ABC says ‘no’ to SAG expenditures

Studio ditching talent costs for Guild Awards

The latest front in Hollywood’s labor war? Hair, makeup and limos.

Insiders said ABC and ABC Studios will not pick up the tab for its talent attending the SAG Awards on Jan. 27. Show will be telecast on both TNT and TBS.

SAG, of course, has been a staunch supporter of the WGA in its strike against the majors. In happier times, it’s industry tradition that networks and studios split the costs of getting talent ready for their kudocast close-ups. Those costs include transportation to and from the Shrine Auditorium, hotel accommodations for out of towners and hair, makeup and styling services that can run into the tens of thousands for a network with a bunch of nominees, as ABC has.

Execs at the Alphabet point to economic belt-tightening spurred all over town by the work stoppage, but insiders also note that spending money to send talent to the kudofest would seem counterintuitive. SAG, after all, has told its talent to boycott shows like “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and has urged its members not to cross WGA picket lines at other awards shows, such as the now-torpedoed Golden Globe Awards and, possibly, the ABC-telecast Academy Awards members next month.

ABC’s SAG Award nominees include the ensemble casts of “Boston Legal,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Desperate Housewives” and “Ugly Betty.”

NBC Universal nets also have a number of SAG Award nominees between NBC and USA Network, and the peacock is known to be none too happy with the WGA and SAG these days after the Globes imbroglio and SAG’s shunning of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.”

NBC Universal insiders insisted that no decision has been made about whether or not Universal Media Studios will pay the costs associated with its SAG nominees. However, one person familiar with the situation said there’s a good chance that the Peacock could follow ABC’s lead and elect not cover the SAG Awards bills either.

(Josef Adalian contributed to this report.)