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WIT: Writer’s strike updates

Writers win, but some could lose jobs

Despite ‘winning’ the tumultuous contract dispute with major studios and networks, writers for television shows could find their jobs canceled as a result of the strike. Pundits say that writers returning to struggling or new shows mid-season may find that networks will find it more cost-effective to simply run out the clock on the 2007-8 season with the replacement programming already in place, rather than spend money for production of new episodes for shows which have lost momentum and viewership. In addition, the strike could affect next year’s season as well, if networks decide to order fewer shows in lieu of the shortened ‘development’ season for new projects.

See “Welcome back WGA. Here’s your pink slips.,” by Tim Goodman, San Francisco Chronicle, Feb 11 2008 (SBG)

Living-room meetings laid the foundation for WGA deal

Credit for what looks to be a successful resolution to the three-month-old writers strike may fall in part to John Bowman, head of the Writers Guild of America’s negotiating committee, who set up an informal meeting last month with three studio heads in one of their living rooms. The discussion led to a series of talks that laid the foundation for the agreement that Guild members are voting on today.

See “Private overtures led to strike breakthrough,” by Richard Verrier and Claudia Eller, Los Angeles Times, Feb 12 2008 (JDD)

Actors hope for more congenial negotiations

Signaling a thaw in relations between the Screen Actors Guild and its sister union AFTRA, SAG board members killed a referendum to negoitiate separately from AFTRA, possibly paving the way for relatively tension-free negotiations when the SAG contract with producers expires June 30. Budding tensions between the SAG and AFTRA boards had threatened to mar upcoming negotiations for a new actor’s contract. But actors such as George Clooney and Tom Hanks have been lobbying SAG president Alan Rosenberg to avoid any confrontational approach in negotiations, especially in wake of the enmity of the recently ended writers strike.

See “Contract talks loom for SAG,” by Carl DiOrio, The Hollywood Reporter, Feb 14 2008 (SBG)

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