Writers' Strike Begins

Posted on November 5, 2007

The Writers' Strike is underway with writers now picketing outside major studios in Los Angeles and New York City. WGA reps and studio heads failed to cut a deal during last minute negotiations late last night. Writers are seeking higher payouts for DVDs. They also want to be paid for films and shows distributed online and by cell phone.

The New York Times says the strike will initially have a much bigger impact on sitcoms, talk shows and soaps than on films.

Ten hours of bargaining presided over by a federal mediator failed to close a deal before a strike deadline set last Friday by the Writers Guild of America, which has sought a greater share of DVD and Internet revenues for its members.

The initial impact of a strike for most of the public will be felt on television. Popular late-night talk shows such as NBC's "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" and CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman," which are produced on a day-to-day basis and depend on a steady supply of topical jokes and sketches, were expected to go into immediate reruns.

Prime-time comedies such as the CBS hit "Two and a Half Men" and Kelsey Grammer's new Fox sitcom "Back to You" also are expected to be knocked out of production because they depend on a substantial amount of last-minute script rewrites.

The effect on movies will be less obvious since the major studios' screenplay pipeline is well-stocked through 2008.

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