So SAG's fucked. Wait—did we say "fucked?" There we go again—needless doomsday prophesying where Obaman cool-headedness is clearly required. What we meant to say is: "SAG's probably fucked." Yesterday brought a confluence of Pop Culture Doomsday events that not even a walrus blowing like Bird could have foretold:
First, there was the mushroom cloud hanging over Burbank, as Jeff Zucker announced NBC would be scaling back production of hours of original programming, then proceeded to shitcan about everyone except Ben Silverman, before triumphantly revealing his amply-chinned endgame: Keeping Jay Leno in the NBC fold by giving him a five-night-a-week show ("Keep doing what you're doing," went the pitch") in the 10 p.m. slot.
It was a Dick Wolf-coronary-inducing coup that—despite the mildly unpleasant side-effect of completely fucking over Conan O'Brien and reducing the number of hours of scripted NBC entertainment to 10 per week—might one day be heralded as a brilliant triumph. Or a complete fucking disaster.
Who's the biggest loser you can think of? As much as your reflexive instinct is to shout the name "Jimmy Fallon!" in response to that question, we're afraid that's not the case. His new, third hour of NBC's late-night lineup "premiered," as such, last night on the web. Color us asleep—but in the new, improved, all-late-night NBC landscape, any dude with a band-leader and a desk is safe.
No, the biggest loser of course would be SAG members, who called an emergency town hall at the Harmony Gold last night in which, Deadline Hollywood Daily reports, "99% of those who spoke were exceedingly supportive and said 'Yes, we need a strike authorization vote.'"
As the Hot Blog points out, the 10 p.m. slot was the only slot not yet infested by shows featuring obese families dutifully weighing-in or Howie Mandel narrating the gripping selection of numbered-briefcases. Even if the strike didn't happen—and that's looking less and less likely—the announcement of Jay's new strip would give AFTRA a two-hour lead on NBC's primetime programming: 12 hours vs. SAG's 10. Further, were the strike to go through, dual SAG-AFTRA members would be required to go to work under the terms of the AFTRA agreement.
We suppose that makes AFTRA the second-biggest winner here, after NBC. (We're not calling that one for Leno merely for the fact that he's an unknown primetime quantity, and could rapidly lose him momentum once his audience moves beyond "married couples looking for an excuse to avoid sex.") Second-biggest loser, meanwhile, goes to late show bookers. Happy feeding frenzy for the one actor who actually has a project debuting, guys!