Wednesday, March 19, 2008

At Studios

A short week doesn't mean I don't make the usual rounds. It's me and my trusty bag of 401(k) books, shuttling from studio to studio.

Starz Media is rehiring Simpson crews bit by bit. Every time I drop by there are more artists back at work. On King of the Hill, various leads expect the show to get renewed for another season, but there's nothing offical ... and no Hill personnel rehired yet from hiatus ...

And there's a medium-sized crew working on a direct-to-video feature on a tight budget and schedule, but the artists are happy to be pulling checks.

Over the Santa Monica Mountains at Fox Animation, the same kind of rehiring is going on: every week, artists who've been off of Family Guy or American Dad for one month, two months or longer are being pulled back from unemployment to board and design new scripts. Artists told me:

"It's great to be back but we don't have any new voice tracks, so there's only so far we can go" ... "Seth [McFarlane] is still negotiating a new contract and until it's done he's not recording new shows" ... "It's a pretty big topic of conversation around here." ...

Meanwhile, development on the prospective Cleveland Brown spin-off continues apace, so it looks like Fox Animation is going to be around awhile ... after the new Seth McFarlane employment contract is tied up with a bow (this will happen soon, right?) ... and the SAG negotiations are successfully wrapped up. (This will occur in the near future, yes? No long strike?)

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