Is The End of Writers' Strike Closer?
The deal between the Directors' Guild and the AMPTP reached on Thursday, including big gains in the new media, has given new hope that we may be getting a little closer to the end of the writers' strike. Could this TV season still be salvaged after all?
The DGA deal alters the calculation of residuals for "electronic sell-through," or paid download-to-own sales of film and TV shows via online platforms such as iTunes, putting more money into directors' pockets.
It is believed the deal could be used as a template for negotiations between the WGA and the AMPTP. Furthermore, in their statement on Thursday, the producers appear to be open to restarting negotiations.
Why the sudden breakthrough? The studios may have waited until now in order to exercise the "force majeure" clause in their writers' contracts (as Disney did last Friday and other studios followed suit on Monday) to "clean the house," which they were now legally allowed to given the length of the strike.
The move allowed studios to axe a number of development deals including the 2-year seven-figure deals of Hugh Jackman ("Viva Laughlin," CBS), Jon Robin Baitz ("Brothers & Sisters," ABC) and Peter Horton ("Dirty Sexy Money," ABC).
If a new deal with the WGA is reached by Valentine's Day, and especially if the networks would be willing to extend the TV season into June or possibly even July, most hit shows would still be able to produce most of the episodes ordered.
A deal reached within a month would also ensure the return of hit shows like "Grey's Anatomy" by the spring. The studios would probably try to get as many episodes of those shows as possible.
Lower rated sitcoms and dramas would probably have their episode orders cut in favor of reality shows that have now been able to flex their Nielsen muscles because of the strike.
Labels: Writers Strike