« An Evening With 'There Will Be Blood" Director and Cast | Main | The Onion's "Year of Flops" »

More Writers Strike Blues

With the WGA strike now in its fifth day and no clear end in sight, no new contract talks were scheduled as of yesterday afternoon.

Wga_strike_sally_field_3 Dave McNary writes for Variety that "the WGA's caveat is substantial -- that the companies need to make the first move by responding to its last proposal from Sunday, when the talks fell apart amid a welter of blame and recriminations."

"The companies sought to get us to bargain against ourselves in that time," WGA West president Patrick Verrone said. "Thanks to the resolve and patience of our negotiation committee, we did not. The last move made on Sunday was our presentation of a comprehensive package. It is up to the companies to respond to that package. When they indicate that they are ready to do so, we will return to the bargaining table as soon as possible."

Verrone also said that at least 3,000 people have picketed during each day of the strike, according to Variety.

Meanwhile, Variety's Adam  Dawtrey suggests that  Hollywood might still be able to find talent, far from the WGA picket lines: in Great Britain. According to Dawtrey:

The subject is so delicate that no one will discuss it on the record. Indeed, some would prefer that the subject not be raised publicly at all for fear of drawing the WGA's attention to the gray area in which the U.K. biz operates...

The London grapevine is abuzz with gossip that marquee American producers have been scouting for non-WGA writers for film or TV projects they would funnel through British production companies. Hollywood's majors have lodged discreet inquiries with agents and lawyers about the availability of their clients.

"We are contacting the major U.K. broadcasters and producers, and the UK Film Council , asking them not to dump U.K. material into the U.S. market and not to dress up American projects to look as though they are British," said general secretary Bernie Corbett. "Strike-breaking would at best be a short-term payday but would have a devastating long-term effect on a writer's U.S. career."

But "it could be an extraordinary opportunity for British writers to get a shot at big studio projects that they otherwise would never get a shot at," confided one U.K.-based studio exec.


One last tidbit of Variety strike news: Variety's "Season Pass" TV blog noted yesterday with 20/20 hindsight that NBC's decision to start the 2007-08 season of The Office with four hour-long episodes  in effect "robs The Office of a month's worth of first-run content pending a writers' strike that, of course, is no longer pending. With this week's shutdown of the show's production, instead of six weeks of The Office remaining, there are only two."

I haven't been a huge fan of NBC's version of The Office, much preferring Ricky Gervais' more subtle and nuanced original BBC series, and I thought those hour-long episodes this season felt bloated and unnecessary to begin with. But  maybe reruns of the show in a couple of weeks will win me over somehow.

See yesterday's Blog Stage post for a video of The Office writers on the picket lines.

-- Daniel Lehman

Dig This


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference More Writers Strike Blues:


The comments to this entry are closed.