Actors talks stress middle-level members

With a Writers Guild settlement in place, the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Radio & Television Artists are optimistic that they'll be able to boost compensation for middle-income members, the core point in current negotiations for a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers and broadcasters.

Such members comprise about 50% of the two guilds and earn $30,000 to $70,000; only about 2% make more than $100,000 a year.

The unions are expected also to ask for more-attractive residual payments to actors. They are also seeking a plan to curtail runaway production, in which U.S. crews lose out to foreign production outfits that can produce projects for less money, as well as to determine better ways to compensate talent for Internet-based work.

Nick at Nite is tops with target demo

Nick at Nite is the top-rated cable network for its target audience, adults 25-34, for the second quarter so far. At the same time last year, according to Nielsen Media Research, the network ranked ninth among basic cable channels. Among adults 18-34, Nick at Nite is now second (behind Lifetime), a 38% improvement from last year. Nick at Nite announced new acquisitions last week. Family Ties and Cheers
will debut with weeklong marathon celebrations starting Sept. 23 and 30, respectively. The Cosby Show will begin in March.

Also unveiled was a strategy to tie in with the reality-TV craze: Positioning itself as an alternative, Nick at Nite will soon switch from the phrase "Block Party Summer" to "Un-Reality Summer: Un-Real-a-Thon."