Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Renewed Contract Talks Between Studios and Writers Union Was a Surprise to WGA Leaders on Just-Finished Call (Exclusive)

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The good news is that next week talks will resume between the Writers Guild of America and the studios aka the AMPTP. There had been an impasse and a lot of scuttlebutt about TV showrunners trying to take over negotiations. (It wasn’t true, they were just frustrated.)

The announcement of the meeting between both sides came in the late afternoon. But I can tell you exclusively that the news was shock to 50 or so “Captains” of the WGA strike. They had been on 90 minute Zoom call just prior to the announcement and no one in the upper echelons even mentioned that talks were back on.

“They read about it on Deadline.com,” says an insider of the trade online site that broke the news.

“All through the call the captains were asking what they could tell their teams to boost them up about the strike. Was there an end in sight? And all they were told was, stay the course, you’re doing the right thing.”

It’s hoped that next week’s meeting will actually contain talks, or be the prelude to immediate talks after so much time has passed. The TV networks can’t afford to let the strikes go on much longer without jeopardizing the 2023-24 season entirely. That would mean game shows and sports specials and no episodic TV at all unless everyone returns to work in the next month, says a source.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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