Strike Zone: Latest news and updates


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Writers strike timeline

Strike timeline in photos

Wednesday, March 12
Studios dread potential SAG strife

Studio executives insisted Wednesday that the effect of the Hollywood writers strike hasn't hurt their movie-release plans through summer 2009. Full story
Monday, March 10
Strike doesn't faze media buyers
Delays in the development of new original scripted TV series programming caused by the writers strike will have little to no impact on the upfront ad-buying season, according to a new poll of media buyers by Mediaweek. Full story
Wednesday, March 5

Past Deadline: SAG strike feeling inevitable
Past Deadline blogger Ray Richmond is getting the feeling that a SAG strike is becoming more than a possibility -- and wonders why SAG president Alan Rosenberg isn't calling the AMPTP to the bargaining table now before the June 30 deadline puts everyone in desperation mode. More

Thursday, Feb. 28

SAG's N.Y. board: Let the talks begin
SAG says it will be ready to open contract talks with the studios in the spring, but that's not soon enough for the guild's New York board. Full story

Wednesday, Feb. 27

THR Esq.: WGA, Teamsters join on profit participation
The WGA strike may be settled, but writer's union and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters have joined with Calif. state Sen. Sheila Kuehl in support of a bill that would boost revenue to profit participants from content that is licensed from studios to affiliated cable television networks at a lower price due to so-called "vertical integration." More

Tuesday, Feb. 26

WGA members approve contract

The WGA contract has passed muster with guild membership. Some 93.6% of members approved the new three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers. Full story

Walkout helps cable in the long run
For all the agitation it caused the television industry, the writers strike had an undeniably salubrious effect on cable ratings, as seven of the top 10 ad-supported networks in February saw their primetime deliveries swell by double-digit percentages compared with a year ago. Full story

Monday, Feb. 25

Approval expected for WGA contract
The WGA's two-week vote on whether to ratify its new three-year contract culminated Monday with membership meetings on both coasts. The pact is expected to pass muster comfortably. Full story

Thursday, Feb. 21

All too quiet on the post-strike front
At the end of the first full post-strike week, development deals and script sales have been slower than many in the film world anticipated. Full story

Wednesday, Feb. 20

DGA members approve contract
DGA members have "overwhelmingly" approved their new three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, officials said Wednesday. Full story

Tuesday, Feb. 19

Strike's toll on California: $2.5 billion
The ricochet effect from the writers strike might be more far-reaching and long-lasting than first thought.  Full story

Deadline looms for scribes with ABC deals
The clock is ticking for writers who have projects in development at ABC. Sources said the network has set a Wednesday deadline for all scripts -- drama and comedy -- to be turned in. Full story

NBC will present to advertisers
NBC Universal on Tuesday officially did away with its traditional upfront presentation, instead highlighting one-on-one contact with Madison Avenue and mapping out a year-round programming schedule.  Full story

Monday, Feb. 18

Past Deadline: Harlan Ellison says the WGA got screwed -- again
Acclaimed writer and longtime WGA member Harlan Ellison member thinks the Writers Guild of America got a bad deal. As relayed by blogger Ray Richmond, Ellison voted "no" on accepting the deal and gives his reason why.   More

Wednesday, Feb. 13

Contract talks loom for SAG
SAG officials won't say when they might launch negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers to replace a contract that's set to expire June 30.
Full story

Garcia's a regular (or diet) guy
The odds are overwhelming that no other Hollywood writer or producer busied themselves during the WGA strike in quite the same fashion as did "My Name Is Earl" creator/executive producer Greg Garcia.
Full story

Paramount shuffle delays 'Trek'
Dramatically underscoring the need for movie-side execs to review slates following the long writers strike, Paramount on Wednesday bounced six films to new dates and moved two unslotted films to next year's calendar.
Full story

Writers go back to work
 After picketing outside the major studios for the past three months, TV writers went back inside Wednesday, trying to pick up where they'd left off before the strike.
Full story

Showtime picks pilots post-strike
Showtime became an unlikely supplier of strike content when CBS picked up "Dexter" during the heart of the labor stoppage.
Full story

CBS releases post-strike premieres
CBS Wednesday announced the premiere dates and episode orders of its returning series.
Full story

Tuesday, Feb. 12

Writers vote to end strike
In balloting conducted Tuesday at single sites in Beverly Hills and New York, WGA members voted overwhelmingly to end their 100-day walkout.
Full story

New life for United Hollywood
United Hollywood, the community site that became an online water cooler of sorts for writers during the strike, will live on in a new incarnation after the strike ends. 
Full story

Monday, Feb. 11

Talkers too late for Oscar hopefuls
The return of writers -- and celebrities -- to the full palette of late-night shows will be a boon for network television series and upcoming theatrical releases seeking a publicity bump, but it's coming too late for Oscar nominees looking for last-minute publicity.
Full story

Stage set for Cuse
Saturday night, "Lost" executive producer/co-showrunner Carlton Cuse was onstage at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles as a member of the team briefing fellow writers on the tentative agreement struck with the producers.
Full story

Past Deadline: H'wood to fat lady: So sing, already!
Ray Richmond blogs about whether the WGA strike was necessary -- and concludes that while the answer is "yes" and "no," he also notes that its duration could have been much shorter.

Tallying points after the strike
WGA leaders seemed inclined to declare victory and move on, but figuring winners and losers in the aftermath of the writers' tentative contract deal is a complex calculation.
Full story

ABC out front as nets rev up
With a tentative deal in place and an end to the writers strike looming, the broadcast networks on Monday began firming up their plans for what series to bring back for more episodes in the spring.
Full story

Sunday, Feb. 10

Writers could return Wednesday
Hollywood scribes have written a multipart denouement for the industry's epic labor saga.
Full story

Vote to end strike set for Tuesday
The WGA governing bodies in Los Angeles and New York on Sunday unanimously voted to recommend a ratification of the tentative agreement the guild reached with the studios Friday night.
Full story

Strike takes $2 billion toll
The writers strike that began Nov. 5 wrung $2 billion from the local economy, as much as four times more than the 1988 strike that lasted six weeks longer.
Full story

Strike rewrites the TV biz
 The 2007-08 writers strike has lasted half as long as the walkout of 1988, but its short-term and long-term effects on the television business could be more profound and longer-lasting.
Full story

For TV writers, warp speed ahead
Scripted primetime TV comedies and dramas that had been forced to the sidelines face the daunting prospect of making up for a three-month work stoppage, which will mean a profoundly stepped-up writing/production pace.
Full story

VOICEOVER: Lunch will liven up without this strike
Barring an unforeseen eleventh-hour glitch, we can finally get back to business as usual, writes ELIZABETH GUIDER. And that includes talking about anything other than the strike at lunch without drawing quizzical or even condescending stares.
Full story

Gold Rush: Sunday a good day for writers
T.L. Stanley manages to defy Southern California's beautiful 72 degree weather and work up a blog post on the apparently imminent end to the WGA strike -- and celebrate a win for HBO's "The Wire" at the annual WGA Awards ceremony.

Saturday, Feb. 9

Optimism at West Coast meeting
Members of the WGA West, attending an informational meeting on terms of the tentative contract Saturday night showed the same sense of prevailing optimism apparent at a similar meeting in New York earlier in the day, with all those surveyed expressing hope for an imminent end to the writers strike.
Full story

SAG, AFTRA storm clouds part
The SAG storm clouds appear to be lifting. Leaders of the actors union had threatened to rain on the industry's back-to-business parade by adopting a tough negotiating posture in their upcoming contract talks. That dark prospect had industryites fearing yet another potential work stoppage, even as the writers strike appeared to be winding to a close.
Full story

Relief, hope in air at WGA East show
A sense of relief and hope was in the air as the WGA East put on its annual award show in midtown Manhattan Saturday night, but the day's tentative strike settlement was the subject of various comments and punchlines.
Full story

WGAE leaders encouraged by proposed agreement
More than 500 WGA East members poured in to a ballroom at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Manhattan on Saturday afternoon to debate the draft agreement reached by producers and writers early Saturday morning.
Full story

Past Deadline: So the Writers Strike is Basically Over, Right?
OK, so now I'm a little confused, and I'm supposed to be one of these journalistic mucky-mucks who's plugged in and understands this stuff.

Risky Biz: In New York, WGA Members Support Leaders
Big crowds, (mostly good) vibes and Michael Moore were among the things characterizing the scene at the WGA's Crowne Plaza confab in Manhattan on Saturday afternoon.

Winship: Strike could end Monday
WGA East president Michael Winship said at an impromptu news conference Saturday afternoon in New York that the strike could come to an end as early as Monday, but "not necessarily."
Full story

Writers, producers reach tentative deal
WGA members received a memo at 3 a.m. PT Saturday from WGA West president Patric Verrone and WGA East president Michael Winship, outlining a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
Full story
Friday, Feb. 8

Past Deadline: The strike is almost over! Right?
Past Deadline blogger Ray Richmond writes optimistically about the speculation that the WGA strike is almost ready to come to an end -- yet stays cautiously prudent before marching down the street singing "Kumbaya."

Thursday, Feb. 7

Right now it's all on spec
With an entire industry eyeing a pair of WGA meetings Saturday, everybody and their (out of work) brother wants to know when the picket lines will come down. 
Full story

Studios look ahead, cautiously
The strike's impending resolution has heartened studios, specialty divisions and mini-majors that a host of development projects could suddenly be jump-started.
Full story

Icebox finds fond regards
The writers strike has helped thaw out Icebox, an online-entertainment venture first launched in the late-1990s dot-com boom.
Full story

 Raw deals: ABC like dailies show
Add series pickups based on dailies to the list of tweaks to the pilot season this year imposed by the prolonged writers strike.
Full story

Gold Rush: Double downer
Gold Rush blogger T.L. Stanley has a double dose of bad news for the Grammys and the Oscars. First, singer Amy Winehouse will be absent from the music biz kudos show. Sorry, train-wreck fans. Second, with time slipping away, AMPAS president Sid Ganis still hasn't gotten a waiver from the striking WGA.

Wednesday, Feb. 6

Biz revving up amid peace talk
With optimism spreading about an imminent resolution of the writers strike, film agents, producers and development execs are bracing for a barrage of dealmaking.
Full story

New map to pilot season
With the writers strike nearing an end, it looks as if there will be a pilot season this year after all -- but it won't be the pilot season we've all grown to love and hate.
Full story

Gold Rush: After the apocalypse
Gold Rush blogger T.L. STANLEY writes about the WGA West's upcoming Saturday night informational meeting where, presumably, rank-and-file members will hear about progress and sticking points in the 3-month-old walkout.

Tuesday, Feb. 5

WGA members to meet for strike update
The WGA West and the WGA East have set membership meetings for Feb. 9 to update their troops on contract negotiations.
Full story

Stewart pulls punch lines
With writers and producers still at loggerheads, Jon Stewart has pulled out of an entertainment gala -- only it's not the Oscars.
Full story

Post industry sees light, but damage may be done
A settlement of the WGA strike appears imminent, but members of the postproduction industry are worried that it's already be too late to repair irreparable harm.
Full story

Vanity Fair cancels Oscar party
The A-listers might hang around a little longer than usual at the Academy's Governors Ball this year: Vanity Fair has canceled its annual Oscar night party.
Full story

Risky Biz: After the strike, how quickly to strike?
With light possibly at the end of the tunnel for the WGA strike, STEVEN ZEITCHIK speculates in the Risky Biz blog on which studios are hungriest for scripts. 

Monday, Feb. 4

Oscar's light will shine
Academy president Sid Ganis vowed that the 80th Annual Academy Awards will take place as scheduled Feb. 24 at the Kodak Theatre, strike or no strike.
Full story

Nets prepare to go back to work
Contingency plans put in place by the TV networks and studios will have existing series return to the air on average four to six weeks after the official end of the strike.
Full story

Sunday, Feb. 3

More indies announce WGA deals
On the eve of a breakthrough writers strike settlement, several top New York-based indie producers announced Sunday that they've struck their own interim agreements with the WGA East and WGA West.
Full story

Canadians see sellers market
While Canadian broadcasters cue up homegrown drama sales to U.S. networks during the WGA strike, they also have begun mulling how to buy U.S. network series if the traditional upfronts and Los Angeles Screenings in May are canceled.
Full story

Saturday, Feb. 2

Strike talk status spurs rumors
There's a broad sense in Hollywood that something is going to pop soon in the three-month-old writers strike. But there's also some question whether it will be the announcement of substantive progress in contract discussions or just the frayed nerves of those affected by the process.
Full story

Breakthrough in strike talks reported
A breakthrough in contract talks has been reached between Hollywood studios and striking writers and could lead to a tentative deal as early as next week, a person close to the ongoing negotiations said Saturday.
Full story

Friday, Feb. 1 

Lawmakers step in on strike
Lawmakers began taking a more active role in the writers strike this week as a group of California Democrats led by the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee accused a pair network chiefs of dragging their feet.
Full story

Past Deadline: The Oscars are still a firm 'go,' strike or no strike
RAY RICHMOND talks about the upcoming Academy Awards with executive producer Gilbert Cates, who remains confident the show will go on despite the continuing WGA strike.