Oscar’s ‘‘Plan A’’ is on.
‘‘It’s terrific. We don’t have to worry about people crossing picket lines,’’ show producer Gil Cates told scores of Academy Awards workers today. ‘‘We don’t have to worry about doing the ’B’ show.
‘‘We’re doing the ’A’ show.’’
Speaking as if it were a foregone conclusion that the 14-week-old Writers Guild of America strike would end this week, Cates told the crowd gathered at the Kodak Theatre for the annual Oscar production meeting that the Academy Awards will scrap plan B: a star-free contingency show that would have been a collection of clips and film packages.
Cates, who is producing his record 14th Oscar show, genially presided over the meeting, a troop-rallying event to ready workers for the big day. He introduced his veteran cohorts, including director Louis J. Horvitz and associate producer Michael Seligman, ‘‘who is doing the show for the 111th time.’’
‘‘This is a festive event,’’ Cates told the crew of script coordinators, segment producers, security guards and seat-filler supervisors. ‘‘We’re all so pleased. [After] three months of striking, we’re happy to be here now.’’
Cates made quips as each employee announced their name, title and years of experience on the show. He blurted out an expletive when the network standards supervisor introduced himself. When another worker said he was 30 years old and had been working on the show for 10 years, Cates said, ‘‘A third of your life. What a waste.’’
Writers will start working on the show Wednesday, Cates said. Typically, writing would have begun just after the nominees were announced last month.
‘‘Our writers are going to be writing very fast,’’ he said.
The show employs seven or eight writers, he said, along with host Jon Stewart’s team. Stewart is expected in Los Angeles on Saturday, Cates said.
More then 700 show workers have been in limbo awaiting the outcome of the strike.
‘‘Until yesterday, we really had two shows we were preparing,’’ Cates said. ‘‘I’m very happy the writers’ strike came to a close. This is basically the last push before the big show.’’