More studios ax producers as strike persists

Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:58am EST
 
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By Nellie Andreeva

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - CBS Paramount Network TV and 20th Century Studios terminated production deals as a result of the Hollywood writers strike on Monday.

"Force majeure" -- or act of God -- provisions in the contracts allow studios to cancel deals with writers and producers idled by the strike, which is now in its third month. These deals usually involve the supply of offices and staffers on the studio lot, and can be both costly and unproductive.

CBS Paramount's list is said to include some high-profile casualties such as actor Hugh Jackman, Rene Echevarria ("Medium"), Barry Schindel ("Numbers"), John McNamara ("Fastlane"), the duo of Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green ("Skip Tracer") as well as Jennifer Levin ("Without a Trace").

At 20th TV, being let go are Paul Redford ("The Unit"), Jonathan Lisco ("K-Ville") and Lawrence Kaplow ("House").

"Production companies in the entertainment industry continue to feel the impact of the ongoing writers strike," CBS Paramount TV said in a statement. "As a result of this change in development and production activity, we have made a difficult decision to discontinue 'overall deals' with a number of writers and producers whose talents we greatly value and respect."

Warner Bros. TV and Universal Media Studios also terminated deals. Sources indicated the number of casualties at CBS Paramount and 20th TV is significantly lower than the nearly 30 that ABC Studios let go Friday, including "Brothers & Sisters" creator Jon Robin Baitz and "Borat" director Larry Charles.

Studios entered force majeure territory last month as the clause in producers' contracts that allows them to terminate overall deals kicks in four to six weeks into a strike.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

 
<p>The cast of "House" in an undated image courtesy of FOX. CBS Paramount Network TV and 20th Century Studios terminated production deals as a result of the Hollywood writers strike on Monday. Those hit by the "force majeure" -- or act of God -- provisions in the contracts include "House" producer Lawrence Kaplow. REUTERS/Handout</p>