In Depth

WGA Strike Roundup: Tuesday, Feb. 5

Third-Year Web-Streaming Provision Is Key to WGA Talks' Progress
An agreement on how much writers would be paid from the third year of content distribution over the Internet was vital to improving the Writers Guild of America negotiations with studio heads. The change in posture was enough to lead union leaders to think they will have a draft contract ready for the WGA’s East and West guilds as early as this Friday, Daily Variety reports. The provision, which last weekend was adjusted to differ from the payment formula used for the Directors Guild of America contract, may pave the way for an agreement to end the strike as early as next week, the newspaper reported.

Academy President Says Oscars Will Go On as Scheduled
The 80th annual Academy Awards, set for Feb. 24, will take place as scheduled regardless of the status of the Writers Guild of America strike, the Hollywood Reporter says, citing Academy President Sid Ganis. In a speech at the annual Oscar nominees lunch in Beverly Hills Monday, Ganis added that a strike resolution would allow awards producer Gil Cates create a show “we all want to see,” the newspaper reports.

Some New Episodes Would Air Four Weeks After Strike’s End
Television networks and studios are completing contingency plans that would have new episodes of multicamera comedies on air four weeks after the official end of the Writers Guild of America strike, with dramas airing two weeks later, the Hollywood Reporter says. Fox’s “24,” ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” CBS’s “Two and a Half Men” and NBC’s “The Office” are among the first series that will return to production after a strike’s end, the newspaper reports.

WGA Plans Meetings With East, West Guilds This Weekend
The Writers Guild of America will hold meetings this weekend with its West and East guilds to update them on talks with studios, Web site DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com reports, citing an e-mail sent last night by WGA Negotiating Committee Chair John Bowman. No action will be taken by the WGA until after the meetings are held, the Web site reported, citing the e-mail.

Clooney Says WGA Progress Should Push Actors Guild Talks
Actor George Clooney said he hopes progress in talks between the Writers Guild of America and studio heads will encourage the Screen Actors Guild to start similar discussions, Daily Variety reports. Clooney, attending the annual luncheon for Oscar nominees in Beverly Hills yesterday, said the SAG risks losing negotiating power because of “strike fatigue,” the newspaper reports.


—Danny King