ratings means less pressure on the networks to bring WGA shows back.

  454. Jeff Zucker, President and CEO
    NBC Universal
    3000 W. Alameda Ave.
    Burbank, CA. 91523

    He is going to get a long letter from me, and hopefully other office, scrubs, and other NBC show fans!!

  455. “I’m glad they’re replacing The Office with Celebrity Apprentice. It would suck if they replaced it with a really good show; higher ratings means less pressure on the networks to bring WGA shows back.”

    But Celebrity Apprentice will get much higher ratings than The Office did.

  456. I am not watching NBC until the strike gets settled. I don’t care if it has no effect, I will not fill my brain with the useless garbage of watching washed-up, so-called “celebrities” fighting to kiss Trump’s ass.

  457. Any chance this deal could get struck in time to save Christmas — as in a Christmas episode of The Office?

  458. My fingers are crossed as well. I hope Deadline Hollywood Daily’s report from this morning comes true and we’ll have our new Office episodes (and other shows) back soon after New Year’s!

  459. It is still absolutely killing me that we won’t get a Christmas episode this year…***runs crying from the room***

  460. I honestly don’t mind watching a Christmas episode in March…it hurts, but it’s much better than no Christmas episode at all. And hey, as long as I get my 30 episodes as promised, I will be happy. I’d enjoy watching new episodes well into summer. But…

    …this strike isn’t about me. Let’s all keep supporting our favorite writers!

  461. Re 681:

    I agree. The first thing I thought of when I heard about the strike was, “Great, the season we get 30 episodes is the season where they strike and we won’t actually get them.” I doubt they will do all 30 episodes, because they would have to work well into the summer, and have a very abbreviated break before having to come back do season 5.

    But who really cares? The strike is possibly over! I want ANY episodes (especially a Christmas one, even in March).

  462. This is great news! I only hope that there’s some truth to it. Fingers crossed that the studios came to their senses and are giving the writers what they deserve! And I agree with everyone who mentioned the possibility of a Christmas episode- It would be amazing, even if it aired in May! lol

  463. If a deal is struck TODAY, they could be back to work next week on December 3. Be done filming Dinner Party by December 7. Film Christmas Dec. 10, be done by Dec. 14. Edit it like crazy and air it by Dec. 27???

    I’d take one two days late… :-)

  464. Ohhh #687 Andrew, your optimism is cute.

    P.S. Tanster your new banner is awesome and but also tears out my heart.

  465. I want my Office back Office back Office back

    I want my Office back Office back Office back

    I want my… Dwight Schrute… Michael and Jim…

    Haha, like Michael singing the Chili’s song in “The Client”? I just made that up.

  466. Oh man!!!!
    My fingers, toes and everything else that can be crossed are crossed! :)
    It’ll be an amazing day when this strike ends, hopefully it comes sooner, rather than later!

  467. yeah 688, I like the new banner too…in a “it’s-extremely-suiting-to-the-current-situation-and-shows-offictally’s-support-quite-nicely” kind of way
    but obviously, I would rather there not be a strike

  468. Well… here’s to hoping that article is right. I do have a suggestion if they don’t get in a Christmas episode – New Year’s episode. There’s a lot of potential in that as well.

  469. oh my gosh
    YES!!!
    I’m gonna try not to get ahead of myself… but I sure as heck hope its true!

    and #687- I’m with you, it could happen!

  470. #681
    I completely forgot about the 30 episodes that we were supposed to get this season! At least I remembered now, when the strike is (hopefully) close to being resolved.
    I really, really hope that negotiations are going as well as this source has been informed it is. The one thing that caught my eye, though, was that the person said that it could be done by Christmas…oh well, I guess a late resolution is better than no resolution at all. Good luck, writers!

  471. Sorry for the double post, but I just found out about this on unitedhollywood.com:
    There is a phone call blitz happening tonight, Monday, November 26. You can call up Jeff Zucker’s office and leave a message in support of the writers. All of the details can be found here

    Make your voice heard and let them know how upset we are that “The Office” is the first casualty of the scripted primetime shows!

  472. BEST news we could possibly hope for… and so soon!
    They better not be giving me false hope of not having this skin cancer done with (I’ve taken to nibbling on my own skin at 9:00 on Thursday evenings).

    Crossing my fingers.

  473. Oh my goodness I’m so excited! I really hope the strike will end before Jan. 3, the day that stupid Celebrity Aprentice starts (that show looks so stupid). As if we didn’t need more of “The Donald”.

  474. Part of me is like “Don’t get excited.”

    The other part is like “I won’t. I won’t. I won’t I won’t I won’t I won’t I WON’T I WON’T!!!”

  475. okay, im too lazy to go back and see who suggested the new year’s episode (I just read about it in #699), but THAT WOULD BE PERFECT!!! Jim and Pam on new year’s eve?! Ohhh boy (: that’d be too sweet!

  476. “The Office is coming back. The Office is coming back” That is what I have been repeating in my head the whole day and maybe if I keep that going for the next week, the universe will cut us all a break. I refuse to be saying “Congratulations, universe. You win.” by next Monday.
    Another thought; what if all those weeks of reruns they have shown in previous seasons had been replaced. You remember that big break there was between Cocktails and The Negotiation, maybe we could just erase that

  477. The AP is moving that a source has told them the talks today were unsuccessful, but they are going to sit down again tomorrow.

    COME ON! I need my Office back!!!

  478. Deadline hollywood has a new post up about the talks today…it sounds promising so far but it sounds like we will know more by the end of the day Wednesday. *Fingers crossed*

  479. I am trying very hard to keep optimistic! I have exams starting next week, and even though there won’t be any new Office for me then, I’m hoping there will at least be an end to the strike and writer’s getting paid fairly and The Office being put back into production. It would be the best early Christmas present ever!

  480. :D :D :D

    okay, you know you’re obsessed when the first thing you do in the morning is update yourself on the writer’s strike…
    anyway, this is great news!!!!! I’m very hopeful.

  481. More good news! Hopefully it stays that way. Will there be a news black-out until it’s resolved? I’m a little confused on that point. Fingers crossed that things go well today!

  482. I’m confident that this strike will be over by next week. One month is enough. I support the WGA; however, I have to echo a sentiment I read in the NY Times by a current WGA writer: “Is this a strike or a social event?” Time to get back to work. Come on AMPTP – lets get it done. There are people who have lost their jobs. Lets get them back on set. They want to live inside, not outside – maybe send a kid or two to college. And we fans want our Office back. (And Jon Stewart, and Conan, and 30 Rock too.)

  483. God willing, the talks today and tomorrow go well, though- need my Jim!

    Any further word on a Christmas/New Years episode yet?

  484. Hmm… how long, maybe, til the strike’s office-ially over? [don’t mind my bad joke].

    How long til it’s back on TV [not reruns, silly]

    Someone who is more informed than I can please answer. That is not a question, it’s a statement. Prove yourself.

  485. I am so happy this is going well. And 712 – haha I totally agree. I’ve made OT my homepage since the strike started because it keeps me so updated! Thanks, Tanster :-)

  486. i don’t know if this is of any help, but here’s a link about how things look from the meeting yesterday:

    not as optimistic as the other article, but still hopeful.

  487. Does anybody know whether Krasinski supports the strike? I don’t remember seeing anything definite about that.

  488. belin- I don’t know. I know he wrote Brief Interviews With Hideous Men, so I’m guessing yes. Although I’m not certain. Helpful?

    -xoxo, Katie Valinem Halpert [KVH]

  489. I’m sure all of the cast support their writers. Maybe I’m just blinded because I love the idea of the cast and crew being totally in love with each other and are one huge family, but for serious, I can bet you anything that John Krasinski does support them because everyone working on the show (especially the writers) are such a huge part of what makes The Office what it is. How could they not be supportive?

  490. I had a thought last night (I know… amazing in itself.)

    anyways… when the strike is over do you think there’s a chance they will pick up where they left off …. meaning a christmas episode…. if only meant for the dvd/fans? I mean if they come back after christmas….

    anyways I felt they might do something like that but I wasn’t sure……

  491. 666 – Jon didn’t write “Brief Interviews With Hideous Men.” David Foster Wallace wrote it. But Jon may have adapted it.

  492. I say lock them in there until they work it out!!

    As a wise man once said, if cage matches didn’t work, everybody would still be in the cage.

  493. The unemployment bit is hilarious. I work for a judge who was working on the Hill in 1994 when Congress changed hands and he was fired. The Washington Post interviewed him about it and he, a very smart lawyer, was mystified. One of the questions is “Are you physically able to work?” He wondered what exactly that means — “Like, a paper route?”

  494. Oh, and — so far as I can tell, JKras has never made a public statement about anything political (or, really, anything controversial at all) ever. The closest I think I’ve ever seen him come was by wearing an autism awareness pin to an event.

    And, yes — John wrote the screenplay for Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, which he adapted from David Foster Wallace’s book of the same name. He is not, however, a member of the WGA because he has never been “employed” as a writer — the BIWHM project is entrepreneurial.

  495. Great job at saying my favorite response, “Hey!”. Way to act!. lol. That sequence was my favorite part of that episode and hearing that it helped put a roof over your head, Dave, just makes that moment even more magical. Good luck with unemployment and congrats on your acting debut. hehe.

  496. Well this is the most depressing news for our non-Office Thursday. :(

    This is going to be a long winter. I’m so sad. This is worst than the summer.

    I miss this show so much.

  497. I hope the guy negotiators for the AMPTP wear lady clothes to the talks by mistake so this impasse can be resolved quickly.

    [from tanster: that is the funniest thing i’ve heard all day.]

  498. gosh darn it! I just want this to end. We waited all summer for what 6 episodes and now we have to wait even longer.

  499. From Financial Times:

    Networks set for $120m from web ads
    By Matthew Garrahan in Los Angeles

    Published: November 29 2007 01:58 | Last updated: November 29 2007 01:58

    The four US television networks in a pay dispute with Hollywood television writers over online video advertising are in line to generate $120m of revenues in 2007 from free web streaming of their content, according to a leading media buyer.

    The networks have been reluctant to acknowledge the size of their streaming businesses, partly because online video advertising has become a sticking point in pay negotiations with the writers, who have been on strike for almost a month.

  500. Save Scranton. Did you know if the strike doesn’t get solved until spring, we might be waiting on a winter 2009 start of season 5? Insane.

  501. that’s great news!! a little disappointed that it didn’t get resolved this week, but then again there’s no rushing these kinds of things.

    looks like we might not have to wait until 2009 after all..
    but then again, i don’t want to be the one to speak too soon!

  502. Yes. Awesome. This looks at least like a step in the right direction, seeing as their new proposal specifically increases revenues for the writers in the new media areas.
    I feel like a kid who’s had his christmas presents taken away, and now they might be returned.

  503. So, maybe I missed this somewhere, but is there an absolute deadline of when it would be “impossible” to finish filming at least part of the season? I heard a deal needed to be made by like, December 10th. Do you guys know anything about this? It just hit me the other day what it meant to not have The Office back till the fall…I…can’t….handle….it!

  504. I feel like I’m watching the tv screen, waiting for the DVD box to hit exactly in the corner…SO CLOSE.

  505. please please please please please please please resolve the strike! i need my office thursdays!

  506. No way do I support the writers or their strike, but the new ‘groundbreaking’ deal doesn’t make sense to me. The math is throwing me off. Rollbacks to make more money? Somewhere, a math teacher just had a heart attack.

  507. According to this Reuters article, the writers are seeking a 3% annual increase in pay, to the tune of ~$50 million/year. If that is correct, they are effectively saying they are paid $1.67 billion/year currently (the producers in the article say they are paid $1.3 billion/year). The article also states there are 10,500 WGA members on strike, which makes their average salary either $158,000 (according to the writers) or $124,000 (according to the producers). When this started, wasn’t there some $60,000 average salary number floating around? I suspect one of these new averages is far closer to reality than that $60,000 amount that was put out there.

    Link

  508. Yeah, Janet, it’s pretty sad. The writers are striking so they can make an average of $162,000 instead of $158,000 and meanwhile crew guys like Dan Beals are just hoping that their unemployment checks will come in time to pay rent.

    And we’re supporting the writers here? Hmm…

  509. I’m so confused, what’s going on now? Perhaps for the “mentally inept” fans like me, someone should make a colorful chart that shows if things are going good : )
    or things are going bad : ( It would really help, please…

  510. I’m with ES. I’m too busy to keep up with it- I graduate from college in a couple of weeks. Is it going well or not well?!

  511. I keep telling myself that this writers strike is going to be good for me. For instance, last night everything was in re-runs and I read a book (gasp!). I have a vision that this will help me give up tv for good (except for the Office, of course). It would be my way of “sticking it to the man”. Now, I only have to convince the rest of America to do it too!

  512. The real losers of this strike are the fans. We all love this show so much. We love the actors, the characters and the writers, but I’m beginning to think they don’t feel the same way!

  513. Tracy and ES:
    Here’s the way to handle it. If you’ve written your letters, contributed to the OFCF, sent some pencils, and basically done what you can do, then you can stop worrying about it. It’s out of our hands, at least until tanster says, “Here’s what we can do to help.” Keep in mind that the two sides are going to give their opinions of how the negotiations are going, and we don’t know the truth. Enjoy your graduation, congratulations, at some point this will be resolved and we’ll all be happy again.

  514. 703,

    How can you question the love they have for their fans? If anything, they’re one of the few shows out there that truly appreciate what fans have done for them. I mean, I hate the strike, but I know how much they love their viewers. They’ve done nothing to change my view.

  515. we’re not going to see a new office episode for a long time thanks to those greedy jerks in hollywood.

  516. Wait, exactly how much do the writers get paid? In 696’s (Janet), it says they make $158,000 a year or something. I think I’m just reading that wrong. But if not, why exactly are they striking? I mean I know WHY, and I want them to get what they deserve, but that’s a lot of money. I thought they only made like $60,000 a year. Not only that, but they are putting people who work very hard and do not get very much money out of work. I could understand if THEY were going on strike, but not the people who make more than what most of the world makes in like, 5 years.

  517. When you say an average of $158000, aren’t there are a few writers who make millions which totally skews the average off kilter for the average writer who, if he is lucky enough to be working consistently, brings in an average salary? And even so, it certainly is a lot less than the network execs who make millions in (often unearned) bonuses upon millions of dollars in salary.

  518. 711 – You are probably correct – so let’s just say that 500 of the 10,500 WGA members make $1 million/year. That still leaves an AVERAGE salary of over $100,000 for all the rest. And they are striking for 3% more and causing those who make far less suffer even more. That smacks of selfish greed. There is no doubt the corporate bigwigs are greedy as well – undoubtedly – but the big guys in US corporations are always way overpaid. That’s life in America and it is not restricted to just Hollywood. It’s not right, but we don’t live in a socialist country, do we?

    Everyone is entitled to just wages for their work and everyone should be entitled to freely and independently negotiate those wages. Workers striking enmasse at the expense of so many other people so they can live just a little more comfortably is just wrong in my book.

  519. In reponse to what’s an average writer make I found this blog that breaks down the average versus the more reliable median wage of a WGA writer. It looks like they’re saying it’s somewhere closer to $5,000 a year so (since I’m not super great with this stuff) I don’t know if this is helpful or not, but I thought I’d bring it up :)

    Link

  520. So when the strike is resolved, how much time would we have to wait for new episodes. I know there is a cutoff point of when we’d have to wait until next spring or even winter, but say it’s resolved in the coming weeks, how many weeks would we have to wait to get new episodes?

  521. #714 … someone’s been reading their Shakespeare. ;]
    I am completely lost when it comes to the standings between the WGA and the media studios. Anyone care to briefly sum up what the deal is as of now? Thanks.

  522. How come no news from yesterdays talks!? Come on people, let’s go here. I want my show back. :(

  523. Am I the only one who is having trouble deciphering what is going on? With all due respect, I feel like Nikki Finke is writing in a foreign language. Could someone please just explain what the bottom line is at this point? Are they getting any closer to settling or will this drag on and on like the last strike did in 1988?

  524. needmoreoffice:

    I couldn’t agree more with you! At this point I feel like we are in a Charlie Brown cartoon, the teacher is talking, but I have no clue as to what is being said. For the love, just tell us if things are looking good or bad!!

  525. While we’re waiting, this is worth a read. Marc Andreessen, one of the founders of Netscape, wrote this in his blog on November 4.

    Link

  526. If the show cranks up in January sometime — assuming a new deal is imminent — I wonder how it will affect the story arc? Might they have to treat the next new episode like they do the first episode after summer? That is, will they place the characters in the here and now and offer a little bit of back story about what happened in between? Or will it start off with a Michael-Jan dinner party as if the work stoppage never interrupted the season?

  527. I have been thinking about how i would like the show to resume… and I decided that as long as it starts, it’s good enough for me :)

  528. I’m slowly starting to get used to the Office not being on. Keep it up and some folks won’t be interested anymore. I kind of lost my respect for the strike when I saw hundreds of unrelated people losing their jobs… and the writers obviously couldn’t care less.

  529. What’s the bottom line? You won’t find it reading Nikki Finke’s columns. They seem to be filled with emotionalism and good versus evil rhetoric.

    My sense is that if there is progress in the negotiations we won’t hear about it. Considering that the WGA’s latest demand is jurisdiction over reality TV, something the AMPTP would have to be crazy to agree to, I don’t think the strike is going to end anytime soon.

    I suspect neither side wants it to end yet.

  530. I hope they get this thing resolved so that all the below the line people, the crews who are really suffering, the day player actors can get back to work. Greedy media corporations

  531. Progress? I sure hope so.
    My birthday is December 21st. I’d love for my birthday present to be that the conflict has been resolved!

  532. #725: I agree with you to a point; I too am more or less ambivalent about the absence of The Office at this point. My life goes on. To be honest, while I think TO is one of the greatest and funniest shows ever to grace the TV screen, it’s still a very, very tiny and unimportant part of my life. If it never came on the air again, I’d be OK with it.

    I had been in the writers’ corner up until I started reading about crew members who can’t even make rent with the strike on; now I’ve just about lost my patience with them. I wouldn’t say they don’t care at all, but they had to have known what the effects of a long-term strike would be on the crew.

    I’m also tired of the writer’s rhetoric. Look at the video titles: “This is Our Moment”, “Why We Fight”. They’re overdramatic and make the writers look silly. This isn’t a matter of life and death or even good vs. evil. (The title “Why We Fight” particularly irks me, but that’s a whole other discussion.)

  533. I don’t even want to read articles about the strike anymore. Frankly, I’m kind of sick of hearing about it now. I love The Office to death, and I just want it to come back. Anyone else feel the same?

  534. Why does everyone think it is up to the writers to look after below-the-line workers rather than the studios who employ them? The studios could have addressed the issues they are now finally willing to discuss at any point during the three-month negotiating period leading up to the strike. They refused even to respond to the writers’ last offer prior to the strike. The studios caused this strike, in my opinion. Any job losses lay at their feet.

  535. Couldn’t agree with you more, #731. If they stopped the strike now then it would all have been for nothing. It’s not the writers’ fault that crew-members are losing their job. If the writers called off the strike because of the crew-members, what kind of message would that send to the studios? “If you’re unreasonable long enough, we’ll cave.” Remember, the writers also fight for writers in the future, not just themselves.

  536. The Office is important to me; if it were unimportant I probably wouldn’t post on a fan site. The Office is the most brilliant show I have ever watched and its absence in the summer coupled with my hatred of baseball makes me miserable. Don’t make my winter miserable too. Please, Office, (I am pointing a finger at you network, executives)come back soon.

  537. TobyFan, I know it isn’t the writers who caused the strike, I was just expressing sympathy for the people who work below the line who don’t earn as much as the talent does who are suffering because of this strike. I did say greedy media corporations, which I thought got my point across.