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Residuals for Comedy/Variety Projects

Comedy/variety residuals.

The residual base and allocation of residuals for comedy/variety programs differ from other made-for-free television residuals. Comedy/Variety programs include talk shows and sketch comedy programs such as The Late Show With David Letterman and Saturday Night Live. Comedy/variety writers are either hired on an "aggregate," meaning they are employed as a pool to work a specified term, or on a per show basis. If you have been employed on an aggregate for a guaranteed term, then your residual base is determined by the number of writers employed, the date of employment, the "scripted" length of the program and how often the program runs (e.g., once a week or more). Once the residual base is determined, the residual compensation is paid in the same ratio that your initial compensation bears to each of the other writers' compensation. In an aggregate, there are no teams and each writer is treated as an individual for residuals purposes.

The following example, using a residual base of $40,000, demonstrates how the residuals would be allocated if four writers were employed at varying percentages:

Writer Initial Compensation Percentage of Residuals
A $15,000 37.5%
B $10,000 25%
C $10,000 25%
D $5,000 12.5%
TOTAL $40,000 100%

Based upon the above calculations, Writer A will receive 37.5% of the residuals paid, Writer B and Writer C will each receive 25% of the residuals, and Writer D will receive 12.5% of the residuals.

If you are not employed for a guaranteed term, then your residuals are based on individual comedy/variety residual bases per writer or team of two. In that instance, each writer (or team of two) receives a residual payment based on the per-show minimum. Residuals for free television reuse of comedy/variety projects.

For reruns on free television of a comedy/variety program produced for Network Prime Time broadcast once a week or less, the residuals are equal to the following percentages of the residual base:

Broadcast # Percentage
2 100%
3 (if prime time) 100%
3 (if non-prime time) 75%
4 50%
5 50%
6 25%
7 10%
8+ 5% each

For reruns of a comedy/variety program not produced for network prime time broadcast, the residuals are equal to the following percentages of the residual base:

Broadcast # Percentage
2 (if network non-prime time) 50%
2 40%
3 (if network non-prime time) 40%
3 30%
4, 5, 6 25% each
7, 8, 9, 10 15% each
11, 12 10% each
13+ 5% each

Network residuals are due within 30 days of the date of telecast. Syndicated residuals are due within four months of the date of telecast.

Residuals for foreign reuse of comedy/variety projects.

For writing services commenced before May 2, 2001.

The foreign television residuals for comedy/variety programs are paid in the same manner as residuals for dramatic/episodic programs produced for free television (15%-10%-10%, or a 35% collapsed payment). For those programs originally produced for network prime time, broadcast once a week or less, the residual base is the Other Than Network Prime Time story and teleplay minimum, increased to compensate for the number of credited writers. The writers then share residual compensation in the same ratio as previously noted in "Comedy/variety residuals."

Residuals are due within 30 days of the Company's knowledge of the foreign telecast, but no later than six months from the first foreign telecast.

For writing services commenced on or after May 2, 2001.

As with residuals for dramatic/episodic programs produced for free television, for programs on which the writer's services commenced on or after May 2, 2001, residuals for foreign reuse of comedy/variety programs are paid at 35% of your residual base. After payment of that 35%, 1.2% of foreign gross receipts is due, in perpetuity, both payable as noted in "Comedy/variety residuals." The 1.2% payment is triggered when foreign gross receipts reach the following levels:

Program Length Level of Receipts
1/2 hour $175,000
1 hour $350,000
over 1 hour, up to 2 hours $900,000
over 2 hours, up to 3 hours $1,500,000
over 3 hours, up to 4 hours $2,000,000

Payment is due every six months.

Residuals for reuse in other markets.

Residuals for the reuse of made-for-free television comedy/variety programs in other markets including basic cable, pay television, videocassette, theatrical, and in-flight are the same as those for other made-for-free television product.