WGA strike imminent?

Hailing frequencies open… Forums Media The Biz WGA strike imminent?

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    When a strike happened in 1988, it literally killed some scripted shows, and gave “reality” TV a foothold via backup programming such as Cops and America’s Most Wanted.

    When the last one happened about 10 years ago, it derailed such arc-based shows as Lost, Battlestar Galactica, and Heroes.

    And here we are again. The Writers’ Guild of America is polling its membership for strike authorization. [LINK]

    The WGA and Hollywood’s major studios have ended contract negotiations for a week while the guild conducts its strike authorization vote. The sides have agreed to resume talks on April 25, the day after the guild concludes the voting to authorize a work stoppage.

    The decision will leave negotiators just four business days to hammer out an agreement before the May 1 expiration of the current contract.

    The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers put a new offer on the table last Thursday, after four days of talks. The new deal was said to include proposals addressing one of the WGA’s key concerns, the compensation structure for lower-rung writers working on short order series. A source close to the situation described the offer as a small improvement from the WGA’s perspective but cautioned that the sides are still far apart on other points and there are still disagreements on the short-order series compensation formula.

    The AMPTP’s stance in the WGA negotiations is influenced by the fact that it has contract talks with SAG-AFTRA around the corner against a June 30 contract expiration deadline. Any major financial gains secured by the WGA would be demanded by the performers’ union, not to mention the DGA in the next round of bargaining.

    Really, my main concern here is whether or not this would be the final nail in Star Trek: Discovery’s coffin.

    I’m very much pro-WGA, in case anyone’s wondering. The residual payments for the creators of the stories we all spend so much time dissecting are not keeping up with the new world of streaming and downloads. And the studios love to take full advantage of that lag between reality and the specific wording of the contracts.

    Steve W
    Steve W
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    It shouldn’t affect Discovery, those scripts have been written some time ago. They have been in production for at least a couple months now, generally you’d think they’d have scripts written by now (unlike Red Dwarf, where they would write all night and morning, all the way up to filming time). Bryan Fuller already came up with the story arc, so it should be okay if the network head doesn’t tinker with it (as a few people have mentioned has been happening, facilitating Fuller to give up and walk away).


    No boom today. [LINK]

    After seven weeks of keeping the town on edge in fear of a writers strike, negotiators for the Writers Guild of America and the conglomerates reached a three-year deal early Tuesday without fanfare.

    The sides came to terms shortly after midnight after a marathon day of negotiations that began around 11 a.m. PT. The talks were rocky for most of the day, with sources reporting pessimism about the prospect of the sides reaching a deal just two hours before the midnight PT deadline of the previous contract.

    First word of a deal emerged shortly after midnight, but no official announcement came until after 1 a.m. Instead, a steady stream of smiling negotiators and reps for both sides had begun leaving the offices of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers at the Sherman Oaks Galleria at about 12:45 a.m.

    A clearly exhausted WGA West executive director David Young told Variety, “The deal that we made is the art of the possible. We did the best we could. It’s got some important new things in it, and an important old thing: the health plan has been taken care of.”

    WGA West president Howard Rodman would not comment other than saying, “I’m looking forward to going to sleep.

    Looks like the producers’ guild heeded this word of warning from Twitter:

    The last time the Writer’s Guild went on strike, we got The Apprentice. For the love of Christ, pay them whatever they want.


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