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Strikebound 'snl' Swings Ax

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Strikebound 'snl' Swings Ax

Old 11-20-07, 01:24 PM
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Strikebound 'snl' Swings Ax

November 17, 2007

In its first dramatic move since the beginning of the Writers Guild strike, NBC has fired "nearly the entire production staff" of its struggling, late-night staple, "Saturday Night Live," sources told Page Six.

One tipster told us, " 'SNL' laid off all their staff until further notice. Their production staff, even long-term employees, were let go." Another source confirmed that "90 percent of the 'SNL' staff was fired."

And while The Washington Post reported yesterday that NBC might lay staff off at Jay Leno's "Tonight" show, "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" and "Last Call With Carson Daly" - all of which immediately went into rerun mode on Nov. 5 - those staffers would at least get paid for two more weeks. But an insider confirmed to us that "SNL" staffers got no severance.

Although no official announcement had been made as of last night about firings at any of NBC's late-night shows, multiple sources confirmed to us that "SNL" staffers learned of their axing yesterday morning. Reps for NBC declined comment.

Despite being scrooged out of their Christmas-season paychecks, the "SNL" crew still has a big heart. Playbill reports that the cast plans to perform a nontelevised show tonight at the New York Upright Citizens Brigade Theater on West 26th Street. Ticket proceeds from the sold-out performance, which was produced by Lorne Michaels, will benefit the Writers Guild's strike fund.

The strike has drawn such famous-faced picketers as Sarah Silverman and Kathy Griffin in Los Angeles and "SNL" alumna and current "30 Rock" star Tina Fey in New York to the picket lines. The writers have been fighting for a slice of the dough that networks make off of DVD sales and Internet-streamed content.

Meanwhile, one powerful name is playing Santa Claus to his loyal colleagues. CBS "Late Show" host David Letterman has quietly announced to his staff that he would pay them out of his own pocket over the holidays if the strike continues.
Old 11-20-07, 01:26 PM
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Makes me wonder if SNL might not return for awhile, even after the strike. As the article mentions, the show is struggling both creatively and ratings wise.
Old 11-20-07, 01:28 PM
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Wow, tough but not entirely unexpected. They call it show business for a reason, after all. Most, if not all, of the staff will be hired back once the strike is over anyway, probably. And kudos to Letterman for volunteering his own $$ to pay his staff. I wonder if he'll continue to do so should the strike extend past the holidays.
Old 11-20-07, 01:29 PM
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It took the strike to do this? It should have happened awhile ago.
Old 11-20-07, 03:11 PM
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Would Amy Poehler be considered part of the production staff?
Old 11-20-07, 07:58 PM
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What about Robert Smigel? Did he still write for SNL, or is he just on Conan now?
Old 11-20-07, 08:20 PM
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As long as they keep Don Pardo.
Old 11-21-07, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
As long as they keep Don Pardo.
"Here's your host... Loooo-daaaay-cris!"
Old 11-21-07, 01:50 PM
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As long as they can Good Burger's ass, it's a good move.

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