The Beginning of the End?

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Well, no one thought it would happen this early, but for the first time in over three weeks, the Writers Guild and the AMPTP are heading back to the negotiating table tomorrow to resume talks about the writers' expired contract.

While the agreement to resume talks is certainly a good sign, does this mean we're in the home stretch? Honestly, I have no idea, and anyone who tells you they know is either lying or their name is Nick Counter... in which case they're definitely lying. But most people seem to feel the strike will still drag on for a few weeks. After all, while neither side wants the work stoppage to last forever, the TV studios can certainly use this to activate force majeur clauses in their overall deals, flushing deals with producers and pods who haven't been productive.

Here's a link to an article in tomorrow's Variety about a poll finding that while most of Hollywood is rooting for the writers, many people also believe we're looking at another 1-2 months... and most believe the strike will also be resolved in favor of the omnipotent media conglomerates.

Earlier this evening, WGA President Patric Verrone sent an email to WGA members urging "continued dedication to our daily picketing schedule. In consultation with our strike captains, and pursuant to fewer TV and film projects in production, we are reducing the minimum hours of member strike support from 20 hours to 12 hours a week, starting tomorrow. Scheduled picketing of studios will take place from Mondays through Thursdays with Fridays reserved for meetings and other special events. The new hours for each location are available here."

Unlike the first round of negotiations, which was heavily covered by the press, both sides have agreed to a complete media blackout so negotiations can carry on fairly and privately.

Stay tuned... more tomorrow...