Survivor viewers might be interested to know that the one hour of television they watch every week is painstakingly edited from 250 hours of raw footage. Now, the men and women who do that post-production work are demanding a union contract, in the words of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, "[seeking] the same health benefits, pensions, and basic protections that their counterparts elsewhere in the industry have long enjoyed." The two dozen workers will not return to work until they have a contract.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the Guild provided Survivor producers with notice of the action, stating the editors would cease work if they did not receive a contract. Producers did not respond to the letter, and as a result production stopped on Survivor's Season 29. EW notes the premiere episode was extended to 90 minutes by CBS, which increases the amount of work imposed on editors. The final cut of the premiere is due to the network next week.
That notice came a day before the cease work action, according to the Los Angeles Times and the union press release.
EW reports many other editor groups already work under union contracts, including other Mark Burnett-produced shows Shark Tank (ABC) and The Voice (NBC). Another CBS property, Big Brother, also has protections in place, according to the Guild news release.
The delay could cause problems for the new season of Survivor. A source told EW:
"There's a lot of work that remains to be done before they have anything that they can actually broadcast, and right now that work is not happening. This definitely starts to become more problematic the longer it goes on."The Wrap cited Guild national organizer Rob Callahan as saying that more editors are expected to join the strike beyond the "couple dozen" currently involved.
News of the work force issues at Survivor, a long-standing fixture of CBS' prime-time lineup, comes mere days after the network's popular sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, finally resolved protracted contract negotiations for the core cast. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, that dispute had also threatened to halt the debut of the show's new season. Unlike the post-production workers on Survivor who are reportedly focused on health benefits, the Big Bang Theory actors sought a three-fold salary increase in light of the show's massive profits.
The new season of Survivor is officially titled Survivor: San Juan del Sur - Blood vs. Water. If there are no delays, it will debut September 24 on CBS.