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Writer's Strike Thread


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Updated February 12: http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/

STRIKE OVER: Hollywood Back To Work!

Here's the official WGA announcement to striking writers:

On Tuesday, members of the Writers Guilds East and West voted by a 92.5% margin to lift the restraining order that was invoked on November 5th. The strike is over.

Writing can resume immediately. If you were employed when the strike began, you should plan to report to work on Wednesday. If you're not employed at an office or other work site, call or e-mail your employer that you are resuming work. If you have been told not to report to work or resume your services, we recommend that you still notify your employer in writing of your availability to do so. Questions concerning return-to-work issues should be directed to the WGAW legal department or the WGAE’s assistant executive director.

The decision to begin this strike was not taken lightly and was only made after no other reasonable alternative was possible. We are profoundly aware of the economic loss these fourteen weeks have created not only for our members but so many other colleagues who work in the television and motion picture industries. Nonetheless, with the establishment of the WGA jurisdiction over new media and residual formulas based on distributor’s gross revenue (among other gains) we are confident that the results are a significant achievement not only for ourselves but the entire creative community, now and in the future.

We hope to build upon the extraordinary energy, ingenuity, and solidarity that were generated by your hard work during the strike.

Over the next weeks and months, we will be in touch with you to discuss and develop ways we can use our unprecedented unity to make our two guilds stronger and more effective than ever.

Now that the strike has ended, there remains the vote to ratify the new contract. Ballots and information on the new deal, both pro and con, will be mailed to you shortly. You will be able to return those ballots via mail or at a membership meeting to be held Monday, February 25th, 2008, at times and locations to be determined.

Thank you for making it possible. As ever, we are all in this together.

Best,

Patric M. Verrone

President, WGAW

Michael Winship

President, WGAE

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/vote...st-over-90-yes/

Strike Vote In For WGA: 90.3% Say "Yes"

Hollywood writers tonight gave their guild leaders an overwhelming authorization to strike. A walkout could come as soon as November 1st, but I hear that's unlikely as long as progress is being made during the ongoing negotiations with studios and networks. strike.jpgThe Writer's Guild Of America announced tonight that the 5,507 ballots cast among its 12,000 members was the highest turnout in its history -- and underscores the passion and solidarity of the writers to win concessions from the Alliance Of Motion Picture & Television Producers. "It shows an overwhelmingly engaged and activated community of writers who care about this negotiation and support our goals," said WGA West president Patric Verrone, himself an animation writer, in a statement tonight. "Writers do not want to strike, but they are resolute and prepared to take strong, united action to defend our interests. What we must have is a contract that gives us the ability to keep up with the financial success of this ever-expanding industry."

Earlier this evening, I reported that the WGA East authorized the strike by a blowout 90% even though the WGA East was expected to be more anti-strike than the way larger WGA West. "This historic vote sends an unequivocal message to the AMPTP, loud and clear," said WGA east president Michael Winship. "We will not be taken advantage of and we will not be fooled."

Tonight's total WGA tally blew away the producers. Judging from the phone calls I've received from several of the Hollywood moguls, the vote had its intended effect. As I reported last night, the strike authorization "Yes" vote has OKed a walkout that will bring Hollywood to its knees when it happens. All that was left to be determined was the percentages by which the 12,000-strong Writer's Guild of America members wanted the labor action. These numbers were important to both the WGA and to the studios and networks in order to gauge the strength of the strike fervor. The feeling was always that if the total of the "Yes" votes was anywhere above 75%, the studios and networks had a giant headache on their hands.

I say the moguls shouldn't make the mistake of consoling themselves that most of the writers' ballots were mailed in before AMPTP took that residuals rollback off the bargaining table. Because it wouldn't have mattered: the percentages would have been the same. But that was a huge concession, despite the WGA negotiators spin on it last night, and for the first time it sparked a mood of optimism among the writers that a strike could be averted. Yes, the WGA contract will expire Oct. 31 without a new one in place, but that date is meaningless because the WGA negotiators are not expected to call a strike until weeks after -- in fact, right before New Year's when the timing will be most strategic and the moguls' vacations ruined.

The good news is the WGA and AMPTP are returning to the bargaining table on Monday for a face to face session, which has been rare during these negotiations going on since mid-July. The bad news is if the producers don't understand the degree to which this is a very determined and unified guild in no mood to be pushed around on the dozens of other rollbacks remaining besides residuals. The writers' negotiating team is determined to bring members a very real downloading income stream. Sure, right now no one knows what those revenues will be, but the guild won't move past the difficult New Media issue when the current WGA rallying cry is "Remember the DVDs!"

This WGA team isn't gonna fold like the previous crew led by John Wells because this time around the writers are really in charge, not the hyphenates. (I still marvel at the way Wells ran for WGA president in 1999 and won even though he was a preeminent TV producer, split the Writer's Guild into haves and have nots, then failed in 2001 to stand firm on any of the hard issues so as to ensure no strike would interrupt his own productions. As if that weren't chutzpah enough, shortly after the WGA contract was resolved, Wells quietly informed his West Wing writers that the provisions in their own contracts for increased pay and promotions would not be honored in the series' upcoming 3rd season. And the timing of his move made it almost impossible for them to find new jobs.)

Again, I'll reiterate that this strike can be averted only if the studios and networks decide to. There's no question that the WGA top management and negotiating committee -- Patric Verrone, Dave Young, John Bowman -- outsmarted the moguls who thought there wouldn't be a separate WGA labor action until June when SAG's contract came due. The producers planned primarily for that timing, not for now. So studios found themselves suddenly scrambling to lock down projects and productions they thought had several more months of unfettered development before a walkout. But the networks were really besides themselves at the WGA's earlier-than-anticipated deadline: with so many deals and so much development done between the start of pilot season in January and the upfronts in May, a WGA walkout even as late as January 1st means network TV is toast. And, at a time when it can least afford it financial- and viewer-wise. (Realistically, how many consumers even differentiate anymore between broadcasters and cable? It's all just programming.) And that's not even taking into account how many of this fall's new network shows are underwhelming -- if not downright tanking. Worse for the TV moguls is the strict strike rules laid down by the WGA organizers last week. TV production would have to shut down. Movie production possibly limp alone. No wonder AMPTP's Nick Counter threw a temper tantrum and threatened a lawsuit.

So far, the WGA has been wily. But they need to stop short of willfull as well, especially with Friday's Dow Jones ending 360 points down, the current credit crunch, and the spectre of further infotainment consolidation (like General Electric selling NBC Universal to Time Warner). As for the AMPTP, this is no time for arrogance. The moguls need to provide an additional income stream that the guild can sell to its members as a major victory. Of course, New Media can still be tweaked and studied well into the future, but even a trickle of new cash flow can transform the WGA's attitude that it's losing too much financial ground to Big Media.

Do it, and do it now.

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A disturbing quote from the NY Times about what would happen to soaps in the event of a writers' strike:

Daytime shows would suffer next. Soap operas like “The Young and the Restless,” viewed by some six million people a day, typically have a monthlong backlog of episodes. Because of their serial nature, soap operas do not perform well in repeats. Networks say they would try to maintain ratings during the day in the event of a strike by substituting more news and sports programming. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/20/arts/tel...ion/20cons.html

So instead of hiring scabs or having producers pitch in, the networks would pre-empt soaps altogether for news and sports. It would be like O.J. Part II - and would finally give networks an opportunity to get out of soaps.

...if there's a strike, daytime is done. It won't survive this.

I have a tendency to agree.

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A disturbing quote from the NY Times about what would happen to soaps in the event of a writers' strike:

So instead of hiring scabs or having producers pitch in, the networks would pre-empt soaps altogether for news and sports. It would be like O.J. Part II - and would finally give networks an opportunity to get out of soaps.

This is the scariest thought to me...I assumed since there were scabs i9n the last strike, we would get some this time.

I can't believe they are planning to shut down production altogether! This is suicide! The actors will still get paid for their guarantees, right?! Why are they wasting that money they spent?

If this is the case, the soaps are NEVER gonna get their audience back!

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I don't think it will happen, this just sounds like it's for dramatic effect. I guess we'll have to wait and see

Cross your fingers. I too suspect it is merely sabre-rattling, but if not the effects will be devastating.

I haven't been following this closely so I assumed they would hire scabs, as they have in the past. Bad enough but not completely hopeless. The possible, though unlikely, upside of that would be an injection of the new writing talent so many of us have been asking for.

The thought of all soaps suffering a lengthy absence is chilling. As Faulkner said upthread...

would finally give networks an opportunity to get out of soaps.
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I haven't been following this closely so I assumed they would hire scabs, as they have in the past. Bad enough but not completely hopeless. The possible, though unlikely, upside of that would be an injection of the new writing talent so many of us have been asking for.

Worst case scenario, the soaps are gone for good

Best case scenario, I'll have my resume ready to go :lol:

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Worst case scenario, the soaps are gone for good

Best case scenario, I'll have my resume ready to go :lol:

Don't laugh!

I've never been one to support scab labour, but if they must let them hire from the seemingly large pool of talented soap fans. I'd love to see some of the storylines and hypotheticals that have been batted around on the web over the years. And it would be people who love the genre and know it well.

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Why don't they hire the very best of the "soap FAN-message board soap writers"?

I've perused many of the online "do-it-yourself" soaps that fans write---some of them are GREAT!

To me, this is another example of TPTB not being innovative and being snobbish.

Talent is talent.

These shows could EASILY be kept in motion.

Look at all the very young struggling novelists who can really write, but their books were flops.

Why not SCOOP them up!?

Writers are everywhere! Good ones!

And lets not forget that there are SOME WRITERS who are so devoted and so love the soaps that

they would be willing to quit the WGA and continue writing for their particular favorite soap, especially

if they're already financially stable and have nothing to lose.

The ONLY REASON that daytime is falling apart is because you have these Prod/Exec. who are set in their ways

and think there's only "one way" to do things.

None of them can think out the box.

And unfortunately, age and being rich and having their "clique" is what

keeps them from stepping up and saving this genre.

They're really shitting on the fans, because these shows could be REVITALIZED during a strike if you want

to know the truth.

Half the soap writers they have right now are "burnt out", "fat & lazy" and need to be retired to begin with.

A strike would be the perfect time to bring in buckets of new blood!

They just don't care about or having any respect for soap fans

and that's all there is to it.

Hell give me a show--I'd make up a team just from all these damn soap boards and

we'd turn soaps BACK into real soaps again, and good ones!

That's what we need. People who are hungry, broke and LOVE the art form!

This is the perfect time to clean house and revitalize these damn shows from the

floor up.

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The only soap which won't really be affected by this is B&B.

B&B tapes 2 episodes a day, thus, the show has twice as many episodes as the other soaps to air so it could last out the strike. Additionally, since Brad Bell is EP and HW I bet he could write a few scripts. Furthermore, Lee Phillip Bell wrote scripts for B&B in its early days so I don't see why, in luxe retirement, she couldn't put pen to paper for a few weeks because that is all this strike will last, it WILL be wrapped up fast.

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Furthermore, Lee Phillip Bell wrote scripts for B&B in its early days so I don't see why, in luxe retirement, she couldn't put pen to paper for a few weeks because that is all this strike will last, it WILL be wrapped up fast.

If she's part of the WGA, whether or not she is retired, isn't that still considered crossing the picket line? And I read another article that says that if a performer also has another role on the same show that they can't do any more work on the show than they did before.

Even thought B&B is on a more accelerated production schedule, it's not the way it was with PORT CHARLES, where they tape a year of shows in six months. I know they speed up productions before holiday breaks, but they are probably, at best, a month ahead of schedule.

And if ATWT, GL, and Y&R get yanked for sports and news, it won't really matter how many episodes B&B has in the can, because it will get yanked for news and sports as well.

The scariest thought to me is, hypothetically, this DOES happen...soaps are replaced with sports/news/reality/game until the strike is resolved. What if that type of programming lures in more viewers than the actual daytime soaps?!

Remember when Lskreet posted the Thanksgiving numbers for a Dog Show, which actually got a higher daily rating than DAYS/PASSIONS?!

I don't want to imagine B&B being replaced with "The CBS Midday News with Katie Couric." Homegirl is bad enough with the one newscast that she can't anchor.

Its crazy that they Producers aren't even considering scabs as an option.

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I don't think it will happen, this just sounds like it's for dramatic effect. I guess we'll have to wait and see

I wish I shared your optimism...but it seems like almost every year there's a threat of a strike, it has taken effect. And residuals(something that sounds like a huge sticking point in the negotiations) are something people, especially writers, are not willing to back down from.

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