WGA bargains for 4 more at Comedy Central

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The WGA has secured collective-bargaining agreements with four more shows on Viacom's Comedy Central cable network.

On May 10, the WGA said 35 writers on "The Sarah Silverman Program" and five other Comedy Central shows were seeking WGA representation. Guild representatives passed out fliers detailing their demands at the Viacom shareholders meeting last month in New York last month.

On Tuesday, the WGA West and East said that deals had been secured covering the "Silverman" show and three others: "Mind of Mencia," "The Showbiz Show With David Spade" and "American Body Shop." The guilds still seek agreements to cover two other Comedy Central programs, "Lil' Bush" and "Reno 911!"

"This is an important and historic achievement coming only weeks before our industrywide negotiations begin," WGAW president Patric Verrone said.

The WGA begins talks July 16 on a new contract for movie writers and most primetime TV scribes.

"These contracts show what's possible when the companies come to the table and are willing to negotiate," WGAE president Chris Albers said.

The pacts address compensation, pension and health benefits and residuals -- including a formula for reuse of content on DVD, basic cable and the Internet. Internet reuse is expected to figure prominently in the writers' upcoming film and TV negotiations.

"The writers and showrunners working together made this happen, and the WGA and the greater comedy community supported us," "Silverman" showrunner Dan Sterling said. "(Network president) Doug Herzog and Comedy Central have demonstrated they are supportive of talent by negotiating a fair and reasonable agreement that shows respect for writers."

In August, the WGA East announced a first-ever agreement with producers of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart."
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