TV | Inside TV

Writers' deals slashed at TV studios

All it took was one studio leading the charge. After ABC Studios cut about 12 writers from its roster on Friday because of the ongoing labor dispute, three more TV studios jumped on the bandwagon today by dropping pricey overall deals. About five scribes were cut by Warner Bros. TV, according to one insider, while another source says that 20th Century Fox TV released around 15 writers. CBS/Paramount dropped an unknown number of writers, as well. A good portion of the deals involved writers who recently had their shows canceled by the networks. Obviously, hitmakers like CSI exec producer Carol Mendelsohn and Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry were unaffected by this latest round of cuts. Explains a WBTV spokeswoman about that studio’s cuts: “As an unfortunate but direct consequence of the strike, we have been forced to release some of the valued members of our roster from their development deals.”

In response, a WGA spokesman released this statement: “The companies are making a terrible mistake by alienating the very creative force that has made entertainment one of the most successful businesses in the country. We are ready and willing to negotiate a fair deal that will put the town back to work, but we can’t do it on our own. The big media companies must come back to the table with the will to make an agreement.”

Originally posted January 15 2008 — 2:17 AM EST

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