WGA Talks Extend Past Deadline

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A scene from the 2007-2008 writers strike

Negotiations go into overtime as the town holds its breath.

Update: A deal was in fact reached.

Negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and AMPTP studio alliance continued past expiration of the current contract 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, notwithstanding earlier WGA statements that they would strike immediately upon expiration in the absence of a deal.

It's not known how much longer the parties will continue talking. A press blackout is in effect.

It was not immediately clear which issues still separated the parties as the clock struck midnight, but sources earlier told THR that a host of issues remained in play. They included:

* Payment of overages when writers work longer on episodes of short order series, an issue referred to as “span” because the crux of the matter is the time span that a writer spends working on a script.

* Limitations on holds and exclusivity — the practice of putting TV writers on ice, uncompensated, between seasons even on short order series, where the smaller number of episodes mean that the writers are making less to begin with than on traditional network series.

* Script parity, the WGA demand that scripts for all platforms be subject to the same wage floors regardless of production budget.

* Basic wage increases and “outsize increases,” the WGA insistence that a variety of categories of writer get extra-large salary increases.

* Cash infusions into the guild’s troubled health plan.

The Hollywood Reporter will update as details emerge.