1-20 of 70 items from 2010 « Prev | Next »
Here's a look back at Back Stage's top 10 memories:10. Undead DAYTIMEBack in 2009—when the daytime-drama format looked to be going the way of the wild polar bear—American Federation of Television and Radio Artists New York local president Holter Graham sounded a mournful note about the format's future. "The writing was on the wall about daytime and that it was a changing market a long time ago," Graham said. "The economic crisis given to us by the Bush administration sped up that process and made that writing on the wall bright yellow highlighter."That highlighter ink didn't wash away in 2010, but it faded a little. In 2009, CBS announced that its long-running soaps "Guiding Light" and "As the World Turns" would come to an end. This year no such similar announcement came, the networks instead making multiyear commitments to dramas such as "The Young and the Restless" and "Days of Our Lives. »
Awards season officially kicked into high gear Thursday morning, with the announcement of the nominations for the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - roundly considered the strongest prognosticators of the performance Oscars. Among the top SAG contenders are cast members of The Fighter - though leading man Mark Wahlberg didn't make the cut, while supporting players Christian Bale, Melissa Leo and Amy Adams did - and The King's Speech, Black Swan and The Kids Are All Right (minus Julianne Moore). In the TV categories, such stalwarts as 30 Rock and Mad Men, along with their stars and featured actors, Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin, »
- Stephen M. Silverman
Actor Ken Howard has been named as the national spokesperson for the Onyx and Breezy Foundation.
The Onyx and Breezy Foundation was formed in 2004 by Mark and Wanda Shefts to honor the memory of their two labrador retrievers. The Shefts’ passion for animals led them to create this non-profit foundation, which assists animals in a variety of ways.
The foundation lends financial support to:
Read more »
The Screen Actors Guild, in partnership with Project: Hollywood Cares, announced today the launch of the A Touch of Home From Hollywood program, designed to help U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq call home to their families over the holidays.The union's national board of directors is encouraging all SAG members to support the program by making tax-deductible donations, which will go toward the purchase of prepaid calling cards for service members. They will also receive CDs and DVDs featuring movie, television, and music performances by SAG members. "When it was brought to the national board's attention that some of our soldiers don't have the means to call home for the holidays, we found a way to help," said SAG president Ken Howard in a written statement.Project: Hollywood Cares is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising the morale of servicemen and -women. Through donations, it provides entertainment »
SAG is helping soldiers reach out and touch someone at home. In partnership with Project: Hollywood Cares, the guild announced the A Touch of Home From Hollywood program supporting U.S. troops this holiday season.
The SAG National Board of Directors urged all SAG members to support U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq this holiday season by making tax-deductible contributions to provide soldiers with global pre-paid calling cards to help them call home. Many board members have already made personal contributions to support the effort. A link with more information can be found on the Guild’s website, SAG.org, through Dec. 31.
Project: Hollywood Cares distributes DVDs and CDs to support and boost the morale of America's military personnel for their dedicated service.
“Screen Actors Guild members have long supported the military by lending their talent and time on Uso tours, site visits, hospital visits and assembling care packages, »
SAG sources have dropped a couple of interesting details regarding their thinking on merger with AFTRA. One relates to pension and health; the other to timing.
As an initial matter, it should be emphasized that these are unofficial remarks. SAG hasn’t taken an official position on the two issues, and AFTRA’s thinking is unknown.
On pension and health, SAG 1st national VP Ned Vaughn, writing in the SAG Hollywood Division’s latest “Call Sheet” newsletter, says that merger “would give us an unparalleled opportunity to urge pension and health trustees to form a single plan.”
This is the first time a SAG official has publicly indicated that the union may wish to defer merging the P&H plans until after the unions themselves merge. The plans are run by separate boards of trustees composed of equal numbers of management and union representatives.
Merging the plans presents difficult legal, »
When the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists announced Nov. 7 that they had reached agreement with producers on new contracts for film and prime-time broadcast television, it marked more than the end of a six-week negotiation process. It signaled a return to normalcy.When Ken Howard was elected SAG's president last fall, he made improving relations with AFTRA one of his top priorities. Plenty of room for improvement existed. Howard's predecessor, Alan Rosenberg, had been a vocal critic of SAG's sister union, and in 2008 AFTRA broke away from joint bargaining with the guild to hammer out its own prime-time deal with producers. From day one of the Howard regime, the new president and members of his moderate coalition were talking not just about courting AFTRA back to the bargaining table, but also about taking the two unions' relationship to the next level. »
Even as SAG and AFTRA continue to jointly negotiate with the AMPTP for a new actors contract, the unions are inching closer to a merger.
Progress came in the form of a meeting Thursday night of the AFTRA and Screen Actors Guild Presidents’ Forum for One Union. The purpose of the meeting was, in the words of a statement issued by the unions, “to begin joint discussions about uniting to form a single union.”
The next meeting might come as soon as next month.
Attendees at the three-hour meeting included the presidents and executive directors of both unions and member representatives of both unions from across the country. The forum is made up of 12 people.
The group reviewed possible parameters for future discussions and committed to hearing from an array of member groups in both unions about their needs and concerns. The forum also discussed retaining an independent facilitator to »
At a Hollywood theater Tuesday night, there will be a benefit called "1 Voice," featuring performances and passionate pitches from Richard Dreyfuss, John Schneider, Esai Morales, Nichelle Nichols, Connie Stevens and a dozen others. The event is more than about raising money: It aims to ramp up efforts to save the long-term-care facility on the Wasserman campus at the Motion Picture Country Home in Woodland Hills.
"It's an awareness evening," said John F. McCormick, who will direct the show at the Neo Ensemble Theatre. "We need to keep having this conversation about what is happening and how we can help."
Since the plan to close the facilities was disclosed in January 2009, there have been numerous media reports and the formation of a number of committees to address the situation, all of which has been embarrassing to the Motion Picture & Television Fund. The nonprofit, which has overseen the premier industry charity for generations, »
- By Alex Ben Block
Here's another sign of the demoralization of SAG's Membership First: Anne-Marie Johnson is stepping aside as chairwoman of the Hollywood Division after having been 1st VP for 3 SAG presidents (Melissa Gilbert, Alan Rosenberg twice, and Ken Howard). I understand she doesn't think she would be reelected now that Mf is a minority faction, but more importantly she believes it's time for others to take on the responsibility. She wrote tonight: A Message From The 1St Vice President This is my last letter as SAG’s 1st vice president. For some, the end of my term as chairwoman of the largest and most prolific division of Screen Actors Guild will be a joyous day. Hopefully there will be others who won’t feel the same. Regardless, my four terms as SAG’s first vice president have been filled with some of the most challenging and rewarding experiences in my professional life. »
- Nikki Finke
In a Screen Actors Guild election that was widely considered a referendum on merger with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, proponents of that idea emerged with a clear mandate.When the results of SAG's 2010 national board of directors election were announced Sept. 23, MembershipFirst, the SAG faction that emerged from the group of actors who helped scuttle merger in 2003, lost the fight for all 13 Hollywood-based national seats up for grabs to its rival faction, the pro-merger Unite for Strength. MembershipFirst partisans had held all 13 of those seats. The loss hands the coalition of Hollywood, New York, and regional moderates who had held a slim majority of the national seats—and who have been vocal in support of merger—a commanding boardroom advantage.Even more striking is MembershipFirst's loss of its majority on the Hollywood board. Unite for Strength won an overwhelming 33 of 35 open seats. Ufs, formed in »
Gloria Stuart, a leading lady of the 1930s who enjoyed a career revival for her performance as Old Rose in 1997's "Titanic," died of respiratory faiure in her sleep at her Los Angeles home on Sunday. She was 100.
The spry, engaging actress became the oldest Oscar nominee when, at age 88, she was nominated as best supporting actress for her performance, for which she needed old-age makeup, as a Titanic survivor who returns to the site of the disaster.
As the older version of the character played by Kate Winslet (who was nominated for best actress), the two became the first performers to be nominated for playing the same character in the same film.
In July, Stuart -- who once joked that James Cameron cast her because he needed an actress who was "still viable, not alcoholic, rheumatic or falling down" -- was feted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts »
- By Gregg Kilday
21 September 2010 11:29 PM, PDT | Digital Media Law | See recent Digital Media Law news »
One key to understanding Hollywood labor is a tool that was invented thousands of years ago: the calendar. That much became clear in the last round of major negotiations, which lasted from 2007 to 2009, and featured a writers strike and a SAG stalemate. I covered those events as they occurred, and they’re also the topic of my forthcoming book, “Hollywood on Strike!,” which is due out next month.So with the SAG-AFTRA negotiations upon us, let’s look at what the 2010-2011 bargaining cycle has in store.SAG and AFTRAThe SAG and AFTRA negotiations with the AMPTP (studio alliance) begin on Monday the 27th, less than a week away. They’ll focus on the SAG Codified basic Agreement (which covers film and television), SAG Television Agreement (a supplement which adds more detail regarding television), and AFTRA’s Exhibit A (which covers primetime scripted television). Exhibit A is largely, though not entirely, »
- email@example.com (Jonathan Handel)
Hollywood labor negotiations are notoriously fractious and fragile. Distractions and roadblocks can pop up with little provocation or warning, and with a lot of explosive recrimination.
But the big surprise this bargaining season could be the very lack of drama. For several political and economic reasons, the dealmaking this time out could be the least combative in many years.
To take just one major sign: A source close to the SAG-aftra negotiations indicated that the DVD-residuals issue, a perennial battleground and bargaining chip in every negotiation cycle during the past 20 years, didn't even make it into the guilds' joint package of bargaining proposals approved last weekend. This despite resistance from board members in several camps.
On the heels of national board elections at SAG and the WGA, formal negotiations will begin Sept. 27 between SAG and AFTRA, bargaining jointly, and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers for a new TV/theatrical basic agreement. »
- By Jay A. Fernandez
Los Angeles and New York (Sept. 12, 2010) – The Joint National Board of Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA, AFL-CIO) today met by videoconference plenary in Los Angeles and New York and approved a package of proposals for the upcoming Joint AFTRA Exhibit A and SAG TV/Theatrical Negotiations. SAG President Ken Howard and AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon will co-chair the negotiations. AFTRA National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth and SAG National Executive Director David White will serve as the unions’ co-lead negotiators. Joint negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) are scheduled to commence on Sept. 27 at the AMPTP headquarters in Sherman Oaks, Calif. »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
During its national board meeting via bicoastal videoconference, the joint national board of SAG and AFTRA approved the package of proposals for their upcoming TV-theatrical negotiations with employers.
The current contracts expire June 30, while joint bargaining with the companies is scheduled to begin Sept. 27 at AMPTP headquarters in Sherman Oaks.
SAG president Ken Howard and AFTRA national president Roberta Reardon are co-chairing the negotiations. AFTRA national executive director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth and her SAG counterpart David White will serve as the unions' co-lead negotiators.
On Saturday, the SAG board voted to approve an expansion of the TV-theatrical joint bargaining agreement to include negotiations for a successor to the current industrial and educational contract. »
- By Jay A. Fernandez
On Sept. 23, the Screen Actors Guild will announce the results of its national board elections. In all likelihood, the earth will not move, and the heavens will probably refrain from parting.Last year's national election saw moderate Ken Howard take the guild's reins from Alan Rosenberg, one of the most combative and divisive figures in SAG's recent history. The previous year saw the national board of directors change hands, from Rosenberg's Hollywood-centric MembershipFirst party to the coalition of Hollywood, New York, and regional moderates from which Howard sprang—a shift that led to the ouster of national executive director and Rosenberg ally Doug Allen and the signing of a new film-and-television contract. This year's election, however, promises no such dramatics.In New York, five national board seats are open. But control of the New York board has for years been held firmly by the moderate United Screen Actors Nationwide party, »
Ken Orsatti, who served as national executive director of the Screen Actors Guild for almost two decades, passed away Aug. 31 at West Hills Hospital in West Hills, Calif. He was 78 years old. According to SAG, he died of pulmonary disease.Orsatti served as the guild's chief negotiator throughout his tenure as executive director, which lasted from 1981 through 2000. He had worked as a SAG employee since 1961. Among Orsatti's achievements were the many contracts he negotiated, as well as a successful effort to organize the advertising industry in the guild's regional branches. He helped found the SAG Foundation and was a member of its board of directors. He also served as a trustee of SAG's pension and health plans for more than 35 years."Ken served this union with loyalty and devotion for nearly 40 years and touched many people in the entertainment-industry labor scene," said SAG president Ken Howard. "He will long »
Ken Orsatti, who as SAG's chief negotiator with the studios for two decades, led members to record-setting earnings and a dramatic expansion of the union's contracts, died Aug. 31 of pulmonary disease at West Hills (Calif.) Hospital. He was 78.
Orsatti served as SAG national executive director from 1981-2001 and negotiated about 20 major contracts. He announced his retirement shortly after the end of the guild's only strike during his tenure -- a dispute over residuals for cable commercials that sidelined actors for six months through October 2000 -- and John McGuire served as SAG's chief negotiator in those talks.
Known for his easy demeanor, Orsatti told the Los Angeles Business Journal in 1994 that the "whole idea of collective bargaining is to reach a deal." He sat across the bargaining table from Nick Counter, the longtime lead negotiator for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, through six SAG television and »
- By Mike Barnes
SAG issued the following obituary today: Los Angeles (September 1, 2010) - Screen Actors Guild mourns the loss of former SAG National Executive Director Ken Orsatti, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 78 of pulmonary disease at West Hills Hospital in West Hills, Calif. Orsatti served as national executive director from 1981 through the end of 2000. During his tenure as Ned, Orsatti also served as the Guild’s chief negotiator, a period that saw dramatic expansion of the union’s contracts and record setting earnings for its members. He was a SAG employee since 1961. Orsatti served as a trustee of the SAG-Producers Pension & Health Plans for more than 35 years, and proudly served as a vice president of the International Federation of Actors (Fia). He successfully led a campaign to organize the advertising industry in the Guild’s Branches and helped negotiate numerous local and regional contracts that created work opportunities for thousands of members. »
- Nikki Finke
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