‘Last Comic Standing’ Hit by Editors Strike

jb smoove
Mark Sullivan/WireImage

Non-union editors and assistant editors working on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” have struck the show in an effort to unionize the post-production work.

Monday’s strike took place a few weeks before its scheduled May 22 premiere. J.B. Smoove (pictured above) is hosting with Roseanne Barr, Russell Peters and Keenan Ivory Wayans judging.

NBCUniversal had no immediate comment.

The strike involves a crew of more than a dozen editors and assistant editors who operate in a cutting room in Glendale, Calif., along with on-set postproduction work. The striking crew is seeking a contract under the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees as part of Local 700.

“This is an experienced, top-notch crew, putting together a primetime series for broadcast on NBC,” said Editors Guild President Alan Heim. “For generations, the Guild has fought to establish standards for this kind of employment, so that talented post-production craftspeople can enjoy certain basic safeguards, including health and retirement benefits. NBC Studios apparently doesn’t think that this show’s editors and assistants deserve such baseline respect, and we don’t find that in the least bit funny.”

The strike began less than two hours after editors received their first round of network notes for hours one and two of the show.

The current season of the reality-competition program is a reboot of the series that ran on NBC from 2003 to 2010.

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  1. Frank N. Bight says:

    Local 700 is a joke. All they want is your dues. Most likely NBC and Sykes will cave soon because of the accelerated schedule and impending air dates. Watch your own back striking editors because The Guild will not protect you.in the long run.

    • WebSluth says:

      Dues are tax deductible…

    • Union editor says:

      Local 700 Editors Guild is the only union that provides healthcare and and pension benefits to freelance editors. Certainly worth the dues to be covered by a union contract. Go back to frankenbiting the rest of us are trying to improve the industry not just accept the status quo of non union post

      • Frank N. Bight says:

        You can have your opinion, and I’ll have mine. Local 700 is a weak union, and time and time again striking editors are eventually replaced.

  2. pops07 says:

    Unions are s-o-o-o-o-o last century.

    • Unionize unscripted tv says:

      Then get another union job. But don’t fault these editors for standing up for change. It’s not a weak union today these editors are quite tough!

    • WebSluth says:

      I had thought that, but ever notice how no one in a union complains about the union? And everyone tries to get into the Construction Unions, Teachers Union, etc..

      And basically what the others have said, unions are the ONLY way to get healthcare, benefits, 401k, retirement, etc.. The production companies don’t offer it!

  3. Ricky808 says:

    I have to say that this is all well and good and those editors should be given overtime.

    One other thing that needs to be noted is how on many reality shows, Story Producers do more cutting work than assistant editors. It’s a sad fact that story producers stand in the way of folks honing their craft. It’s not the story producers fault, but Producers should not be allowed to use the editing systems to cut. Cutting is for editors.

    • lowbudgetfun says:

      Yeah, producers shouldn’t cut and we should throw away copy machines to give jobs back to typists like I see on Mad Men.

      Get with the times!!

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