*NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” relaunch with new executive producer Wanda Sykes and host JB Smoove may be over before it even begins.
With a month before its May 22 season premiere, about 15 editors and assistant editors walked off the job today in a strike organized by the Motion Picture Editors Guild, according to Deadline.com. “Hired by NBC Studios on a non-union basis, the editors are seeking a union contract that includes industry-standard health insurance and pension benefits,” reports Deadline’s Dominic Patten.
“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,” guild chief Alan Heim said in a statement today. “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.”
“Last Comic Standing,” which features up and coming comics competing for $250,000 and a network development deal, aired for seven seasons before NBC pulled it in 2010. In March, the network announced a 13-episode return with Smoove at the helm and new judges Keenan Ivory Wayans, Roseanne Barr and Russell Peters.
Smoove, a regular on BET’s “Real Husbands of Hollywood” and CBS sitcom “The Millers,” says he knows what it takes to win a show like this.
Sykes and Page Hurwitz of Push It Productions are executive producing for Universal Television through their deal with the studio, along with “The Marriage Ref‘s” Javier Winnik.
Watch the promo below.