Derivative Programs Made for New Media

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A derivative new media program is one that is based on a pre-existing TV program of a type traditionally covered by the MBA. There are many variations of this, such as “spin-off” derivative content that features a character from the show in new situations, i.e. Kenneth the Web Page, based on NBC’s 30 Rock and ABC’s Ugly Betty: Mode After Hours. Sometimes derivative content creates new characters that exist within the pre-existing world or situation of the TV show, such as Heroes: The Recruit. Still others explore a different time period in the lives of the characters on the show, such as Little Monk, based on USA Network’s Monk.

Here are several resources for those seeking information about writing, creating or producing Derivative Programs: 

Work Must Be For a Signatory Employer 

When Is New Media Writing Covered by the MBA? 

What Kind of New Media Writing Is Not Covered? 

Derivative New Media Standard Writer Contract
Signatory Employer Must Provide Writing Contracts For Each Writer 

Writing For Derivative New Media Projects: Compensation Details 

Pension Plan & Health Fund Contributions 

Writing Credits 

Reuse of New Media Programs (Residuals) 

Membership Details
Writers Who Seek Units Towards Becoming A WGAW Member 

Additional Provisions: Time of Payment; No Strike, No Lockout; Grievance and Arbitration 

Writer-Owned Companies 

Notice of Tentative Writing Credits for New Media (.doc) 

Complete Made For New Media Sideletter as part of the 2008 WGA Agreement (.pdf) 


The WGAW is dedicated to helping WGAW members understand and work in the emerging New Media universe. If you are a WGAW member or a WGAW Caucus member who wants to stay on top of the WGAW’s efforts in New Media, including panel and special event announcements, sign up for our New Media Updates list.


Shelagh Wagener, New Media Field Representative/Organizer