Sorry, SpongeBob: WGA West Seeks $3M Bond From Nickelodeon Over Residual Payments

Writers Guild gives struggling kids' network Nickelodeon until March 25 to post bond

The Writers Guild of America, West is seeking a $3 million bond from Nickelodeon, claiming that the network has been derelict in making residual payments to its members.

The guild has given Nickelodeon until March 25 to post the bond, or it could tell its members to withhold their services from Nickelodeon, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.

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The WGAW is making the demand under an article of its minimum basic agreement, which states that the Guild can require the advance posting of a bond or other security “in the event that it determines that a particular company is not reliable or financially responsible.

The agreement also states that the company entering it acknowledges the Guild’s right to instruct its members to withhold their services from any Company that has failed to post a bond under the above circumstances.

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Nickelodeon told TheWrap in a statement that it’s “been working with the WGA to resolve this matter” and expects to do so shortly.

“What was reported is not reflective of the current status of the issue,” Nickelodeon’s statement reads. “We’ve been working with the WGA to resolve this matter and expect to do so very soon.”

Nickelodeon, which has served as home to such popular kids’ fare as “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “iCarly,” experienced a fairly steep ratings slide in November, dropping 19 percent year-to-year in November among viewers 2 and over — enough to make the network question whether there had been some kind of glitch in the ratings system — but has rebounded since then, showing growith in the fourth quarter of 2012. The network’s ratings in February were up 11 pecent, and have been up 17 percent so far in March compared to last year.