Although primetime scripted television shows have generally been produced under contracts with the Screen Actors Guild rather than the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, that situation is likely to change in the near future, the Hollywood Reporter indicated today (Friday). The trade publication reported that in order to insure against a possible SAG strike, at least 50 of the 70 or so broadcast pilots for the winter season are being produced under AFTRA jurisdiction. A side effect has been a boost for digital production, since AFTRA productions cannot be shot on film. THR observed that the television production units of Sony and 20th Century Fox are shooting all their pilots this year under AFTRA agreements. Meanwhile, entertainment attorney Jonathan Handel blamed the Membership First faction of SAG for the current situation. "MF held out for the best deal imaginable," he wrote on his blog, "in the process ignoring the fact that negotiation is about obtaining the best deal achievable." But Nikki Finke, who runs the Deadline Hollywood Today blog and has strongly supported Membership First, lashed out at the union's moderate faction, who now control the board. "Going into a real negotiation with employers, experienced union leaders know that claiming from the outset to be 'moderate' is a strategic error that gets members less than zero," she wrote.
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