CBS Tries To Circumvent Strike By Exploiting Cheap Canadian TV-Developing Labor

· Looking for inventive ways to develop scripted programming during the writers strike, CBS Paramount TV reaches across our northern border to partner with CTV to produce the police drama Flashpoint. which will be scripted and shot in Canada. "[The production values] will be as good as any American production," somewhat defensively notes a source, trying to alleviate fears that CBS is trying to save money by eventually airing some second-rate Mountie melodrama badly overdubbed to eliminate suspicious Canadian accents. [Variety]
· As expected, the WGA has reached an interim deal with the Grammys, saving the highly expendable awards show from suffering the same undignified fate as the Golden Globes. Reacts Recording Academy president Neil Portnow, revealing that he may never have watched a Grammys telecast: "Having our talented writers on the team further ensures the highest level of creativity and innovation, something our audience has come to expect every year." [THR]

· Though Cloverfield pumped-and-dumped its way a 68-percent second-weekend drop-off after a record-breaking opening, Paramount still expects the movie to be profitable due to the studio's wise strategy of investing in hype-building marketing over needlessly expensive "name" actors. [Variety]
· Paramount establishes Dennis "General Hawk" Quaid and Channing "Duke Hauser" Tatum as the leads for G.I. Joe, the studio's latest attempt at turning a line of action figures into a nine-figure-grossing blockbuster. [Variety]
· Still trying to plug all the primetime programming holes left by the writers strike, NBC slots in unscripted-TV-pusher Mark Burnett's My Dad is Better Than Your Dad (fathers prove their superiority to their children by pummeling each other in front of an instigating Dan Cortese) and Amne$ia (contestants try to answer sure-to-be humiliating questions about their lives for money ) for mid-to-late February debuts [THR]