Guild pores over AMPTP package

Union leaders prepare for meeting with producers

Relative silence gripped the Hollywood labor front Tuesday, one day after SAG's TV/theatrical contract expired on the heels of a final offer from the studios.

SAG issued a short statement about the offer late Monday, saying the $250 million package is "generally consistent" with one recently brokered by its sister union AFTRA.

Guild leaders spent Tuesday analyzing and reviewing the complex package in preparation for a meeting Wednesday at the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers' headquarters in Sherman Oaks.

"This offer does not appear to address some key issues important to actors," SAG said in its initial statement. The guild declined further comment.

The AMPTP also kept quiet Tuesday. The studio negotiating unit did post on its Web site an estimate of the losses a SAG strike would cost the industry as a whole.

AFTRA also stayed mum, declining comment on either the contract expiration or the studio offer. SAG, on the other hand, has publicly spoken out against the AFTRA contract and engaged in a campaign to get the 44,000 actors who are members of both unions to vote it down.

Results of that ratification vote will be announced July 8.

Over the last couple weeks SAG and AFTRA have had actors sign on to statements of solidarity indicating their support for or against the AFTRA contract. SAG reports it has more than 4,000 names, including most recently Sean Penn. AFTRA also has thousands on its list, including Alec Baldwin.

Meanwhile, it was business as usual at the TV studios, which are sticking to their production schedules. Filming continues on a number of series, including "Prison Break," "24," "Private Practice," "Pushing Daisies," "Scrubs," "Criminal Minds," "My Name Is Earl," "My Own Worst Enemy," "Heroes," "Chuck," "Ghost Whisperer," "NCIS," "90210" and "Army Wives."

The networks have been busy picking up projects, casting and preparing for the Television Critics Assn. press tour, which is expected to begin Tuesday as planned.

On the film production side, most projects wrapped before Monday's contract deadline, but some remained in production Tuesday, including Fox's "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" and Sony's "Angels & Demons."

Nellie Andreeva contributed to this report.
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