Agents, on behalf of writers, often negotiate above-scale sequel payments in connection with episodes of television series based on the writer's material, plus 20% of that payment for each of the first five reruns. BUT THESE PAYMENTS MAY BE BELOW GUILD MINIMUM!!!
For example, the agent may negotiate a $2500 per episode sequel payment, plus 20% of that amount ($500) for each of the second through sixth runs. The current minimum sequel payment for a 60-minute series is $2029. The minimum residual on that sequel payment for a network prime time rerun of that show would be 100% of $2029, or an additional $2029 [more than four times the negotiated sum]. In addition, the MBA provides for residuals in perpetuity; there is no buyout.
Below-minimum provisions breach the MBA. Please ensure the amounts negotiated equal or exceed WGA minimums in this area.
Filing Employment Contracts
AGENTS: Please remember, writers are required to file their employment contracts with the Writers Guild. Working Rule #3(b) states:
"Each member must promptly file with the Guild office a copy of his/her contract of employment (whether such agreement provides for leasing of material, participation in profits, residuals or otherwise) in no case later than one week after the receipt of the contract. In addition to any other disciplinary action which may be deemed proper, an automatic fine shall be levied upon a member who fails to file his/her contract within two weeks after written notice that there is no contract on record."
The WGA has writers' contracts on file for many reasons, mainly to ensure compliance with the MBA.
Do not depend upon the Company to file these contracts. Please file with the WGA deal memos and contracts for your clients or remind them of their obligation to do so.
Call the Contracts Department at (323) 782-4501 if you have questions.