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DGA joins battle against Emmys' 'time-shift'

August 5, 2009 |  4:56 pm

The Directors Guild of America has joined the writers' guild in battling the Emmys' plan to "time-shift" eight of the 28 awards on the telecast.

The DGA insists that the TV academy will be in "material breach" of an agreement promising that the presentation of the directors' awards "will be telecast live as part of each Primetime Emmy Awards telecast," reports Variety.


"Unless the academy reconsiders the proposed change in presentation of the directing awards, the guild considers that it is no longer bound by its commitments to the academy under that agreement," wrote Warren Adler, associate national exec director of the helmers' guild, in a stern letter to ATAS chairman John Shaffner.

As a result, the guild plans to revoke the Emmys' access to free TV clips to use during the telecast. The writers' guild also threatens to yank ATAS' access to free usage of clips.

During a discussion of this controversy at the TV Critics Association Press Tour on Monday, "Shaffner later told reporters that the TV Academy hadn't ruled out the possibility that it might end up having to pay for some clips — although, if it comes to that, Emmy producers will likely license shorter and fewer clips," reports Variety. "ATAS also believes it can air some unlicensed clips under free use provisions."

The agreements that the guilds have with the TV academy guarantee parity treatment, which the academy claims they respect by "time-shifting" two program categories (best mini and movie), two writing races (drama series, movie/mini), two directing slots (variety, movie/mini) and two acting categories (supporting actor and actress in movie/mini).

One member of the ATAS Board of Governors harrumphed to Gold Derby via e-mail: "The agreement with the WGA says writers and directors had parity with actors but this obviously (Emmy ceremony telecaster) CBS doesn't care as writers and directors are losing 50% of their live spot on the Emmys in favor of truncated presentations while actors are losing just approx 15% of their categories."

Variety has more on the hubbub.

Photo: DGA


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