Work stoppage threatens Last Comic Standing’s post-production editing (editors receive union contract!)

Producers of NBC’s Last Comic Standing hope to resolve a work stoppage that left them without their editing crew Monday when they walked off the job, seeking a union contract.

“We’re union supporters, so we’re confident it’ll be worked out to everyone’s satisfaction,” producers told The Comic’s Comic on Tuesday.

UPDATE! A deal got done late Tuesday, and editors will return to work Wednesday.

A statement from the Motion Picture Editors Guild reads: “Thanks to the courage and cohesion they demonstrated, and to the overwhelming support showed to them by their Local 700 sisters and brothers and the entire IATSE community, the post crew of “Last Comic Standing” will return to work tomorrow under an IATSE contract! Through their work stoppage of roughly one and a half days, they won health and retirement benefits, vacation and holiday pay, and significant wage increases for assistant editors.”

More than a dozen editors and assistant editors working on the revived eighth season of Last Comic shut down post-production work late Monday morning. The Motion Picture Editors Guild said the editing staff, working on a non-union basis out of Glendale, Calif., were striking the show’s production in search of an IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) contract that included health insurance and pension benefits.

“This is an experienced, top-notch crew, putting together a primetime series for broadcast on NBC,” said Editors Guild President Alan Heim, A.C.E. “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 show already has winnowed the field of stand-up comedian contestants down to the final 10, with challenge-round competitions in front of live audiences this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at various Los Angeles comedy clubs (The Comedy Store, Jon Lovitz Comedy Club, and the Hollywood Improv), and a Roast with special guest Jeff Ross next week.

The editors guild, Local 700 of the IATSE, noted that editors had just received “their first round of network notes for hours one and two of the show,” scheduled to air as a two-hour premiere on Thursday, May 22, 2014.

Last Comic’s reboot features J.B. Smoove as host, and comedians Roseanne Barr, Keenen Ivory Wayans and Russell Peters as the judges.

Related: Watch the official preview of Last Comic Standing 2014.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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