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Could SAG Be Being Dumped by TV?

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Nikki Finke posted the statement from Twentieth Century Television:

With all the uncertainty surrounding the stalled negotiations with SAG, TCFTV is indeed considering shooting its spring pilots under the AFTRA agreement. As for shows already in production, we are exploring every option including transitioning shows from SAG to AFTRA.

And the LAT’s Showtracker blog offers this:

Whether SAG loses the battle over next year’s pilots or not, however, it may have already lost the TV war. That’s because of the wrenching changes that continue to rattle the industry. Traditionally, AFTRA has covered shows shot on video, while SAG has covered those on film; both unions claim jurisdiction over material shot digitally. While AFTRA was the dominant union in TV’s early days, SAG made great inroads since the early 1980s, when producers began striving for a feature-like look on dramas such as “Hill Street Blues.” The unions have periodically weighed a merger, although nothing has come of such overtures.

These days, producers can get many film-like effects by shooting digitally, so the technical divide is less of a creative issue than it used to be. That could mean a net loss in SAG’s prestige.

Couldn’t have happened to a more incompetent guild.

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