The good news is the pilot is getting an "if-come" contract. Here is what the WGA defines "if-come" as:
An exception to the option requirement described above is the "if-come" deal, applicable only to television motion pictures (Article 13.B.1.a.). The rule provides that money need not be paid to the writer for the period during which the Company is actively seeking licensee interest or other financing. The writer's deal must be fully negotiated, so that in the event the Company's efforts are successful (the "if" part), the writer will have his/her deal already in place (the "come" part"), and be attached to the project. As the consideration provided by the Company for the "if-come" is the Company's active efforts, specific time periods cannot, logically, apply; if the Company's efforts have ended after four weeks, for example, the Company has no further rights thereafter, unless there are further negotiations.
Similarly, the Company may not engage in development during the "if-come" time frame, and writers (including the "if-come" writer) may not be employed. The Company has only the right to obtain financing or to generate network interest during this time.
They loved the idea (even though it scares them) but it was really the enthusiasm of my producers that kept it alive. In other words: I'm not getting paid till the network buys it. We have to go back in and re-pitch with an even younger cast in some of the roles (I've gone from senior citizens to 20somethings...) and the production company even wants to shoot a short trailer for it. So there is a lot of work that has to happen in the next few weeks.
The bad news: it looks like I'm not going to be able to do the AIDS LifeCycle! One of my producers is going to do a show in New York in two weeks and I need to be around to work on the revised pitch. (AND I still may end up on that staff job.)
This has been the hardest decision I've had to make in a long, long, long time. I've trained so hard and so many people donated... however, the money still goes to a very worthy cause and I DID train for nearly six months. AND I still may end up doing it... but as of right now, the answer is no. I may even try to find a way up the route and finish with everyone on the last day. Everything is still up in the air. And it makes me sick to my stomach to think about. ALL that training and no ride. It kills me.