The latest cog in the WGA-AMPTP negotiations reportedly included discussions of Reality TV. WGA reportedly demanded network and studio CEOs no longer make deals with Reality TV producers like Mark Burnett Productions, Fremantle and Endemol unless those companies sign with the WGA. This is part of the WGA’s ongoing efforts to make sure Reality TV writers (often dubbed the shows’ story editors or story producers) start to receive the same perks and pay as the union’s members. WGA’s demand may have been timed to coincide with today’s planned protest outside Fremantle Media HQ.
TVBR observation: This is obviously a “cover all your bases” move at the last minute from WGA, as they realize more and more the networks and studios are gearing up for a midseason of reality shows. Just one example—in speaking with Dennis Miller today for an upcoming interview we’ll be running, he’s got eight episodes already in the can for February with his new NBC game show: “Amnesia” (He calls it “Jeopardy meets “This is Your Life”). Bottom line, reality TV sometimes really brings in the ratings. It’s unlikely this negotiation fodder will get any traction whatsoever with AMPTP, as it is their trump card.