Writer’s Guild helps 10 producers sue FOX, Rocket Science Laboratories

As expected, the WGA has helped file another class-action lawsuit against a network and a production company. According to a press release, “ten reality-TV writers and editors, with the assistance of the WGAw, have filed a class-action lawsuit charging Fox Broadcasting company and Rocket Science Laboratories with violations of California’s labor laws governing payment of overtime, wages, and meal periods.”

The shows that Rocket Science produced and FOX aired (well, most of them) were Trading Spouses, Joe Millionaire, The Next Joe Millionaire, My Big Fat Obnoxious FiancĂ©, Renovate My Family, Seriously, Dude, I’m Gay (which never aired), and Married by America.

Those who worked on those shows “were instructed to falsify time records and were paid the same weekly rate regardless of the hours worked — the longer they worked, the lower the hourly rate,” the press release says.

According to the lawsuit,

“Plaintiffs were required to falsify their time cards, either by simply signing blank time cards or by entering pre-determined start and end times for each day of the week. In fact, plaintiffs worked far in excess of 40 hours per week during virtually every week of their employment, but they never received any premium overtime pay. Defendants attempted to conceal this unlawful practice by reflecting fictitious overtime hours on plaintiffs’ pay stubs.”

Writers Guild Announces Second Reality TV Wage Case Lawsuit on Behalf of Writers, Producers, and Editors [WGAw]
lawsuit [PDF] and pay stubs [PDF] [WGAw]

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.

Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.