Would-be scribes take note: There's only one Aaron Sorkin. Only 4,338 writers reported earnings in 2011, according to the Writers Guild. That's a 2.3 percent drop from a year earlier and the lowest level in at least six years. The number of TV writers was up slightly, but screenwriters fell sharply - only 1,562 reported earnings. Total reported earnings were $911.7 million, down about 6 percent, with TV faring better than movies. From the annual report:
Residuals collected by the WGA in 2011 increased a modest 3.9% over 2010, to an all-time high of $328.54 million. This is the second year receipts exceeded $300 million. Residuals increased 14% in television but declined 10% in screen. Television was the stronger area, increasing $22.44 million to $183.14 million. The highlight was reuse of programs in foreign territories, where the revenue-based formula added to the contract in 2001 resulted in a large increase in collections.