WGA comedy/variety friends: keep your eye on announcements about shows originally made for streaming that will now rerun on linear platforms. Though this is very exciting for everyone involved in making the show - more audience etc....there is something insidious at play.
This is a trick the studios are using more and more to pay less for a show. Though residuals for these reruns must be paid per the terms of the platform on which it airs, it will be based on minimums obtained for the platform for which it was made.
So, for example: Talk Show A is picked up by Peacock. It is classified as a streaming show - and the budget is lower. Later, the network decides to rerun the show on NBC. Overall, this is less money in writers' pockets for a product that is indistinguishable from network content.
Note: c/v writers don't even have guaranteed minimums for streaming. We are left to negotiate a rate for ourselves. The studios are still acting like streaming is some kind of wild west. It's not -and very soon, it will ALL be streaming. Our hard-fought protections could be lost.
Public perception has clung to the idea of the "wealthy" TV writer. But in today's landscape, many TV writers - especially comedy/variety writers - are making less and less for the same amount of work, all while seasons are much shorter and overall much less stable.
For example - my show on MTV in 2013 got 25 episodes (weekly). That is now rare for a new variety show. Most will go one season - 6, maybe 10 episodes. In the crowded landscape, networks unrealistically demand INSTANT hits.
(There's a separate thread to be made about how talk shows in particular need a lot of time to develop an audience and become an institution. And if audiences even consume talk shows the way they used to...is traditional late night "dead"?)
Unless a c/v writer is one of the lucky few who get to work on an institutional show that runs for years on end - most WORKING c/v writers I know struggle to meet the health insurance minimums year to year. This doesn't even include those starting out / trying to break in.
It is vital that our next negotiation with the studios addresses these issues. We have to start educating our membership about this now if we want to have the strength we need to get it done.
The pandemic has temporarily weakened us - but we still managed to make some gains last negotiation AND we came out victorious in our fight with the agencies. We must use these next few years to educate the entire membership!
Okay. Posting this now. Just some THOUGHTS
Another myth: c/v writers = talk show writers. There are many other kinds of shows we write for. Docuseries, awards shows, special event type shows, sketch, weird hybrids like "it's like a talk show, but it's also a prank show, and it's also reality, and kinda scripted!"
Also! I can't tell you how many times I've heard a network note "we want this to feel like premium cable." LOL of course you do! I want my Kia to feel like a Tesla.

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More from @saraschaefer1

22 Feb
the pandemic got me really thinking about what friendship means to me and some of you have not made the cut!
When there’s so little interaction in your day-to-day, it really brings it all into cold relief. Who checks in on me? Who remembers I exist? The list is shorter than I thought and that has been a sad but empowering realization.
And I am positive I have not “made the cut” for some in my life! We maybe have all had to whittle it down to our “essential” people.
Read 6 tweets
12 Feb
In Hollywood, you can be fired or blacklisted because you "rubbed someone the wrong way" once 10 years ago. Because you broke some unspoken social rule you didn't know existed. You wore the wrong outfit to a meeting with a man who hates women. You will never ever fucking know.
These big public firings over racist tweets send men who have not worked in Hollywood a day in their lives writing long essays about the way Hollywood works. The stories I could tell you would blow your mind. The reasons why people don't get jobs are petty beyond belief.
There are conservatives thriving in Hollywood and running shit, making a fuck ton of money. Try negotiating a deal for your union with the studios, then come back and tell me conservatives don't have a pretty tight grip on this industry. LOL. Shut the fuck up.
Read 8 tweets
13 Aug 20
My rent check, sent priority mail, arrived 2 weeks late. It wasn’t scanned by the post office for ten days. Thankfully my landlord was understanding. But this postal service mess is going to result in evictions, punitive costs, etc. for many. Fuck this administration forever.
I'm thinking back to the years when I was broke, and a check being late or a missed payment, not receiving a notice about a bill, car registration, etc. All those things can tip the scales for someone living on the edge. What a nightmare.
If you think the take away from this is that "i should ask my landlord if they accept venmo" please, move along
Read 6 tweets
28 May 20
So, Myka Stauffer is a pro-life Christian, right? This sure does smell like it. Big time delusions about adoption. She specifically sought out a child from a specific country with health issues (but wanted to control which health issues), from a specific country.
She took donations to help pay for the adoption. Who does that? Someone who feels it is a mission given to them by God, a “cause” the community can get behind. It’s charity, you see. But in reality, she fed this narrative to her audience in exchange for profit.
What she’s done (if she indeed is pro-life), is the ultimate hypocrisy. She very literally PLANNED her parenthood of this child, and when she didn’t get what she wanted, she aborted the mission.
Read 8 tweets
3 Jan 20
Just imagined Trump’s spiritual advisors laying hands on him and speaking tongues like “HATAKABABASHASILAKA!” and it actually making sense to him as the amphetamines hit
Trump’s spiritual advisors are evangelicals who believe that a war between Iran and Israel will bring the return of Jesus and the end of the world. They’re dancing around him in candle light chanting MAFAKALASHBAKAYEEEEEEKA as he snorts another line
Mike Pence brings Mother into the room who spanks everyone with a Bible until they climax
Read 5 tweets
8 Feb 19
THREAD TIME! As you are aware I debuted my 2nd album today. (Listen here: 800PGR.lnk.to/SaraTW ) So naturally I've been trolling the iTunes comedy album rankings (I'm currently at #4, cool!). But I noticed something...the lack of female comedians in these rankings. It's bad.
Out of the top 50, I am the only woman. Out of the top 100, I am one of only two. TWO! (Tig Notaro's "Live" from 2013, excellent, but kinda old at this point?) There are SO MANY hilarious female comedians with albums out. Let's name a few, shall we?
.@marcellacomedy just released her debut album, "WOKE BULLY." She is phenomenal. 800pgr.lnk.to/MarcellaTW
Read 25 tweets

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