Del Shores | News | Television

Sordid Lives Creator Fed Up, Slams LOGO for Non-Payment

Sordid Lives creator Del Shores (below, left) published a letter on his Facebook page yesterday explaining to fans why Sordid Lives: The Series is not moving forward into its second season. According to Shores, LOGO, which reported to him that "it was off the charts...20 times bigger than any show they had ever aired" ordered the show contingent on two other partners ordering the show, and despite the network's ordering a second season, its partners have yet to do so.

Shores_dottley Shores has a bigger issue, however. "I'm tired of being told to be silent," he says in the letter.

Claims Shores: "The 12 episodes have now aired 262 times collectively (in America alone). Each time SLTS airs, the writer, director and actors are to receive compensation -- residuals. The production company is the signatory with all the Guilds, meaning they have agreed to pay the residuals. To this date, WE HAVE BEEN PAID NOTHING! I wrote and directed all twelve episodes and am personally owed hundreds of thousands of dollars. I have been paid nothing! I took a huge pay cut to do this show. I made less money in four years working on SLTS than I made in one season on 'Queer As Folk'. The actors, who worked for minimums or slightly above, have also BEEN PAID NOTHING. The Guilds have stepped in, but these claims takes months."

Shores says his home has gone into foreclosure and credits his husband Jason Dottley (an actor in the series - pictured, right) for getting him through a difficult period: "I live daily with gratitude. Jason told me it would be okay and suggest that I start teaching and to get back on stage to tell my stories. I did and it saved me."

Del Shores full letter, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via popwired)

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I'm tired of being told to be silent. You all deserve to know the truth about why "Sordid Lives: The Series" is not going forward into Season 2.

First of all, I want you all to know that this has been an amazing experience for me, for the cast. We love each other, we love working together. AND WE LOVE OUR FANS.

When the show premiered July 23rd, according to the executives and marketing team at LOGO, "SLTS" was in a league of its own. We were told that it was off the charts for them. That it was 20 times bigger than any show they had ever aired. I brought them stars and beloved characters and they got mainstream press -- TV Guide, People Magazine, Regis & Kelly, Conan, Today Show (3 times), New York Times, Star, LA Times, Associated Press.... RAVE REVIEWS across the board! Whoopi Goldberg even called me personally and told me that she wanted me to write her into Season 2. I did!

Viewers were changing their cable companies (Direct TV, you owe me money!) LOGO was in more households than ever. Not just gay. We had crossed over! We were flying high and destined to many seasons to come! I took a big risk and it paid off.

See, usually, when you bring a network a hit, you are rewarded! And we were. LOGO ordered the 2nd season 2 weeks after we premiered. BUT, LOGO doesn't own the show. Our production company owns the series. In fact, there are three financial partners. LOGO, our production company and IMG International, who is our foreign distributor. LOGO ordered the show CONTINGENT on the other partners also ordering the show. IMG did not. They were still selling the show -- and still are. They seem to be doing very well -- France, Germany, Austria, Israel, Canada, Sweden and more in the wings -- so they could still come in.

But a bigger problem arose. The 12 episodes have now aired 262 times collectively (in America alone). Each time SLTS airs, the writer, director and actors are to receive compensation -- residuals. The production company is the signatory with all the Guilds, meaning they have agreed to pay the residuals. To this date, WE HAVE BEEN PAID NOTHING! I wrote and directed all twelve episodes and am personally owed hundreds of thousands of dollars. I have been paid nothing! I took a huge pay cut to do this show. I made less money in four years working on SLTS than I made in one season on "Queer As Folk". The actors, who worked for minimums or slightly above, have also BEEN PAID NOTHING. The Guilds have stepped in, but these claims takes months.

Actors have lost health insurance and okay, now I'm going to really get honest and bare all. I worked exclusively on "Sordid Lives: The Series" for over four years. I was contractually bound to the show and turned down many opportunities -- because I was doing what I loved -- writing, creating, directing my own show, with amazing creative control (thank you LOGO). It was my choice and my extreme pleasure. But I took a hit. A big hit. It was a gamble. A risk. I thought I had won.

In January, our home went into foreclosure -- and yes, the producers knew about my financial situation -- still refused to pay me my residuals which would have saved the house and a lot of stress. I informed the executives of LOGO, hoping they would at least step in and pay me for the scripts of Season Two (which I had written). No response from the network.

Thank G-d for friends. Thank G-d for C.R., for N.A and R.A, for B.B. For Jason's amazing family, for my kids, my ex-wife -- and for the support of you, my friends and fans. You have no idea how much strength you gave me... make that -- give me.

It was a crazy time. It still is.

But you know, I learned so much. I learned that things are things -- and health, family, friends, and my adoring fans, are important. I am loved and I've had a good ride. I'm lucky and I am BLESSED.

I live daily with gratitude. Jason told me it would be okay and suggest that I start teaching and to get back on stage to tell my stories. I did and it saved me.

Yet, I was still fighting for "Sordid Lives: The Series". I even tried to buy the show back from the producer -- knowing, I could put together the money.

But negotiations came to a screeching stop. The price was too high. We reached an impasse -- and now, I have a glimmer of hope -- but yes, it has faded.

And as much as I love my friends at LOGO, it did sting when they picked up a second run (reruns) of "The Sarah Silverman Program" for more money per episode than they paid for SLTS. That money could have saved our show. And no disrespect to Ms. Silverman. I LOVE her show, but that's not the point. My interpretation -- "Sordid Lives: The Series" was just simply not that important for LOGO to save.

So, I must move on. I have other stories to tell. I want to see "Southern Baptist Sissies" on the big screen. I know the effect of the play. The healing. The salvation. {Anybody with a couple of mil want to make a difference, be a movie producer? :-) } I have other plays in me, other TV shows. Caroline Rhea, Leslie Jordan and I will bring our "A-Sordid Affair Comedy Tour" to you very soon. It's all good.

But I do have more "Sordid Lives" in me... the 2nd season was written before it all went down. I own the stage rights and the publishing -- so someday, someway, you'll know how Noleta fares in the looney bin, where Brother Boy winds up... what happens to Ty and Jacob, to Latrelle, Wilson and Tomeka. You'll know if Sissy gets out of jail. And who set the fire at Bubba's? And how dear LaVonda works her magic on the masses! And how "Juanita" has at least has one clear moment.

I love you all -- and if I get in trouble -- I better have some lawyer fan (hopefully really cute) who will save my ass.

And as my Mama Merck used to say -- "You can't get blood from a turnip."

And yes, as Sissy says, "It'll all turn out..."

And as the Bible says, "The truth will set you free!"

Del Shores

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Comments

  1. A (very) quick web search indicates that Del is around 50, and his insanely cute husband is shy of 30. His company would help sustain me, too.

    Logo is a shiite network and, like seemingly all gay media save Towleroad, seems to have no idea how to be relevant. I recently returned to basic cable because there's just nothing on that channel of interest.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 15, 2009 9:17:41 AM


  2. "LOGO ordered the show CONTINGENT on the other partners also ordering the show. IMG did not."

    Well I'm sorry, that sucks for you. The show was sometimes funny, preferable to Queer as Folk if that means anything. But those were the financial terms. And how did you spend four years on something that your husband said involved shooting 12 half-hour episodes in 35 days? I understand writing, production, and prep time and all that, but four years is hard to believe.

    Posted by: Geronimo | Apr 15, 2009 9:28:45 AM


  3. Ditto Paul's comments. I lost all interest in LOGO. Very little I cared to watch, and what little I did was always edited, censored, and scribbled up with on-screen promos (and, ahem, logos). Too distracting. I hope Sordid: The Series comes out on DVD. I'll be glad to view it then.

    Posted by: Jim | Apr 15, 2009 9:32:09 AM


  4. CBS/Viacom owns Logo, I believe. It doesn't surprise me this is happening. They haven't really invested in Logo to make it worthwhile. Logo for the most part is uninventive, tired, and small time. Here! has been more interesting with newer programming and less reality shows.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Apr 15, 2009 9:37:29 AM


  5. If Del is contractual owed money and payment he should get it. That is what he is due and it is only fair.

    That being said I have a feeling he is going to pull through and I don't have a lot of sympathy for him. I just got done scraping together some money for friends who don't have a place to live. So a little hard for me to sympathize for a well known and published author who has the talents and can get another gig.

    Posted by: kujhawker | Apr 15, 2009 9:46:12 AM


  6. paul R

    be honest, it was an episode of "RICK and STEVE" making fun of republicans that pissed you off and sent you running away.

    your posts do tend towards the far right of the spectrum

    --------------------

    Is Logo perfect? of course not. it is only 4 years old.


    ONLY 4 yrs old as a station!

    get a grip people. It is getting better as a station each year.

    -----------------------------

    The best shows

    - Rick and Steve
    - Shirts and Skins
    - The rugby special
    - Ru paul drag Race
    - Noah's arc
    - some of the short films are cool

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Apr 15, 2009 9:46:53 AM


  7. Jimmy, aren't those the only shows?

    Posted by: Tim | Apr 15, 2009 9:58:20 AM


  8. I'm Del's age. Does Jason Dottley have a gay twin brother? Please?

    Posted by: Marty | Apr 15, 2009 9:58:49 AM


  9. LOGO looks cheap and has no respect for its audience. Why should its attitude toward providers be any different?

    Posted by: SAM | Apr 15, 2009 10:00:49 AM


  10. @KUJHAWKER: No sympathy?.I can't imagine a worst situation artistically. You've created something special, something obviously celebrated by your community and others... And yet, go unpaid for it?

    Film/tv artist make their living on residuals, and for a company not to pay them is inexcusable.

    I hope he's able to move on and create more art and doesn't lose his drive due to the bs, LOGO is partially responsible for.

    Posted by: Mammarice | Apr 15, 2009 10:03:14 AM


  11. Jimmboyo, before I call you an idiot, I'd like you to find a single post that suggests I'm a Republican or on the far right of the spectrum. Just so I'm not being unfair.

    And if I'm "far right" because I think a couple reality shows are crap even though they're on gay TV, then yes I'm in bed with Rush Limbaugh. Sorry, I'm not going to say that everything is great just because it has a gay theme---and for the record, I enjoyed Sordid Lives.

    Do you have me confused with Paul C? Really, your "far right" accusation made me burst with laughter.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 15, 2009 10:10:56 AM


  12. I'd love nothing better than to see Showtime pick up the series so they can operate with more freedom. It's pretty damn funny. Of course, I guess Showtime is Viacom too so not terribly likely. Maybe HBO.

    Posted by: Glenn | Apr 15, 2009 10:11:26 AM


  13. Glenn, what do you mean operate with more freedom? He says he was happy with the amount of freedom given. He's pissed cause the other partners didn't want to pick up the show. It doesn't make any sense for him to blame Logo except that he wants a bunch of jaded queens to join in the poor me chorus and he knows that we'll all tear apart our own quicker than anyone else will.

    I hope Showtime does pick this up so we can see more drama when he starts to tear them apart for some imagined insult.

    What has this guy done besides cast his boytoy in his TV show? What else is on his credits? He should be glad that he got a single season. How many great shows on other networks are getting cancelled after one season right now without all this whining? But since we all love to rip into ourselves, we're ready to tear Logo apart because one entitled guy is bitching on his blog.

    I'd be surprised if anyone wanted to work with this guy again. How unprofessional.

    Posted by: Jon | Apr 15, 2009 10:49:28 AM


  14. Regardless of this man's troubles, I refuse to support LOGO for many reasons. The main of which is its parents company Viacom. Viacom is SINGLE HANDEDLY responsible for the downfall of MTV. MTV was bought out by Viacom a few years ago, that's when MTV/VH1 slowly stopped airing music videos (yeah, what happened to the "Music" in "Music Television") and began airing Murray/Bunim "Real World/Road Rules" reality shows. The reality shows used to be decent, but after 1994's San Francisco run it became a vapid t&a/Abercrombie & Fitch ad. As for LOGO, sorry, no interest. I would rather see more mainstream inclusion of positive role models in the LGBT community then more separation with networks such as LOGO. Plus, the shows sucked.

    Posted by: CJ | Apr 15, 2009 11:35:38 AM


  15. I must add that LOGO is impossible to watch. When there is something of interest it is so cut up and censored it is unbearable. Commercials ad naseum.

    I call bullshit on the whole network.

    Posted by: ken | Apr 15, 2009 11:36:19 AM


  16. Andy, you're headline is misleading. From the letter that Del posted, it seems like the production company hasn't paid him, not Logo.

    Posted by: reggie | Apr 15, 2009 11:39:20 AM


  17. Ummm.... Del Shores has a list of credits longer than LOGO, longer than most gay writer/directors, and he's a huge playright... check his IMDB, and see that LOGO was LUCKY to get Del Shores and his cast --
    gays are so mean. Del personally helped me through a most difficult time, and I'm not in my twenties, or cute, just distraught - a Southern Baptist Sissies -- and it breaks my heart to know he's lost his home and that some of you are so heartless about it. He's opened up and you shun him for it?
    i love you Del. I hope that you aren't reading this board. These people that are nasty are "doo doo terd head people!"

    Posted by: billy | Apr 15, 2009 11:58:50 AM


  18. Come on guys...Del was asking for your sympathy...he was not asking you to do anything...the purpose of his letter was to let his fans know that they probably won't be a season two of their favorite show...those of of who enjoyed the show, really enjoyed it...we loved his film, "Sordid Lives" as well as his plays. He guessed that we would want to khow what happened. Do we have to attack each other and tear each other apart all the time? It is pretty clear that Del was the victim of of some show business slimeballs...from what I have read, this kind of stuff happens all the time...it takes big bucks to sue these people and win...the producers of the show owe Del and his incredible cast money...they did nothing wrong except work on very popular show...they deserve to be paid...Logo appears to be pretty stupid...why would you allow a dishonest partner to highjack and destroy your most popular show? Logo should have been looking out for their fans and should demand that the Sordid Lives be renewed.

    Posted by: SeekerSTL | Apr 15, 2009 1:33:22 PM


  19. Besides the fact that a labor of love, that he was under the impression would continue (and how often can you get an ensemble cast like that-Who also have not been paid!), Del hasn't been PAID for his work. That's reason enough to rant.

    Posted by: James | Apr 15, 2009 1:47:58 PM


  20. Anyone who has ever tried to contact LOGO would know that they are not interested in their audience, so it doesn't surprise me that they feel the same about their Creative talent! What surprises me is that LOGO claims to be an outlet for the LBGT community. What a joke LOGO is, and no one I know watches it anymore.

    Posted by: Bob | Apr 15, 2009 1:57:38 PM


  21. i am sorry but dont splash out on a house that you gambled having money for

    it was cheesy to sell ONj personal items, your time as a star to attend parties ???
    (tweaking off Olivia fans)

    just get outhtere nad work and the Jason dude is not an actor HE NEEDS to get a real job like the rest of us

    you iwll be fine - no sympathy here

    Posted by: GARY | Apr 15, 2009 2:01:21 PM


  22. I dunno, ol' girl better start bringing in the checks or his young hottie husband may hit him with the "it's not you, it's me" line.

    Posted by: Marlon | Apr 15, 2009 2:09:23 PM


  23. I personally would have sued them instead of airing my dirty laundry on Facebook or some blog. But I don't necessarily think this was a terrible thing for him to do, career-wise. I mean, he's gotten this far writing crazy plays featuring crackpot characters, it's not like this letter is "so unlike him."

    Posted by: Mike Justice | Apr 15, 2009 2:15:19 PM


  24. PS

    Bob

    I've contacted logo in the past via their website and recieved a quick response.

    Try again.

    --------------

    logo isn't perfect, it is only 4 yrs old. If you think you can do better then get out there and start your own gay channel

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Apr 15, 2009 3:26:55 PM


  25. you said it Marlon - although I think he's far from a hottie ... it reaks of young boy being w/old man for cash and prices... when the well dries up, young man, may pak his bags, excuse me, BAG and hot the rod for another daddy.

    Hottie - no?

    Posted by: RITA | Apr 15, 2009 3:29:49 PM


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