Writers On Strike, But Actors Causing Hollywood Pain

Hollywood is showing it can cope without its writers — for a while. But can it survive without its actors? The Screen Actors Guild doesn’t renegotiate with the studios until next summer, but the actors’ reluctance to cross picket lines is complicating awards season, and Leno/Letterman/O’Brien/Kimmel’s bid to return next month.

After initial reports that CBS had scrapped the People’s Choice Awards rather then try to hold them without celebrities, the network put out a hasty statement Wednesday night: “The show will go on. The People’s Choice tradition on CBS will continue and we plan to introduce some new ideas in the process.”

CBS’s big “innovation”: there will be no physical ceremony; the show will consist of taped segments with winners making their acceptance speeches recorded ahead of time. No live show means no red carpet and no physical picket lines to cross. One wonders how producer (and Directors Guild negotiations chair) Gil Cates will pull off the Academy Awards: the WGA just denied permission to clear clips for nominated movies.

And just when the latenight hosts need them most, it looks like the actors are on the fence about joining David Letterman and Jay Leno when they return without their writers in two weeks. Donald Trump said he’d join Letterman on Jan. 2, if the show does return on that date.

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