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.
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.
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, 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.
In its quarterly earnings report in January, Viacom said that its revenue had slipped 16 percent, a result that was blamed largely on results from its Paramount Pictures movie studio, but also on declining domestic advertising revenue.