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Hollywood film and TV writers going back to negotiations

first_imgHollywood film and TV writers who’ve been on a nearly two-week strike against studios will return to contract negotiations on Nov. 26, their union and producers said Friday. In a joint statement, the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said both sides had agreed to return to formal negotiations. The statement said no other details would be released. Meanwhile, writers would continue on the picket lines, said Gregg Mitchell, a spokesman for the guild. Some writers applauded the return to talks. “That’s fabulous, that’s great,” said Sean Jablonski, a writer for the FX drama “Nip/Tuck.” “You can’t get a deal until two sides sit down and talk about it,” Jablonski said. “It’s a good message to hear around the holidays,” he said. John Aboud, a TV writer and a strike captain, said he hoped a return to talks would quickly lead to a contract. “I’m delighted to see they’re starting to move forward and I hope we can wrap this thing up soon,” said Aboud. It’s unclear what pushed both sides back to the table. The strike has been bruising and very public, with writers being joined by actors on picket lines and producers taking out full-page newspaper ads to tell their side of the story. Since the strike began Nov. 5, late night talk shows and several sitcoms have gone to reruns. Other shows are counting down the number of episodes they have left before running out of scripts. Industry analysts had previously thought there would be enough scripts to produce shows well into January. But many shows have gone off the air at a faster pace than expected, as cast members and show runners have refused to cross picket lines. Compensation for shows offered on the Internet is at the heart of the dispute. The producers have said it’s offering writers a share of licensing fees paid by Web sites to stream shows. The union has rejected the offer, saying the payments wouldn’t begin until six weeks after a show goes online and viewer interest is nearly exhausted. Writers also want a cut of revenue from non-skippable ads contained in many shows streamed free online. The alliance slammed the door on that demand. The last writers walkout in 1988 lasted 22 weeks and cost the industry $500 million. The entertainment industry contributes an estimated $30 billion a year to the Los Angeles economy, or about $80 million a day.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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