Writers Talks Screech to a Stop
Friday’s talks between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers collapsed completely, more than likely sending the strike into 2008, Daily Variety reports.
Both sides exited Friday’s talks putting the blame of the breakdown squarely on each other. The AMPTP said the WGA was stalling negotiations. The WGA said the AMPTP gave the writers an ultimatum and that the producers walked after the writers didn’t accept the terms, the newspaper reports.
These breakdowns put the pilot season in severe jeopardy and makes a second round of staff firings more likely.
Strike Helps Brighten ‘Lights’
“Friday Night Lights” is receiving a boost from the writers strike, as the second-year drama has six episodes in the can when the show returns after the holidays, Daily Variety reports.
Most shows have very few original episodes left in their run, which gives “Lights” a leg up on the competition, the newspaper reports.
The show has done very well in its Friday night timeslot, and the show also costs about $500,000 less than the standard network drama, Daily Variety says.
Politics Could Fill Gap Left by Scripted TV
Networks aren’t ruling out replacing scripted prime-time reruns with coverage of January’s presidential primaries, Broadcasting & Cable says.
NBC is scheduling at least an hour of prime-time coverage of the upcoming primaries, and other networks are planning cut-ins with prime-time primary updates. NBC announced the hour coverage before the strike, but said a large enough story could shift full coverage from MSNBC over to NBC, the newspaper reports.
Production Crews March on Hollywood Sunday
Production staffers and below-the-line workers marched Sunday in Hollywood to raise awareness of how the writers strike is affecting them, the Los Angeles Times says.
With the strike shuttering production on many shows, production crews are out of work and facing financial difficulties. Hundreds of marchers urged both sides to settle the strike with signs such as “Settle, I Can’t Afford This,” the newspaper reports.