SAG, AFTRA near digital agreement

Guilds resolving show organization dispute

SAG and AFTRA are moving toward a compromise on the issue of jurisdiction over off-network shows shot with digital cameras.

Though neither union would comment, the orgs have at least partially worked out a three-month-old dispute over which union has the right to organize shows shot on digital.

SAG has approved waivers with lower AFTRA terms and conditions for three shows — the WB’s “Off Center” and “Wanda at Large,” and Fox’s “Oliver Beene.” SAG also has conceded jurisdiction to AFTRA on Fox’s “Cedric the Entertainer Presents” since it is a comedy-variety show.

The issue arose last spring after AFTRA signed up 10 Fox-produced pilots shot on digital, including “Cedric” and “Oliver Beene.” The signings led to SAG accusing AFTRA of violating the 1981 jurisdiction agreement; SAG also accused Fox of breaching its basic agreement with the guild.

Such waivers mean significantly lower rates for two classes of SAG performers — those who speak five lines or less on a show and background actors.

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