Thursday, November 08, 2007

EDWARD ALLEN BERNERO SPEAKS TO THE FANS OF CRIMINAL MINDS ABOUT THE WRITERS STRIKE:


Criminal Minds: The following is an exclusive letter from Edward Allen Bernero, Executive Producer of Criminal Minds, to the fans of Criminal Minds:

Dearest Criminal Minds Fanatics –

Well, here I am, forced to reach out to
you all at another trying time. I wish I could have
contacted you sooner but things here in Hollywood
went pretty crazy, pretty fast. Taking care of crew
and support staff had to come first. You, ladies and
gentlemen, were next. I haven’t made any other
statement outside the show. In that respect, you will
always be first.

Now, just what the hell happened? We,
the writers of Criminal Minds went on strike at 12:01
AM on Monday. We started picketing at the Alameda
Gate in front of Disney (for which “Criminal Minds” is
primarily produced under ABC Television) on Monday
afternoon. Criminal Minds will run out of new
episodes soon, affecting you all. This you already
know. But I think you deserve a little of the story
of how we got here. I am going to try and be as
objective as possible in this description of the
situation but, I am a writer which puts me on one side
of the dispute so, if I veer a bit, I’m sorry.

Okay, the two sides in this dispute are
the WGA (Writer’s Guild of America - there is both an
East and a West division, both of which are striking
and are unified), and the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion
Picture and Television Producers). One point of
confusion for some people in this is the term
“Producers” at the end of that name. I am not only a
writer but also the Executive Producer of “Criminal
Minds” but I’m not on-strike against myself. Producer
is a tough to define, catch-all word. The AMPTP
doesn’t actually produce shows, they are the
corporations who essentially buy the shows or pay
Writers/Directors/Actors to make them which they then
distribute.

Members of the WGA work under a contract
with the AMPTP. It’s called the Minimum Basic
Agreement (MBA) and it covers everything from minimum
script payments to Health and Pension benefits. There
are a number of things (profit points, development,
royalties) that individual Writer-Producers (also
known in the industry as ‘hyphenates’) can negotiate
into their personal contracts, but none of that is
covered under the MBA. These are higher level writers
who also run, or help run, shows.

The MBA also covers something called ‘Residuals’ which
are residual payments owed to the writer (there are
residuals paid to other guilds and unions but we’ll
limit the discussion here to the WGA) of a piece of
material, payable if the material makes additional
profit. It’s a deferred payment. Many people have
misunderstood this term of late (especially people
within the industry, which surprises me). Residuals
are not ‘extra’ money or a bonus. They reflect a
reduction in the original payment (leaving a residual
amount) which the writer recoups later.

Years ago, in long fought over gains by writers, the
Companies agreed that there is a possibility that
something we write or create might have long lasting
extra financial benefit to the Companies (and, by the
way, the capitalization is the way the Companies refer
to themselves in the AMPTP, it’s not meant to be a
pejorative). For example, “I Love Lucy” is, I think,
on television almost every moment of the day somewhere
in the world. The writers/actors/directors of those
shows got nothing beyond their original payments.
Ever. And the Companies involved have generated
untold profits from that single asset. Even these
massive corporations could admit that something like
that seems patently unfair and so, they agreed to this
thing called Residuals.

What original Guild members and the Companies (I
think) agreed to was the idea that, no one really
knows if a particular show will be profitable but
that, if it is, there would be some sharing of the
pie. That there will be a set ‘minimum’ portion of
the payment for the first run of something, then
graduating payment of the rest of the fee (or the
‘residual’ portion) should the episode or movie be
rerun or repurposed and more money generated (for
example, as you all know, a rerun of CM still has
commercials in it – revenue for the Companies). There
is a sliding scale to those residuals and they
eventually run out, reflecting the fact that, at some
point, the Companies have fully paid the script fee.

One real world example is a remodeling project. When
the contractor starts the work, you might pay, say,
half the total up front. Then you pay the residual
portion of the contract as the work gets done,
sometimes in a lump sum, sometimes in a number of
smaller payments.

Does this make sense? I hope so because, Residuals,
in a number of ways, is what this whole work stoppage
is about.

The MBA expired on November 1st. There is no longer a
contract covering our work. Negotiations between the
Companies and the Guild broke off Sunday night when
the Companies walked out of the negotiations because
the Guild would not ‘stop the clock’ on the looming
strike (the WGAEast strike started three hours before
the West). They are not talking at all now. Though
the Guild says they are ready and willing, the
Companies say they won’t even talk again unless the
strike ends.

There are a number of important issues on the table,
things like Health Contributions and Pension
Contributions and Minimum payments and so on. I’m not
involved in the negotiations but most of these issues
can probably be settled at some point . However,
there is one issue that the Companies have publicly
stated (repeatedly) is not even open for discussion.
Hands off.

The Internet.

It’s also referred to here as ‘New Media’ which covers
not only actual downloads to a computer but ring tones
and cell phones and any of the coming ways content can
be received by a consumer (you). Among the proposals
in the AMPTP’s ‘offer’ to the WGA was this pair of
sentences under something called ‘Promotional Uses’:

Promotional Uses (P-3)

(A) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the
MBA, the Company shall have to right to promote,
without restriction or payment, any motion picture for
which literary material has been written or acquired
under the MBA.
(B) Confirm that a use may be promotional even if
the entire motion picture is exhibited and even if the
use generates revenue for the Company.

Now, read that again. In the first sentence “…without
restriction or payment…” , and, in the second
sentence, “…even if the entire motion picture is
exhibited and even if the use generates revenues…”.
So, what they are saying is, at their discretion, they
can run an entire episode of a show, with commercials
generating revenue and call it promotional. Friends,
there is already a name for running an entire episode
of “Criminal Minds” with commercials in it. It’s
called television. And this single proposal guts
every agreement we’ve ever made with the AMPTP.

Now, why have I taken this long winded approach to
explaining to you what is essentially a simple
problem? Because I want you to know, as fans of our
show, that we are not making a greedy ‘choice’ here.
Residuals aren’t about greed, they’re about receiving
the rest of the money the Companies agreed to pay us
in the first place. They are about the Contractor
getting the rest of the contract when the room
addition is finished. And, if we accept this offer,
there will never be another residual payment to
anyone, because they will call everything
‘promotional’.

By the way, the Companies claim that the Internet is
too new to know whether it will ultimately be
profitable (despite shareholders reports projecting
billions of dollars in future profit – editorial
comment alert). Okay. Let’s say the Internet is a
passing fad. What the WGA is asking for is a
percentage of any revenue. If the Companies don’t
make money from downloads, we don’t. If they do, we
do. We would get an additional piece of residual
profit because, if they move things to the internet,
they won’t be rerunning them on networks. What they
would be doing is changing how they got the additional
profits (for which we agreed to defer payment), but
still getting them.

The Criminal Minds writers all want to work. We love
this show as much as you do and we feel a huge
obligation to all of you to keep making it. Other
showrunners love their fans and their shows. None of
us want this. Not one of us. But, understand, we
simply CAN NOT accept this proposal. It kills our
industry now and for the future.

So, if Criminal Minds runs out of new episodes, we’re
sorry. Extremely sorry. We already miss the writing
room, already miss playing with the characters,
already miss working with the most amazing crew in
television. We will miss reading your comments on this
site and the others all over the web. We will miss
the real feeling of community we have with you all.

But being sorry to all of you doesn’t mean a lack of
resolve. This choice was made for us but we will see
it through.

Ed Bernero

211 comments:

1 – 200 of 211   Newer›   Newest»
anna maria said...

Thank you for taking the time to explain this to us. God Bless all of you.

olga said...

We supported you and the show through the MP mess and we give you all our support now.

Elizabeth Bear said...

Dear Ed (and the rest of the CM writing staff),

Thanks for the graciousness of your statement, and the clearness of your explanation. I understand on a personal level how tricky it can be getting money owed to a writer out of the people who owe it, and I think you should know that as a fellow writer, and AGA member, this fan supports the WGA wholeheartedly.

natalie said...

Thank you for your detailed account of the current event. The media reports have been extremely hard to make sense of and this cleared up many of my questions.

We'll be waiting for you!

Jemma said...

Thank you for the statement Ed! you always make sure we are in the know, and I thank you for that. Good luck with everything, and we will wait in earnets for news and/or new episodes!

Thank you!
x

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this concise rundown.

The internet is 'too new', yet DVD residuals are covered? How the hell does that work, since the entire DVD format is newer than this wacky thing called 'teh intardnetzwebz'.

Oh, right. It doesn't.

Sigrid said...

Ed,

the more I hear from you, the more I'm convinced of what a total class act you are.

Thank you.

Thank you for saying that we as fans are always first when it comes to hearing from you, and for actually meaning it. I, for one, think we've heard from you pretty fast, and we appreciate that we're so high on your list of priorities.

Thank you for explaining the situation in a way that we can understand. I've read dozens of articles about the strike, but I hadn't realized what it was really about until now.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: I'd rather watch Criminal Minds reruns for half a year than have you guys agree to something that ruins your livelihood. We love the characters and the stories you create, but we also care about you guys. We're still here whenever you get to go back to work, I promise!

I wish you and the rest of the writing staff the best of luck on fighting for your cause!

Anonymous said...

As a fan of Criminal Minds and many other shows affected, I support the cause completely!

I love and appreciate what the writers do and I want them to get some money for it. :)

The big bosses can share, they get loads of money from TV and everything.

merlin's friend said...

You have our unconditional support and our thanks.

CM fans stand behind their writers. We always have and we always will appreciate everything they contribute.

Thanks Ed!

joyce said...

Our dear "Mr. Ed"...

THANK YOU!!! My thanks for your explanation and report to us. My thanks for your being the "cream of the crop" in the industry. My thanks for YOU, YOUR HONESTY, YOUR CONSIDERATION.

We love you and are with you through any and all trials and tribulations for our CM show.

You are the best!!!

Joyce (Group Granny)

Lil said...

Rock on, you guys. You do what you have to do, and know that the Fans will stand behind you -- unconditionally and without fail, you people are the main reason many of us watch the show. If we have to wait a while to get new episodes, so that you guys can get the things you deserve, then we'll deal. Whatever you need from the fans, you let us know. we'll do whatever we can to get you guys through this.

babruin said...

Thank you for taking the time to explain this difficult situation to us fans. A strike is one of the most divisive event to happen to any workplace so I applaud your leadership during the turmoil.All of you are in my thoughts and prayers as you work toward an acceptable resolution. I'll be here with the rest of the fans in support of your show.
Joanne

Kris said...

Ed B.,

This is Kris, Jill's actor friend from this blog. I didn't get to meet when I was on the set of Criminal Minds a few months back.

PLEASE know that I am here in Hollywood and REALLY want to help in any way I can!! I fully support you and all of the writers and would love to volunteer to help in any way.

Criminal Minds is one of my favorite shows and I have been so lucky to be involved with the show on a few occasions, and hopefully can portray a character one day.

Please contact me via Jill if I can be of help.

Lee said...

Ed I am here in support of this strike. As I said below being from Chicago and the daughter of a Union Rep, these things hit very close to home for me. What the writers are asking for is in no way unacceptable. Kudos to you for not only supporting the strike but for picketing as well!

Lee :)

faryn said...

Thanks Ed. If you have to keep the lights turned off until the ptb give the writers a fair contract then turn them off. CM fans are a loyal group as said before and we will be waiting in mass when you all return.

nina said...

CM writers rock the world. We know all their names and their writing styles because they are just THAT good. We support them and you on good days and on bad ones.

Judiebuk said...

Thank you Mr Bernero for taking the time to fully explain the situation.

I respect you and your fellow writers, and you have my 100% support. This situation will be resolved...it may take time, but I for one will still be here when 'normal service' is resumed! (and judging by the supportive comments you've been getting on here...I think I'll be one of a large crowd!)

Jx

Lizapest said...

Yeah... the whole internet thing... not going to catch on, no possible way to make money from it...

Please make sure that your fellow writers know that we support them, even though its killing us to think that soon there will be no new episodes.

PAOLAFROMPARIS said...

Killing us is the word. BUT WE ARE WITH YOU!!!!

smitty said...

Everyone deserves to be paid for their work. I don't work for free and I don't expect anyone else to do it either.

All writers, and especially the CM writers, have our full support and hope that this will be worked out in a fair and quick manner.

allie said...

Ed,

Is there a way in which we could financially aid those workers who are not going to get paid?

Thanks for the information and for putting fans first.

Lin said...

Ed -- you rock!

And to think, I used to just love this show for the actors and the acting and the stories. ;-) Thanks for treating us like part of the family -- again. You really are the best.

The whole "the internet thing might not last" is idiocy, and we all know it. So absolutely, stick to your guns until they agree to be fair. If we run out of new shows ... we'll still be here when you get back. Promise!

Oh, and one more thing. Whatever your career takes you from now on -- whatever your next project is after many, many, many years on CM -- I think I can safely speak for most of us here and say, we're coming with you. Stick your name on it, and the fanfamily is there!

Good luck!

moderator said...

shemarmoore37@yahoo.com said...
I love you all and if there is something we as fans or myself can do I am willing to volunteer by all means to support in all ways if I can and permitted, I work full-time but I am willing to support what I love and I LOVE CRIMINAL MINDS THAT MUCH!!!!! I support you all at CM and I do hope for the best. I can understand, I do have experience in Performing Arts/Film and I can see why the strike is necessary. I can't live without you guys..lol Much SuPPORT from A TRUE FAN!

-SAN T

**Reposted without the email address for the safety of the poster***

shemarmoore37@yahoo.com said...

Sorry I didnt I couldnt poist my email

sherlockette said...

Ed
I am sorry it has come to this, but I appreciate your taking a stand. Every well run company knows to take care of its employees if it wants to last.

I too am really peeved to see the way broadcast TV is being gutted, essentially, by profiteers who are very aware of what the profit potential is. I am also peeved that they feel no moral or ethical responsibility to the people who work for them and the public at large.

It is pretty obvious why the network conglomerates don’t give shows time to get established. They know there is more profit on DVDs and the internet, or they would not use them. DUH! These companies own the technologies of the future, and have absolute control over how it develops.

I hope you get what you need. Your success is ours.

Kimberly said...

Dear Mr Bernero ( and Cm Writeing staff)

As a Cm fan myself not having any industry business experience myself. I would just like to first of all thank you for taking time to expain this whole mess to those of us that do not know anything about the WGA but enjoy the shows you write. That in itself shows what kind of person you are and how much you are realy tuned into to your fans. Second I cant speak for other CM fans but I am behind your guys 100 percent in all this you guys work very hard it can't be easy coming up with new Ideas for the chracters or storylines for the shows. I believe you should get all thats due to you no matter where it may come from. finaly I want to thank you and your team for creating such wonderful chracters that come alive on our tv every week. If this means I have to watch reruns oh well I dont care I only care about you guys as humans as friends. I just want to say I'll be here when ya get back.

monroe said...

Thanks Ed! You are a golden gem and we really respect and care about all of you.

***818-560-1000 is the phone number for Disney which produces Criminal Minds!

Call them and tell them, as KV suggested, that we want our writers to get a fair new contract!

addison said...

Ed,

We've all been through so much with you, the cast and the writers in the past and now with this but we understand that you have to do what is right. I would have lost all respect for you if you had hired scab writers or written episodes yourself. You are doing what is necessary and what is morally right. We stand tall with all of you.

Erica said...

Thank you very Much for explaining the whole strike to us. I am saddened to hear they will run out of new episodes but I support you because with out you guys there would be no show.

slashgirl said...

***PLEASE NOTE:****

For security reasons (yours) please do NOT post your email in the comments here. If you do so, the post will be DELETED.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation. :D

jenna said...

I think we should all boycott Itunes and new media.

Ed, I can't believe they have the nerve to even call it NEW media. I have been buying tv shows since they started selling them but no more until the writers get a cut.

Thank you for clear explanation which really did clarify so many of the details for me.

I love CM but I will wait until the writers come back with a good contract. I give you all my support.

love2teach said...

Thank you so much Ed for taking the time and explaining that to us. I find that you always think of us, and find that amazing. You didnt have to give us a statement, but you did. When I first heard of the strike, I was annoyed. I always hate the idea of strikes, especially with people who make more money then I ever will! However, when I learned more about it, and learned how little the writers get from the DVD sales, I do think you should get more then what they say you get. Doesnt seem fair that you get that little. Also seems fair you should get more from repeats as they are on quite frequently in the off season time. I still dont fully understand the download thing, as downloads are free, and its not something I do. (If I had a much better computer I might, but since I dont, it would probably take all day to download a 1 hour show!) I hope that you all can come to an agreement,and just like all others, hope it comes soon!
Angela Fillmore
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

steven said...

I thought that residuals were bonuses that the writers. I had no notion that it was just a part of their pay. This is horrible. How greedy do these large corporations have to be before they grow a conscience! Thank you Ed for telling us the truth. As always!

Nox said...

Long time CM fan, first time poster here.

Thanks, Mr. Bernero, for taking the time to reach out to the fans with that explanation. It really did help me to understand the issue better.

I wish you all the best of luck in getting a contract that treats all the parties fairly. It is unconscionable for the Companies to lock the writers out of a percentage of the proceeds generated by internet distributions. Particularly if it won't cost them anything if the product doesn't make money.

I hope for a speedy resolution, but I, for one, plan to tune in whenever CM comes back. In the meantime, I'll just enjoy the writing in the past episodes.

abbey said...

If my boss told me that I had to wait a week for half my paycheck and then when it came time to settle up he told me he had changed his mind I would tell him exactly what you all have....NO WAY JOSE!

Thanks Ed and please let us know if we can aid some of the show's workers in this difficult time.

phoebe said...

Ed, You have nothing to be sorry about. It is not your fault the show is going to run out of new episodes. I have to agree with those who have already thanked you for going into such detail with your post. I thought I understood all the issues until I read your explanation and now I am even madder than I was before. Stay strong and tell everyone that we love them and that we care. We really do care.

wren said...

Ed,

A repeat of CM is better than an episode of some thrown together at the last minute piece of garbage reality show. I will watch the repeats and the dvds. When you have a contract that makes you feel ready to go back to work then I will be right there watching on Wed. nights. Until then CBS can Kids Nation themselves to death because I am not watching. Lets see how well reality tv sells ads...NOT!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for posting, Ed

Coming from a labour tradition, I support the right of writers to withdraw their labour when they feel they have to. No worker takes the decision to strike lightly.

I hope all the striking writers will be adequately supported and that some resolution to this situation can be found.

Good Luck to You All.

stella said...

Thanks for thinking of us Ed!

We remain devoted fans. Always.

rose said...

"The internet is too new"

Wow Ed. How do they even say that with a straight face? They are already making tons of bucks off the internet. If they weren't they wouldn't be doing it. I feel for the writers and the staff and everyone that is being forced into striking for the right to be paid for their work. I believe that if you all hold to your guns then you will force them into doing the right thing. I pray that everyone will be okay.

We all made through Mandygate with your leadership and we will all make it through this strike. CM rules! And please tell the writers that we know it!

kevin said...

Honor, Service and Truth are the qualities needed by someone who wants to successfully lead and you exhibit all of those qualities. I would watch dog food commercials if you decided ten years from now that that is what you wanted to write. I really will always remember the man you constantly prove yourself to be. You are a leader. Hold a sign and walk the line and at the end we will all be back in the top ten again waiting for the good times to sink in!

rebecca said...

Thank you Ed for letting us know what's going on. I really didn't understand it. Now that you described what is actually happening, I can't believe the companies would be so heartless. Just hearing that they won't even try to meet without the writers ending the strike first is very disgusting.

I'm so sorry you all have to go through this and I hope it ends soon with a fair outcome for everyone.

Best wishes!

SweetThang said...

Thanks for explaining to us the reason why the strike is going on. As far as Criminal Minds running out of new episodes, there is no need to apologize.

Melanie said...

Thank you so much for the explanation. I understood the writer's needs a little bit before, but you were a big help.

Jan and Quentin said...

Ed,
Thank you for the incredibly cogent and helpful explanation of a very complicated matter.

Wishing you and the rest of the WGA the very best and a quick resolution.

Jan and Quentin (the Wonder Collie), Grand Junction, CO

Marie (Crochet95) said...

Ed,

Thank you for your explanation of the strike. It is good to know that you keep us informed of what is going on with CM. I'm sorry to hear about this unfortunate situation and hope it will be resolved quickly. We're all here supporting you and the show. We'll continue to be supportive, no matter what happens throughout the whole ordeal. Please continue to keep us informed on what is going on.

Thoughts and prayers,

Marie from North Dakota

philly said...

Ed,

The issues seem so clear cut to me too. I wish there was something positive we could do for all of you. Criminal Minds fans know how to wait. We waited to hear the truth about Mandy Patinkin and you gave it to us. We waited while a replacement was found and you told us about JM. We waited for rerun season to be over and you gave us a great start to season three. We wait while the strike continues and you are explaining to us what it is really all about. We can wait for the new episodes until you tell us that all is well. No sweat!

brooke said...

Ed: Do what you need to do. Desperate times call for desperate measures and not being paid seems like a desperate situation to me.

Just Curious said...

Mr. Bernero,

I read in the press today that CBS sent letters telling you to get back to work or you would be fired. Will we lose you from the show?

arianna said...

My respect for you and all the writers has grown immensely and I never thought that was possible. I wish you all the best. I won't line their pockets with my money until the strike is over.

JoAnn said...

I just want you to know that I support you and those you work with. I appreciate you taking the time to explain the issue.

Fighting for what you deserve does not make you a bad person. It makes you a strong one. It would be supremely selfish for the viewers to demand you end the strike just so they can watch new episodes of your show.

I wish you and all the writers protesting with you the best of luck. I'll attempt to find the address of people I can write to and show my support.

Shawn said...

Please know that you have the support of your fans, both spoken and unspoken. We support you now and will continue to do so- no matter how long this takes.

jordan said...

Ed,

I feel for you all but since reading your letter I can't get Oahn Ly out of my mind. Last night we watched her great CM episode and she is somewhere on a picket line. It was a great episode. How is it possible that anyone would not think she deserved to be fairly paid for it? I know it applies to all the writers but I am thinking about her because she was our writer last night.

Anonymous said...

In a million year the "Head Disney Mouse" could never write Distress, Revelations, Poison, Fire & Enya, LDSK, FK2, NWO1, Someone's Watching, etc. Not even with a gun to his selfish little head. Worthless executives trying to keep all the profits for themselves with no thought of the writers and their futures. Scum of the earth. Strike till they give in or they find themselves with nothing on the air but dead air.

Chica said...

Showrunners are doing the right thing standing up with the writers. The public will remember that these current studio heads acted like dumb record labels and created bad will with their talent and creatives.

Go Ed and WGA! This "internet thing" looks like it's here to stay according to the ADVERTISEMENTS I SAW RUNNING AT ABC.COM WHILE WATCHING SHOWS ONLINE.

Who do they thing they're fooling? Writer-Creator pay is first-priority overhead in my book.

Anonymous said...

i like you to known that i suport what you and the others are doing.thankyou for your statement on it.

Eliza said...

Guys, I totally support what you do, I love your show and I hope everything get's resolved

A.S. said...

Ed,

Keep Wells out of the room. He sold the writers out last time. He is too weak to make a difference. Close down all production and wait.

Anne said...

God bless all of you and give you the strength to weather the strike and the compassion to help each other and love each other. CM fans love you all. We are very loyal to the show and to all of you.

Lori said...

Ed, again you amaze me with your loyalty to the fans of Criminal Minds.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your explanation of what is going on.

As you can see, everyone here is for you and the other CM writers 100%. I hope the PTB read these comments and take to heart that the internet and downloading episodes, etc., is a real thing and will be here a long time--I had to laugh when I read that they didn't know if it was going to last. Jeez!

We will be here waiting for new CM episodes when the strike is over and *fingers crossed* you will get everything you are negotiating for.

Lori Stewart
Woodbridge, VA

Kathy said...

First, thank you Ed for your very detailed explanation as to the exact cause of the strike. Initially, what little information that was coming from various media outlets made it seem as if this was, in fact, a greed issue - and frankly in the beginning I did not support the strike. After getting more information, and now after reading your explanation, I certainly understand the writers' position and their need for a much better contract. While I don't like strikes - they're just not good for anybody involved - I respect the WGA's decision to strike. I think it is insulting to the hard working writers that the studios ("Companies") think they can get away with not paying a fair price and/or a previously agreed to price. The amounts of money ruffling through the various Hollywood feathers is mind boggling to we average folk - I still don't understand how ANY actor is worth $20 million a movie, but I digress. I certainly support the WGA in their wants/needs/demands, even though I'm not a fan of strikes.

My question for you, or anyone else who can answer, is what happens now? Do both sides just sit and wait to see who blinks first? I heard in the last day or so that no new talks were even scheduled, without talks how can this possibly be resolved?? And who is negotiating for whom anyway?

I just hate this - this has been such a great season of television for CM and several other of my favorite shows that I'm certainly going to miss very badly, very soon!

ashley roberts said...

Ed,

There are ways we can help. I only realized that after reading your post.

We can:

1. Email the companies that advertise on CBS and tell them we want the writers to have a fair contract or we are not going to buy their products.

2. Itunes has seen the last of my business until all writers get a piece of the action.

3. I won't watch another internet episode of anything and I think writing their ad endorsers is another good idea.

4. Since Disney won't take our calls lets all send letters. Millions of letters demanding the writers be treated fairly.

Lets get their fax numbers!

harriett from NY said...

16 million fans are walking with you!

Emma Bull said...

Go get 'em, boss! We can wait for new stories, and I hope the cast and crew can hang on, too. I've been a WGA member, and proud of it. I want to see the Guild make the Companies back down, blushing and stammering, from this latest bit of bluster.

We'll be right here when the wrasslin' match is over--count on it.

And thanks to you and the rest of the team for so many hours of great TV!

Anonymous said...

Without writers, there are no stories. Without writers, there are no characters. Without writers, there are no shows.

Go writers! You are the backbone of the entertainment industry, and it's about time people understood it and gave you the compensation you need and justly deserve. Just because you're doing something you love to do doesn't mean you shouldn't get paid for it.

And anyone who says that the Internet might not go anywhere is just blowing smoke. Everyone knows it's the future of television and will be a major force in the way we access and customize our entertainment options in the future.

I've been a long-time fan and a lurker here for quite awhile, but this is the first time I've ever posted, because stepping out into a forum is difficult and scary. But it's obviously nowhere near comparable to the complex and awesome thing you're doing, so I'm emerging this one time to tell you how much I stand behind what you're doing. I support you and the writers completely, and I will be here ready to watch when--and only when--writers get what they need from this industry. And I agree with everyone here who has said that, because of your kindness and loyalty to the fans, I will always watch and support any project you are involved in. You are an amazing person.

Diane
Tampa, FL

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to present the argument in a way that hopefully other people can understand. My grandfather (as an actor) died twenty years ago but my grandmother is able to live independently because of the residuals that come in from his body of work. Anyone who thinks that the strike is about greed is a fool.

Anonymous said...

Ed, you're a doll. Thanks for the full detailed explanation. I'd heard from friends on the line how absolutely insane the AMTP was, but MAN.

If that's their idea of an offer? Good God, stay out until the cows come home. We'll be waiting for you when you guys get back to work, rooting for you all the way along.

Keren said...

thank you for taking the time to fully explain what's going on with the strike. That the Companies want to screw the writers like this is absurd and shameful.

Good luck and please know you won't lose your fans because you're sticking up for what you (and anyone with any intelligence, really) believes in.

jamison said...

Thank you for cutting through the dressing and getting to the point. I now understand the issues you are striking over much clearer. The articles I have read online have not been as clear as your statement. You have my family's total support.

Anonymous said...

Responding to previous comment:

"allie said...
Ed,
Is there a way in which we could financially aid those workers who are not going to get paid?"

It's unlikely the fans, however well intentioned, would be able to make a financial difference for the striking workers. However, there is another kind of difference you can make, one that in many ways is even better: you can offer tangible evidence of MORAL support.

Go look at whedonesque.com, which is a fan blog for followers of shows created by Joss Whedon, as well as (and this is the really good part) all of the many excellent writers nurtured on Whedon's shows who have gone on to other series, like "Lost" and "Battlestar Galactica" and many others. Whedonesque is all about the writers, to a remarkable degree, and they've been doing amazing things to support the artists they love. On day one, one of the members took up a Paypal collection, collected hundreds of dollars in no time flat, and had a stack of pizzas delivered to one group of picketing writers. They also created large posters to accompany the pizza delivery, saying, essentially, We the fans are with you, and here's some food to prove it.

The writers LOVED the gesture, and it was mentioned in several blogs covering the strike. That, obviously, is a good thing. Even better, though, is this: You know the greedy executives keeping tabs on strike-related activity must have begun to pee themselves when they realized this new-fangled Internet, the thing that is the basis of their labor dispute, is allowing an unprecedented degree of communication and organization, and is revealing where the power and the loyalty REALLY resides.

If someone on this blog wants to do the legwork to (a) collect some funds, (b) figure out where the CM writers are picketing, and (c) send pizza to them, you'll be making a seriously effective gesture, both to prop up the writers' spirits and to stick a thumb in the eye of the corporate moguls responsible for this horrible situation.

It's definitely worth thinking about.

And Ed: very nice essay. I'll be sending a link for this page to many, many people.

-- Pacific Northwest Writer

michigan said...

We're all union workers here and we respect all unions. I hope the talks start back up soon but don't allow yourselves to get railroaded back by threatening letters or lawsuits. In the long term they need you a whole lot more than you need them!

I know we need you. If they fire any one of you they will feel the wrath of millions of CM fans across the globe.

Adeema said...

Thank you for this explaination.

Hang tight and keep fighting for what is right, we your fans are with you.

DNY LOVES CRIMINAL MINDS said...

Okay. We need pizza. I know the location to send the pizza. Who wants in on it?

Jill

stella knight said...

I just got into this show and have been blown away by how wonderfully the writers handled a completely unexpected fundamental change in the show.

I support the writers 100%, even if it means a lack of new Criminal Minds for them to get what they deserve.

Here's hoping the strike is short, but even if it isn't, this fan is sticking around.

annuka said...

You have my total loyalty and support!

paradisesave said...

Hi

I love CM and I support the writers strike. Thanks for your statement and the clearness of your explanation.

take care
Reruns bring it on.

cory said...

You really are a great writer. This was a clean and crisp explanation of the current situation. It isn't an episode I would want to watch but I will watch reruns until you all come back.

Bill C. said...

Thank you very much for this, Mr. Bernero. It's a damn shame that it had to come to this, but your explanation certainly clears up why it did.

Anonymous said...

A Criminal Minds fan from Europe here. Know that you writers / showrunners / writers-producers are supported, and that NOTHING is as important as getting that deal done in a good and fair way for you. Stay on strike, keep the production shut down, and get this negotiation to a point that grants your children food on the table.

Criminal Minds is a wonderful show. Keep up the great work, but for now - that strike is important. It is right. And it is justified.

Supportive,

Josh

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that it had to come to this. Striking is certainly not a course of action any union wants to take but in this case you seem to have been left with no choice. Good luck to all of you.

-A Grateful Fan in LA

Ambra said...

Ed, again thank you so much for keeping us informed. You and all the writers out there on the picket lines have my support! You guys have every right to be compensated fairly for your work and it blows my mind that the AMPTA doesn't see it that way. They not only want to deny the writers--as well as directors and actors--profits from the internet sale of your product, they also want to put in a loophole to catergorize whole episodes and movies as "promotional" so they don't have to pay anything on airings for that. Shame on them! And shame on them for walking away from the negotiations and demanding the writers go back to work without a contract before they come back! Then what is supposed to be their motivation to negotiate at all?

To all the writers out there--stay strong and stand united! We may not be able to walk the picket lines with you, but the fans are with you in spirit, supporting you!

erin said...

Criminal Minds fans have a very unique devotion to you, the writers, the cast and the crew. You have all reached out to us in good times and bad times. Loyalty to all of you is just as easy as it is going to be for me to turn off my tv when the reality shows start hitting the air. Let them make not one red cent and maybe they will see the wisdom in starting reasonable contract talks.

Dani said...

Thank you, Sir, for taking the time to explain to us the writers side.

I agree with your points and am boycotting both the network and the companies who continue to sponser them via commercials. I hope the strike ends soon with the right (fair) resolution. Not only because I will miss seeing all of you *smile* but because I know how hard it is for your crew and staff to be without pay - especially at this time of year.

Please let us know if there is anything else we can do...other then voicing our support to 'Touchstone' and the companies who support via advertising.

Anonymous said...

CBS Television Network
51 W. 52nd St.
New York, NY 10019
Main Number:
212-975-4321


Here is another address to mail complaints to and a phone number we can call.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for explaining to us the matter. It certainly made it clearer. These companies are to greedy and they screwed over the consumers to many times and now they are trying to screw over their most valuable employees. It's about time someone stands up to them. These companies have to understand they can spend millions of dollars on those so called top actors for their productions but that would all be for nothing if they don't have a good script to go off of.

I agree with what someone else mentioned here earlier contact the sponsers they are the ones these companies will listen to. They did before in the age of McCarthy. People called these sponsers threaten they would stop buying their products if they continued to support shows that hired pro communist staff or guests. And the studios responded by blacklisted much of those in the industry.

Hope everything goes well I support ya.

gert said...

German CM fans stand with the CM writers.

libby said...

It is amazing that they are unwilling to pay the writers a fair and equitable part of the profit or to even pay you at all. Terrible.

I found a petition fans can sign.

http://www.petitiononline.com/WGA/petition.html

Sigrid said...

I'm in on the pizza, Jill.

elgrey said...

Thank you for the wonderful clarity and graciousness of your statement. I've only recently discovered your show and have been completely wowed by how intelligent, compassionate and compelling it is. You all make magic happen every week.

I just wanted to offer you my support for your brave and ethical decision to strike. I honestly don't know anyone in any fandom who doesn't support the writers across many different shows. The script is the show. Without a story to tell and lines for the actors to say, there is a just a lot of pretty backdrops. There is no way of knowing how shows will be made available to the public in the future, but one suspects the AMPTP wouldn't be so keen not to pay the writers the residuals for 'new media' if they didn't think it was going to make them a lot of money at some point. For them to deliberately set out to avoid paying the people who are the backbone of the success of any show they produce seems to me to be an act of pre-meditated theft. I find it astonishing that they ever thought they could get away with it and I sincerely hope that you and all the other members of the WGA don't let them. I will miss seeing new episodes of your wonderful show, but I would hate to see people bullied out of what is theirs by right by the utterly indefensible actions of the AMPTP and its overweening greed far more. I'm in the UK so can't walk a picket line with you, but I do hope you know how much support there is for you all and for your courageous stance.

Catharina said...

Dear writers of Criminal Minds,

I think I speak for all your German fans when I say we'll be very sorry if there weren't any new episodes of Criminal minds anymore. BUT: We wholeheartedly understand and support your strike and what you want to achieve with it. What the companies do to the writers simply is unfair and I hope they'll soon realize that without all of you none of the shows would exist and you are not even asking for all you'd deserve regarding to the fact that you, as well as the directors and actors of that show do most of the job. We wish you good luck and a quick and fair agreement. In spirit we're all with you backing you up!

Janice said...

New tech for content is a no brainer. I watch the internet and buy episodes on itunes all the time. Of course you should be paid for it. No brainer. Good Luck. We all love and respect you so much!

Mary Branscombe said...

The payment structure is different but newspaper and magazine writers successfully fought court cases to make sure than Internet usage was paid for some years ago, just as they had to for CD archives. Is that a precedent that might help if the talking starts again?

And on the moral pressure front, 11318 signatures on the petition is a little low. Ask all your friends to sign. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=19177889752 is the largest of the strike support groups on Facebook. Get some numbers out there and the advertisers may pressure the studios.

Kim m. said...

Yes, it was very, very gracious of you to think of us during this time. It does indeed show what kind of man you truly are. I appreciate the time you took to send this to us personally (as opposed to a press release, for instance), it really means a lot, and we're all standing behind you and everyone at CM to do the right thing. *hugs*

blue said...

Thanks Mr. Bernero that really clears things up for me.

Here a suggestion to fan and TV viewers...

Once all the new show have aired and if the strike is still on, don't watch TV at all.

Don't watch reality shows or repeats.

Turn your set off completely.

If you need news updates, read the paper, use the internet, turn on the radio or only then turn your set on during the news hour.

For entertainment, chat with friends, blog, listen to music or go out for dinner, take a walk in the park.

I think that if the Nielson family see that people want these shows and the writer back with a fair contract, the companies will have to comply.

This is just my opinion.

Kirsten said...

The writers, from who all quality entertainment springs, must be paid a fair wage within the structure of Hollywood. They haven't been, and deserve it. So I will continue to support the WGA and all other guilds until the studios get it through their greedy heads that we the people support the writers, and pay them what they deserve.

Lisa said...

Dear Ed and the Cm writing staff,

God bless all of you, I am behind you guys 100%!!!!! I hope this can all be resolved to everyones benifit, the work you guys do is soooo important and everyone appriciates it:)

Thank you Ed again for taking the time to address the fans before the media, we all adore and support you and everyone involved!!

Everyone....be safe out there when you are pickiting! I wish I could help out with the food, and be out there with you guys but I live in Canada so you have all my support from here:)!!!

Please take care everyone

Augusta said...

Ed,

Should we stop watching the show? Should we stop watching all tv? Will that help in any way? What is the best thing that we can do besides calling and writing the networks?

Anonymous said...

To get past the cbs answering service call 212-975-4545 which will take you directly to Les' secretary.

abbey said...

I called that number and his secretary was pissed off big time. I told her I wanted the writers back and I wanted new shows and to let him know that this fan was turning off her tv!

Lee said...

Just wanted to let everyone know I called Les Moonves's office. Just tell them you are a fan of Criminal Minds and you want your actors back! Listen to what the writers have to say!!!

Lee

sondra said...

I also called and the lady was really mad. I politely told her my name and the state I live in and that I want the writers of Criminal Minds to have a new fair contract. She actually asked me what she should tell him. I told her to tell him that if they don't have a contract putting them back to work soon that he won't have a job either because millions of tv watchers will be turning off their tvs. She said okay and that was that. Everyone I know will be making a phone call today. I hope she has voice mail. LOL

DNY LOVES CRIMINAL MINDS said...

I too called. I told a VERY UPSET secretary that I watch: CM, CSI and WAT and that I want ALL writers to have a fair new contract and I want it NOW. She said and I quote "He is aware of the situation and I will give him the message".

Everyone needs to call. Screw with CM's writers and there will be swift and non-stop consequences!

alice said...

We have North Mammon on tomorrow. Should we watch it or boycott it?

grateful fan said...

"This choice was made for us but we will see it through."

We'll see it through with you Ed and we'll still be fans when you get back. We'll be dying for wonderful new episodes. Tell the writers we are behind them and while they are walking they can also be thinking about new CM ideas. They just can't write them down. We love you all.

landers said...

Ed,

Don't take a penny less than you deserve. I really like our cast. They are wonderful but the writing is the magnet for me. Criminal Minds employs a wonderful writing staff.

Pssst- Don't tell the cast I said that they come second.

sherry said...

I am going to ask the same question that someone asked earlier. What is the most effective way for fans to make a difference in helping resolve the strike?

Should we turn off the tvs or watch the repeats? Does any of that even matter at this point?

robin said...

Nobody in Hollywood reaches out to the fans better than you do. Simply amazes me. You never forget us, disappoint us or screw us over. We will never walk away from you or the writers. Never. I can use the repeat time to seriously study trig and try to get my grades up. I'll bank some good grades and study time while you try to bank some fair bucks.

Angel said...

Ed and the CM writing staff,
This whole situation makes me so mad my eyes are welling; not just because they are screwing with my favorite show, but the whole principle of the thing. I am a writer and I have several writer friends. I can't imagine asking people to pour all that emotional energy and time into a project and not be fairly compensated. I don't think these morons know the stress involved in writing, especially when facing a deadline.(I'm sorry that should be Morons) Oh, and their is no one in their right mind who thinks the internet is some kind of passing fad. (Again I'm sorry, I forget these Morons aren't in their right minds)
Don't you dare give up a thing. I will happily watch the greatness of your past work until the Morons do right by all of you.
God speed.

matthew said...

New Media my ass. I am owned by 14 and 17 year old teenagers who own ipods, wireless this, dvd that and internet everything. The money and time they spend in a month on downloads and watching videos online is considerable. My wife and I love your show and we had no idea that you were getting so royally screwed. I would forbid the kids from accessing the media until the strike is over but then my life would be hell. I will ask them to limit their usage and explain the current situation to them. Good Luck.

Anonymous said...

The "Crime Scene Investigation" trio, "NCIS," "Criminal Minds," "Without a Trace" and "Cold Case" each have three to six more episodes to run on CBS.

Madelyn said...

Dear Ed and the writers:

I support you all completely. I know just how amazing CM's writers are, and while I'm sad that CM may have to rerun for a while, it's worth it. I will not be buying DVDs or iTunes or watching any video streamed on network websites until this strike has been resolved (in favor of the writers). I also refuse to watch any of the replacement television that will be aired when shows run out of episodes.

Keep going, guys, knowing you've got your fans behind you all the way.

-BeatriceEagle

amy said...

How many times a day do you think they can air Big Brother?

I'm not a fan of reality tv to start with and I don't intend to watch it under any circumstances now. The only suitable replacement for an episode of Criminal Minds is another episode of Criminal Minds.

Total and unconditional support from me for all the writers.

PAOLAFROMPARIS said...

I PHONED TO CBS, I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THEIR FAX AND E-MAIL CAN SOMEONE HELP?

Lee said...

Just wanted to let everyone know, one of my friends just called and they told her something like CM fans have been very respectful but very vocal today! That is great news! But respectful is key.

Lee :)

Anonymous said...

Ed,

Loved your explanation of the issues on the bargaining table. They certainly seem reasonable to me. I would never ask anyone to work for me for free.

Alba

kara said...

What is “IntrAnet”–vod? Some of the media people keep referring to it and I have no idea what it is?

Thanks Ed.

honey said...

I hope that both sides decide to get back to the bargaining table soon so this can be worked out. There has to be some middle ground.

We stand behind you of course and hope that the writers get a deal that makes them motivated to continue to want to write scripts.

My sister stopped being a teacher when she realized she could make more money doing something else. Her union was terrible. What a shame to lose a great teacher because working in another profession pays more. I would hate to have that happen to the writers.

singer said...

I hope that everybody there knows that the fans of the show aren't going to jump ship for another show or some internet show when the repeats start because that would not happen.

cayson said...

Disney won't make another penny off of me or anyone that I know until the start negotiating in good faith with the union. Let them eat cheese!

Anonymous said...

As a guy who spent 20 years in construction the contractor analogy you use is a poor one. The second half of a payment is not a residual. It's simply the amount for the job withheld for completion of the contract. Not unlike a screenplay writer who is paid for rewrites. To stick with you analogy it would be as if the contractor git paid and then was given a piece of the profits when the homeowner sold the house. So if this is your logic you guys are in for a long hard battle.

SHEMARMOORE37@YAHOO.COM said...

IS SAN I'M IN ON THE PIZZA WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?!
YAY!!

leslie duncan said...

Ed, We totally understand what you are saying & it really is shocking to hear that my sitting at my computer watching whole episodes of some of the shows I like is new media. Worse yet for me to hear that the writer isn't going to be paid for it. I never once watched Studio 60 on tv. I always watched it online. I feel like sending Sorkin a check. I feel bad.

shemarmoore37@yahoo.com said...

I'm with Cayson, I have three little ones that are crying upset because I refuse to purchase anything thats related to any tv production especially Disney

24 No More said...

****Fans should absolutely be watching every scripted show they can. The key is that they NOT WATCH ANY REALITY OR PRIMETIME NEWS OR GAME SHOWS...EVER. Those shows will kill the writers and (eventually if people watch) scripted shows like CM. One hour drama is more expensive to produce so if they can get ratings for cheaper they will cancel the
drama. ******

judith said...

Okay! So I should watch Criminal Minds repeat tomorrow night but not watch Survivor. Got it.

carly said...

I am going to make notes of all the ads on during tomorrow's episode and google their companies and post a list for everyone, if that is okay Jill. That way we can start an email, letter or phone call campaign.

I wish you all the best of luck in your fight. I am worried reading the papers online this evening that the strike is going to be a long one. They said that they want to cancel some of the contracts of the Producers and will drag the strike out so they can do that. That seems so slimy to me.

bruce said...

Moonves will be having a phone call every break I have between classes next week. I hope he has a fleet of assistants to answer all the phones because I am going to ask all my classmates to call as well.

Thank you for going into clear detail with us on what the issues and obstacles are involved in the strike. I have a much better understanding of what is at stake and what needs to be done.

emma said...

Go WGA! Don't back down this time!

Mad As Hell said...

Ellen DeGeneres doesn't seem to care a true fig about her writers. She only sat out one day and then went back to work. Worse than not honoring the strike itself is that she is using new material. Who is writing it? Her? Give me a break.

If you have a problem with this then call her show's production office at (818)260-5600 and let Ellen know how you feel about her scabbing.

James Tolbert said...

Ed, I appreciate your explanation and I have done some reading about the strike on the web and it really is a terrible situation. They left you no choice but to strike. I will support the strike efforts.

jen said...

Question:

Can the writers be fired for striking? If so, does the whole group of CM writers get fired or does the network get to choose? Is there a plan in place on what the union will do if this happens?

Criminal Minds is the first show that I have ever watched that I cared enough to even know the writers names. I don't want to see them get fired.

mickey hayes, TN said...

Will the Guild be finacially helping the support staff? I am a office assistant and I wonder about what is going to happen to these people. I 100% support the strike but will the Writers Guild be helping these people make their mortgage payments?

Anonymous said...

PA iron workers stand with you!

Eddie, May and Charles Webb

asha said...

Eddie B!

Thanks for thinking about us and explaining the strike issues to us. I thought residuals was bonus $$ and had no idea it was contractual pay.

ashley w. said...

I'm home with the kids all next week and I intend to call every network I can find a phone number for.

This fan supports the WGA and the writers of Criminal Minds.

Anonymous said...

Ed,

thank you for taking the time to give us such a thorough explanation of what this is all about. I can relate to it on many different levels. Stay strong, and know that this Pennsylvania fan will not be watching any reality TV shows and even if I am limited to watching Season 1 & 2 CM DVD's, I am just as happy doing that. The writers are so great because I can watch the episodes over and over and notice new things each time.

As far as their "new media" clause, do they honestly think people are so uneducated that we can't see how transparaent they are in their greed? Frustrating to all.

Hopefully there is a proctologist that can safely remove their heads from their you-know-whats.

I wish you luck and fingers crossed for a speedy resolution.

becka said...

Ed, We love CM in Rhode Island and you have our pledge of support. Please hug Kirsten Vangsness for us because she is a young actress and this is her first strike and she sounded so sad in her post and we love her so much. She is my favorite actor on the show. I hope the other actors are also supporting the strike. Jill posted Shemar on the line. What a pro that man is. He is wonderful. I hope you are getting the same level of support from the other five actors. You make them great. We love you Ed.

Anonymous said...

To all the writers:

We support you.

Angela Mays
Chesterfield, MO

Anonymous said...

Ed,

Don't give up, give in or get screwed. I have ordered some books from Amazon and I am going to read and watch only CM.

Marilyn Sams, Arkansas

katie said...

I watch all of my NBC online. How can they say that this is not going to turn them a profit!

I stand with the team.

Thanks so much Ed.

macy said...

Ed,

I emailed P&G this am. I hope it helps.

DNY LOVES CRIMINAL MINDS said...

***As a guy who spent 20 years in construction the contractor analogy you use is a poor one. The second half of a payment is not a residual. It's simply the amount for the job withheld for completion of the contract. Not unlike a screenplay writer who is paid for rewrites. To stick with you analogy it would be as if the contractor git paid and then was given a piece of the profits when the homeowner sold the house. So if this is your logic you guys are in for a long hard battle.***

Answer: But that's exactly the misunderstanding here. It's not a piece of the profits, it's not an extra payment. It's the remainder of the original fee which was deferred. Screenwriters are a bit different than television writers in this respect. Rewriting (for
which payment doesn't exist in television) is a separate payment (though the Companies routinely fight paying those as well). They're only talking 'residual'
payments as applies in their field, television.

The analogy is exactly correct. As a Contractor yourself, imagine if you did my addition and I said,
okay, I agree that the job should cost $100K. However, let's also agree that I'm only going to pay
you $50K now because I'm not sure the addition will add value to my house. Then, if and when I sell it, if there's a profit, I'll pay you the rest of the fee.


Now comes time to sell the house, I make a profit, and now I do everything I can to get out of paying the RESIDUAL part of what's owed to you. Or, I give you, say, 10% of what's left then publicly say you should be grateful -- look how much 'extra' money I gave you. Or I say, look, I got that profit in a way that didn't exist when we made the deal so, guess what, I don't think it should be counted as profit and I shouldn't have to pay the residual at all. But the important thing to remember is that it isn't 'extra'. The Companies don't pay the entire fee in the first place.

Hope this clears this up for you.

By the way, I appreciate you supporting Criminal Minds by coming here to the website and respect your right to disagree but, the Companies have done a pretty good job of blurring what these payments actually are so
it's important that people understand what the issue is here.

Nicole said...

I work at Temple Univ. and I expect to be completely paid on the 1st and 15th of every month. If one of theose paydates falls on a weekend I expect to be paid early. LATE would not cut it for me and it should not cut it for you.

fanny said...

Ed

I'm watching "N. Mammon" tonight and then turning off the tv till Wed.

connie said...

Ed..Thanks for including us in your busy day. I always appreciate hearing the facts from you instead of the unreliable media press.

cornell loves cm said...

I copied and printed the CM Strike Plan and posted it in all the common rooms in my dorm and later I will plaster some more around the student union.

meredith said...

On the boards for Ugly Betty they are suggesting that the Producers go back to work so they won't be sued and that they should screw up all the scripts. I immediately thought that I was glad you would never do that Ed. Why would any fan want a crappy episode just to keep the show on the air? Padlock the studio doors, send everyone home and that will hit the networks in the balls.

gabby said...

Support from Rochester, NY!

parker said...

Criminal Minds fans stand behind their writers.

I would like to join the cbs writers challenge. I too will turn over my next paycheck if the head of cbs can single-handedly write a decent tv script!

stephanie said...

I can't watch tonight but if someone would post the sponsors list I will start calling.

malik said...

I'm taping tv series that I have not watched before so I can stockpile things to watch when the reality shows start and I turn off my tv. I think that this is a good idea for everyone.

evie said...

Ed,

Is ALL the CM talent standing by their writers?

callie said...

wow. so many comments to read. what can we do monetarilary to help the writers or the crew members?

blaire said...

Ed,

Thanks Ed! You rock the planet. I would like an answer to Callie's question. If every Criminal Minds fan, and I do realize that won't happen, gave just one dollar, we would be able to help a few of the crew members get past the holidays without their families, especially their children, missing out.

I would appreciate your response to this. Christmas is around the corner and their children need to be a consideration for us as well.

daya- Cairo, Egypt said...

$1.00 from just the readers of this blog would be enough to help at least one family. Count me in!

Ed, I support the WGA 100%!

keisha said...

The AMPTP wants to make money off the sweat of the writers. They are worthless. Pray for them.

illinois said...

Thank you Ed and Jill can count me in on contributing to food and helping the crew. I can spare a few bucks.

Lyra said...

As a semi-pro romance writer (contract signed, no checks yet), I have to say to all the CM writers, 1) stay strong, we love you and support you and 2) it's not to late to join in NaNoWriMo.

(National Novel Writing Month takes place every November. Writers across the country join together online to encourage each other to write 50,000 words -- most of a novel -- in the month of November.)

I know it's late, but I'm sure we could spot you those ten days in December. And yeah, we'd much rather you were writing our favorite show, but ... you've got a novel in you. You know you do.

And besides, you know how the minute you get in the shower the phone rings? Maybe the minute you really get into your novel, the Powers will have a Fit of Fairness and the strike can be settled. (Yeah, okay, I know, but I'm a romance writer, all about the happy ending ...)

Come to the dark side! We have cookies!

hall said...

I want to contribute to whatever funds are setup. I never thought of their children but even the crew that don't have kids are going to need to make rent. Holy crap this strike is really going to kill a lot of people's Holiday season. I stand with the writers but I also want to stand with the office staff and the make-up artists and all the people who we don't even know but who do so much to make us happy.

ryan said...

Thank you for keeping us informed and for educating us on the big picture. Don't give in an inch or when your contract comes up again for renewal they will want even more from you.

jade said...

JD, thanks for starting the fund.

DNY LOVES CRIMINAL MINDS said...

WE HAVE SETUP A FINANCIAL "APPRECIATION FUND" FOR THE BEHIND THE SCENES STAFFERS. PLEASE READ THE MOST CURRENT POST ON THE BLOG!

grace said...

Thanks. I will email Stacy asap and I am so glad that we are doing this. We'll send them some CM love.

zoe said...

If you lose out on your residuals and they don't give you a part of the internet business then would they increase your salaries or would you just get nothing?

ava said...

Awesome Ed of you to let us know.


Cool Jill. I already have your address.

pixie said...

What the hell is Disney CEO Bob Iger's phone number? That man needs a couple hundred thousand phone calls! What an ass he is.

frogdawn said...

"Criminal Minds is the first show that I have ever watched that I cared enough to even know the writers names."

Me too Jen! Until CM I never really even thought about the writers, until the absolute awesomeness of this show started to sink in. Ed, you make me way nervous - honest, gracious, talking to fans like we're important to you - you've gotta be driving people out there absolutely bonkers! Hopefully you're contagious.

Thanks to everyone doing the footwork to figure out the best way we can help - count me in! (I already won't touch a reality show with a 10-foot imaginary pole, so that's an easy one!)

mona said...

Frogdawn,

Your post really expressed how I also feel. I never knew any writer's name on any of my other shows. I only started watching CM after the super bowl episode and then I drove Jill and everyone crazy with questions. Still sorry about that everyone. I now know the writer or writers of every episode.

Reality tv is easy for me too because the reality is that other than scripted shows as we were instructed I am not watching anything and abc.com has seen the last of my watching shows during my lunch break.

I sent a check for the food but I want to send more and will do it on Monday.

Dor said...

I admit, Im not a fan of your show ... at least, not yet, and now I might not get a chance.

But Im very grateful you took the time to explain the nature of this issue to me. I hope you can get this all resolved so you can return to the work you love and give the show back to the fans.

isabella said...

I confess: My name is Isabella and I am an Amazing Race junkie but I will go lent on it for Criminal Minds.

boone said...

Dor said.."I admit, Im not a fan of your show ... at least, not yet, and now I might not get a chance."

We'll get the show back and I hope that you will watch it. If you watch just two episodes you will be as hooked as the rest of us. The show has it all. Great writing, brilliant actors and great fans to hang out with all over the world. What more could you want from a tv show?

boone said...

So sorry Ed. I meant to comment to you and say thanks and then went in a different direction. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I work in a field not thought of as artistic/creative, and I wanted to say that everyone that I have talked to about the strike supports it.
I asked one of the guys that's crazy about "The Office" if he had heard that they had stopped production because Steve Carrell would not cross the picket line. His response? "Good!"

I personally hate reality shows and never watch them anyway. I will be watching repeats and DVDs.

Good luck.

andrea said...

Are we talking about not watching existing reality shows or new ones? I have been watching Survivor for a long time and I really like it.

victoria said...

Dear Ed,

Thanks for thinking about us at a time like this. I am sure that your life is whirlwind crazy right now. I just wanted you to know that I will be praying and that you have all my support.

barry said...

They advertised this product. We can call and tell them to stop till the strike is over or we won't buy their stuff:

Zicam:

Robert Murphy
The Storch-Murphy Group
(908) 273-1400
rmurphy@storchmurphy.com


Danielle Reuss-Albertson
The Storch-Murphy Group
(908) 273-1400
dreuss@storchmurphy.com

max said...

I got Tylenol. McNeil Consumer Healthcare.

You can call our Consumer Relationship Center at 1-800-962-5357 Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm EST.

Barry said...

Got another: Glade **Big One**


SC Johnson
1525 Howe Street
Racine, Wisconsin 53403-5011
USA

Telephone

1.800.494.4855
Our Consumer Resource Center staff can help you with questions or comments about our U.S. and Canadian consumer products.

alyssa said...

I never have watched our commercials before. They must think we all have erection problems. I saw more people wanting to get it on with each other during the first segment of commercials than on all the CM episodes ever and that includes Reid's kiss and Hotch and Haley naked on the couch!

This company had two products. Both drugs. Tell them we will go without ERECTIONS and they need to pull their ads till our writers are happy enough to have erections.

Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
http://www.amylin.com/contactus.cfm

Eli Lilly and Company
http://www.lilly.com/contact.html

Barry said...

Gang,

Some of the commercials are regional to my area. We need to look those up and call them but focus our group efforts on national ads.

I have: Circuit City and McDonalds. The rest were regional and omg they advertise all their other shows. What did we do before tivo and the fast forward button?

pamela said...

Yeah. I got one. It was harder than I thought it would be to find on their company directory.

aceintl@acehardware.com
Ace Hardware
2200 Kensington Court
Oak Brook, IL 60523
U.S.A

1.630.990.6600

Anonymous said...

You fans are very cool.

sydney said...

Ed..you are a prince. Thanks. All good things when this strike is over.

Psst...where is the North Mammon discussion thread? I forgot how much I liked this episode. JJ!!!!

sonya said...

Ed,

Is there anything that the viewers who do not live within the U.S. can do to benefit the writers? Our advert. are not the same as yours and we are sorely behind by half a season. How can we help?

laurel said...

I went through all of season two and all of what we have had of season three and I have a list with email and phone numbers for all of the companies that have advertised on the show. What should I do with it? It is too long to be a comment. Who should I send it to?

enrico said...

Should foreigners just email US companies or all the companies that advertise?

faith said...

I spport the WGA!

Anonymous said...

Could somebody please send a list to the yahoo group. Thanks. We want to help too.

sue1313 said...

I love Criminals Minds. Thank you for telling us about what the strike really entails. I support you and if we miss some new stories - we will know that it is for a good reason. Just fill the next DVD with interviews from the cast and writers. That part is so good. I will support you by calling CBS and telling them that I support you and by not buying the products shown. You guys deserve to get paid for the wonderful work that you do and for the enjoyment you bring to all your fans.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jill,

I just sent this to CBS via their feedback link having read that the showrunners are now picketing with the writers thus shutting down basically everything pretty much immediatley I'm assuming.

Anyway, didn't know how to put this on the blog, tried to access underneath the list of suggestions to help but not really understanding how to do it, I was unable to post.

So, if you want, feel free to copy and paste this onto your site somewhere, anywhere. I'm big on sending my comments to CBS most notably about Without a Trace (don't hate me, that is my favorite show but Criminal Minds is certainly second) just been with Without A Trace longer.

Hope that helps, I'll be looking for any further tips/info you send.

Thank you for your efforts as well.

Laurel

Dear Executives, Producers and anyone else concerned with the strike,

I am not one with the ability to say I side with the writers or management, so to speak, as I lack the knowledge of the intricacies of the situation to make such a stand.

I am a loyal viewer. I watch the following shows and only these shows, surprisingly to me I am very CBS oriented and only like scripted and procedurals, so here they are:

Cold Case
Criminal Minds
CSI
Numbers
NCIS
Without a Trace

That's it, that's all I watch. I don't watch news programs like 60 Minutes or 48 Hours, I don't watch reality shows such as The Amazing Race or Survivor and I never will; I don't enjoy them.

I do enjoy the procedural shows listed above and would very much like to see them continue.

Please do everything in your power, even if it means restarting negotiations while the strike continues.

Perhaps by showing your willingness to return to the table with the writers still on the lines you will garner enough good will to have them come back in to complete the episodes they have already delivered.

Such action may give way to hammering out at least a short continuation while the negotiations continue and perhaps real progress can be met.

I formerly worked in management and dealt with unions and even dealt with a union on strike, being the bigger person sometimes does mean taking it on the nose, at least publicly.

That is the only 'advice' I'll give as again, I have no knowledge of the details of the issues but only wish to continue enjoying the shows I listed above.

I am not a viewer who will ever enjoy reality shows. To me there is very little reality other than the fact that the people on them tend to be backstabbers and sadly that is too much reality for me.

Laurel Stephenson

jenny said...

Great letter Laurel. I am going to start calling between classes tomorrow and I am going to get all my classmates to call as well. I made an index card of all the networks and all the companies advertising on the shows I like. I'm glad that I have unlimited minutes.

donna said...

Fellow Fans,

I went to our RA today and she gave me the okay to plaster the dorm with flyers. If anyone needs me to send them one by email then I will. I listed all the phone #s and since most of them are 800 numbers people can use the pod phones to call!

anne whitley said...

Ed,

Thank you! We learned a long time ago to take our lead from you and that has always proven golden for us so you do what you need to do and we'll do whatever we can to support you. In this and anything else that ever comes down the pike. If you put your talent to writing cat food commercials I would buy a cat!

sharon lakeland said...

Ed, I support you and writers too but one person offered to buy a dog and one a cat and I can't support you that far. I have allergies. Seriously though, I will start calling and emailing tonight and everyday until the strike is over. The writers are CM and I want them back writing.

PS- Would it kill you now that Gideon is gone to finally tell us what his backstory was!!!!

Brett & Angie Coffers said...

Brett is a Teamster and he hasn't crossed your line. Teamsters support other unions.

cScott said...

I love Criminal Mines, and I'll miss it if the episodes run out, but you definitely deserve to be paid.

I fully support you and the other writers, and when the show comes back, I'll be right here waiting.

Robin Cartwright (VA) said...

I want to be paid and so should you. I fully support your strike and will be waiting for more CM magic when you all come back.

danielle said...

Thanks Ed! ALL of CM's fans are proud of all of you and support the strike. I'm giving up watching all reality shows!

jeff said...

Ed,

The media reports are more than just confusing. The entertainment media had me completely confused. Thanks for clearing it all up for me. I will now go and start emailing!

Pissed Off Pam! said...

Memo to Les Moonves:

First you treat CM like a bastard, red headed step child for a year and do almost no PR for it. ---FANS made it a top twenty show!

Then Mandy leaves and you try to laugh your way through that.---
ED told us the truth!

Gina, Bob and then Joe! Still no honesty from the network.--- Ed told us that Joe was his first choice. Again where were you!

Screw our writers!---Are you crazy! They made it a top ten show!

Threaten to fire and/or sue our Producers! ---Did you REALLY want to get 14+ million viewers hysterical!

You need to lay your head on your desk and give some serious thought to what will happen to YOUR paycheck when we RISE up and decide we don't want YOU to be the head of CBS anymore. What happens when the investors realize that we will continue a boycott until you are fired!

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