In Depth

WGA Strike Roundup: Friday, Feb. 8

Lack of Specific DGA Language May Delay WGA Approval
Potential approval of a draft contract between the Writers Guild of America and studio heads may be delayed beyond tomorrow because a tentative Directors Guild of America agreement didn’t include enough specific legal terms for the WGA to use as a template, Web site DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com reports, citing people familiar with the situation. WGA’s East and West units are both scheduled to meet tomorrow to discuss and possibly approve the contract, the Web site says.

Redstone and Eisner Say WGA Strike is Nearing End
Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone and former Walt Disney Chief Executive Officer Michael Eisner both said yesterday that the Writers Guild of America strike is almost finished, the Hollywood Reporter says. Speaking at a Paley Center for Media event in New York, Redstone said the strike will end “quickly” while Eisner called the strike “over,” the newspaper reports.

‘Bionic Woman’ Writer Kalogridis Was Key to Moving WGA Talks Forward
Laeta Kalogridis, whose writing credits include the new television version of “Bionic Woman,” helped moved talks between the Writers Guild of America and studio heads forward by becoming a liaison between WGA leader David Young and News Corp. President Peter Chernin, the New York Times reports. Kalogridis, founder of the pro-guild Web site United Hollywood, worked with her agent and longtime Chernin friend Rick Rosen to iron out an agreement for residual payments from Internet broadcasts, which had been a sticking point, the newspaper says.

WGA Members Are Hopeful Yesterday’s Picketing at Disney Was the Last
About 600 Writers Guild of America members picketing in front of Walt Disney Studios were hopeful that yesterday would be the final day of picket lines, with many writers exchanging phone numbers and taking photos, Daily Variety reports. Members of the WGA East were planning a final large picket line for today in front of New York’s Time Warner Center, the newspaper says.

Grammy Preparations Almost on Schedule Despite WGA Strike
Preparations for the 50th annual Grammy Awards, to be held Sunday, are almost on schedule—despite the Writers Guild of America strike—because of cooperation from writers, Daily Variety reports, citing Recording Academy President Neil Portnow. The awards will feature the pairing of musical acts such as the Foo Fighters with a 15-piece orchestra and a gospel segment featuring Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige, the newspaper says.

‘Simpsons,’ ‘24’ Writers Revisit E-Card Venture During WGA Strike
Founders of the nearly dormant Icebox online-entertainment venture, including writer-producers John Collier (“Monk”), Howard Gordon (“24”) and Rob LaZebnik (“The Simpsons”), have used their Writers Guild of America strike-imposed free time to team up with Regards.com to create humorous e-cards for Valentine’s Day, the Hollywood Reporter says. Icebox, which was founded in the late 1990s, is also working on an animated pilot and a documentary, the newspaper says.

—Danny King