UPDATE April 24: A little more than a day after walking off the job, the editors and assistant editors of Last Comic Standing returned to work yesterday with a new IATSE contract, winning health and retirement benefits, vacation pay and significant wage increases for assistant editors.
PREVIOUS April 22: Editors and assistant editors working on NBC’s Last Comic Standing walked off the job late Monday morning, effectively shutting down postproduction on the show a few weeks before its scheduled premiere.
The strike involves a crew of more than a dozen editors and assistant editors employed by NBC Studios on a non-union basis. The post crew operates out of a cutting room in Glendale, California, in addition to performing some on-set postproduction work. The striking crew seeks an IATSE contract, including industry-standard health insurance and pension benefits.
“This is an experienced, top-notch crew, putting together a primetime series for broadcast on NBC,” said Motion Picture Editors Guild, IATSE Local 700 president Alan Heim, ACE. “For generations, the guild has fought to establish standards for this kind of employment, so that talented postproduction 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, both of which are set to air on May 22. It is not yet clear whether this work stoppage will require a delay of the season’s scheduled premiere.
The current season of the reality-competition program, a reboot of the series that ran on NBC from 2003 to 2010, is to be hosted by J.B. Smoove and to feature comedians Roseanne Barr, Keenen Ivory Wayans and Russell Peters as judges.