Gold Derby

The inside track on Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and all the award shows.

« Previous Post | Gold Derby Home | Next Post »

Writers' guild may OK interim deal that helps Oscarcast?

November 16, 2007 |  4:41 am

Currently, negotiations are under way to permit writers to return to the evening TV talk shows while the strike continues to settle other issues like compensation for more-scripted dramas and comedies.  (READ MORE)

In a separate report, Variety claims that award shows could be hit as hard as talk shows are now, (CLICK HERE). Yes, of course, but I think the recent news about talk shows suggests that other talk-oriented programs like award shows might actually fall under the same umbrella. Or be given their own umbrella? They're all chat-driven variety shows with specific timeliness — not much good for rebroadcast, as we're discovering now seeing celebs plugging long-gone film flops in reruns of Letterman and Leno. Old Oscarcasts aren't worth much later either. So there's not much money involved for networks and the guild to fight over.

The last time a writers' strike loomed over the Academy Awards telecast back in 1988, the script had mostly been written before the crisis hit.



That's impossible now. While Jon Stewart has already been named as host, it's unclear how the derby is shaping up and some top contenders like "Charlie Wilson's War" and "Sweeney Todd" haven't been seen in full.

In an Associated Press interview, Oscarcast writer Bruce Vilanch admits that it will difficult to "find people who will perform on the show who aren't members of the Writers Guild. Most standup performers write for themselves and when they have shows, they get a writing credit." (Read more)

First up is the Golden Globes. That awardcast, with its no-host format, is less reliant on the wordsmiths and has always delivered a looser, more relaxed show. While the Oscarcast may be more serious-minded it still goes for the laughs, albeit unintentionally sometimes. Are we prepared for actors, many of whom strain and struggle to read jokes off the teleprompters, to come up with their own witty remarks? In our forums, seanflynn wonders if the show will go on. CLICK HERE to join in the discussion.

The last writers strike began five weeks before the ceremony. The resulting show came off as half-baked. With Chevy Chase as the sole host, the jokes proved to be as rare as his movie hits. While the big winner was "The Last Emperor" with nine awards including best picture, the big loser was the TV audience subjected to a string of tired schtick from the original not-ready-for prime-time player.

Back in 1967, AFTRA was on strike and there was worry that the dispute between performers and the TV networks would keep the ceremony off of ABC. However, a last-minute deal meant that Bob Hope could preside over the festivities that saw "A Man for all Seasons" crowned as best picture. While the actors strike in 1980 came months after that year's Oscars, the thespians did boycott the Emmys (save for Powers Boothe who guaranteed himself a place in Trivial Pursuit when he was the only actor to collect his trophy in person).