We’ve Seen the Future & It’s – Bingewatching!

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Know how we’ve been saying for years that watching whatever television you want whenever you want is the way of the future? That future officially arrived when NBC announced it was going to release all episodes of its then new show AQUARIUS for bingewatching, picking up on what Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, which are websites first and production/broadcasting entities second, already were doing.

And now Turner Broadcasting is following in NBC’s footsteps by arranging to release the first four episodes of PUBLIC MORALS, a new drama starring Edward Burns, August 25th, the day after the show premieres on TNT. The eps will be available on cable and satellite through Video On Demand, the “Watch TNT” mobile app, participating provider sites and apps, and, of course, at http://tntdrama.com/watch.

Turner is also going to do the same with TNT’s COLD JUSTICE, FRIENDS OF THE PEOPLE, a new series on its truTV channel, and truTV’s IMPRACTICAL JOKERS. In the words of John Harran, Senior Vice President of Business & Product Development at Turner Content Distribution, “Turner is embracing a different approach to the way programming is traditionally released and providing our audiences with multiple binge-viewing options in order to enhance their TV experience.”

In other words, yesterday’s “enhanced experience” is now today’s experience period.

Loud sing Haloo!

The WGAW is Getting Ready for the 2016 Writers Guild Awards

If you’re a member of the Writers Guild of America, either West or East, it’s time to nominate yourself for the next batch of WGA Awards. If you aren’t, well, now you have something to aspire to. Either way, here’s the info you need:

Awards2016-email

2016 WRITERS GUILD AWARDS
by Team TVWriter™ 
Please note the changes to the eligibility criteria
for some of the Writers Guild Awards categories this year.

 

(1A) Long Form–Original and (1B) Long Form–Adapted categories now include “limited series”

  • Programs eligible to compete in these categories are now defined as follows: “A long form television or new media motion picture is a motion picture, over one hour in length, including MOWs and limited series.”
  • A limited series (including miniseries) is defined as “at least two but not more than 13 episodes with a total running time of at least three broadcast or exhibition hours that is based on a single theme or story line which is resolved within the piece.”
  • In addition, the WGA has eliminated the rule prohibiting series with a “Created by” credit from competing in this category.
  • Programs that meet the WGA’s new “limited series” definition will not be eligible to compete in the WGA’s Drama, Comedy or New Series awards categories.


(5A) Comedy/Variety (Including Talk) Series category has been split into two separate categories: (5A) Comedy/Variety Talk Series and (5C) Comedy/Variety Sketch Series

  • Weekly sketch shows, which predominately consist of scripted sketches, will no longer compete against nightly talk shows, which may feature occasional sketch elements but are primarily composed of monologue jokes, desk segments and guest interviews.

 

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

TV-Radio-New Media Script Submissions
http://www.wga.org/wga-awards/rules-tv-radio-newmedia.aspx
Submission deadline: 5:30 p.m. (PT) on Friday, October 9, 2015

Drama, Comedy and New Series

http://www.wga.org/wga-awards/rules-series-submissions.aspx
Submission deadline: 5:30 p.m. (PT) on Friday, October 9, 2015

Paul Selvin Award
http://www.wga.org/wga-awards/rules-paul-selvin.aspx
Submission deadline: 5:30 p.m. (PT) on Friday, October 9, 2015

Original and Adapted Screenplay
http://www.wga.org/wga-awards/rules-theatrical-submissions.aspx
Submission deadline: 5:30 p.m. (PT) on Friday, November 13, 2015

For specific questions about the Writers Guild Awards submissions process,including which category to submit your program in,
please contact WGAW Awards Administrator Jennifer Burt
at 323-782-4569 or email: jburt@wga.org.

HBO Announces HBOAccess Writers Fellowship Winners

hbologogridby Team TVWriter™ Press Service

HBO caused the interwebs version of a riot awhile back when they opened up submissions for their HBOAccess Writers Fellowship Program and the heavy traffic crashed the site, causing the usual hysteria by those who had problems entering.

Fortunately for HBO and our fellow writers, that matter’s been sorted, and last week HBO proved it had gotten itself all together by announcing the winners:

  • Anslem Richardson
  • Jude Weng
  • Sarah McChesney
  • Yolanda Carney
  • Dedi Felman
  • Joshua Levy & Prathi Srinivasan (writing partners)
  • Iturri Sosa
  • Wesley Taylor

Congrats from TVWriter™! You’re inspirations (and potential arch-rivals, dammit) to us all!

Writers Guild East Wants to Unionize the Web?

wga-east-logoby TVWriter™ Press Service

Whaddaya know? Somebody with some deep pockets and a lot of strength thinks writers toiling away at Big Deal Corporate Websites should get paid. (This doesn’t include TVWriter™, which definitely is a very little deal, decidedly not corporate website – which means “Hey, y’all, you’re welcome to work with us for free any time.”)

Anyway, last week the editorial staff over at Big Deal Salon Media announced it wants to unionize via the WGA East. Here’s how they put it:

Every single one of the editorial employees at Salon supports unionizing with the Writers Guild of America, East, and today we’re asking the management of Salon to recognize our union…We are doing this because we believe in our publication and want it to be successful. We’re especially proud to work for a media organization that has championed progressive values for nearly twenty years. We believe this organizing campaign is a positive and public way for us to put those values into practice, right here at home. In the wake of the Gawker staff’s vote to organize with the WGAE, we see an opportunity to help establish standards and practices in Internet journalism. It’s an exciting moment for our field, and we want Salon to be at the forefront of change.

For the record, the WGAE is the only union out there organizing interweb journalism. Not even its left coast counterpart, the Writers Guild of America, West, is putting its foot in those potentially treacherous waters. TVWriter™ wishes everyone involved in this effort the best.

Yours in solidarity, brothers and sisters.

Think You’re Not Being Paid Enough for Your Writing?

Obviously not a BBC writer

Obviously not a BBC writer

by Team TVWriter™ Press Service

Don’t despair, chum, because you’re in good company. The Writers Guild of Great Britain recently revealed that members have reported that the pay they receive under various BBC “shadow scheme” guidelines is the equivalent of about $3 to $4 1/2 an hour…and we’re talking about big time pros walking on EASTENDERS, HOLBY CITY, CASUALTY, and other long running BBC shows.

Turns out that even with agents and credits up the wazoo, writers still end up with a total fee of a thousand pounds ($1527.65) for writing as many as three drafts of a script stretched out over a period of more than three months.  And, according to the WGGB, there’s no guarantee of an assignment during all that time. That’s right, frustrated newbies of the U.S., these poor Brits are busting their chops on spec.

The BBC has, of course, responded because it has lots of salaried employees making – we reckon – a bit or two more than $3/hour who have little else to do. Here’s how an unidentified spokesman put it:

We don’t accept the figures cited…, but we had already scheduled to meet the Writers Guild…for a further discussion…and we will discuss the issues they raise then.

And you thought production company interns had it bad!

Norman Lear’s Sentinel Awards Wants Your Series

by Team TVWriter™ Press Service

sentinel-awards-2015jpgIt’s that time of year again. Hollywood, Health & Society is a program at the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center that provides entertainment industry pros with accurate and timely info for health storylines.

With an advisory board that includes Chris Keyser, President of the WGAW; Zoanne Clack, Exec Prod of GREY’S ANATOMY; Bruce Evans, Senior Veep of Drama Programming for NBC, the legendary Norman Lear, and many other biggies, HH&S understands the impact entertainment media have on public awareness and offers many resources, including the Sentinel Awards, which honor “achievements in health and climate change storylines that inform, educate and motivate viewers to make choices for healthier and safer lives.”

With this year’s 16th annual awards, HH&S has reached out to make original streaming network shows eligible in addition to broadcast and cable shows. Finalists and winners will be announced at a special dinner and awards ceremony at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood September 24, 2015.

We at TVWriter™ want to make sure that as many indie and peer producers currently showing their product via YouTube, Vimeo, and the other streaming channels available are aware of this contest and take advantage of the opportunity for recognition of their work and the rewards it can bring.

For details re the nomination procedure, get on over to the Fact Sheet HERE and the Online Form HERE by May 29th. And if you need the human touch project manager Armine Kourouyan is HERE.

Good luck!