Writers Strike Reality Sets In

Photo: Photo illustration: AP

Tireless strike reporter Nikki Finke brings us news this morning that tensions between the Writers Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are now at an all-time high, with all negotiations stalled indefinitely. Finke says Sunday's talks broke down when the AMPTP failed to deliver on promises it had made in back-channel discussions, and now both sides are wary of scheduling new talks, meaning this thing could go on for quite a while. Variety thinks a resolution could be as far away as the middle of next year.

In today's New York Times, Alessandra Stanley says the strike could mean, among other things, that there will be no new Christmas specials on TV this holiday season — but at what cost? Well, unlike during the 1988 strike, which occurred in the Stone Ages before Nintendo Wii, Netflix, and YouTube, TV viewers will probably have more entertainment options than watching the same crappy reruns into next May, meaning networks can expect ratings to get even worse than they are already. Production on TV shows like Back to You and The New Adventures of Old Christine are shutting down sooner than expected, as show runners picket in support of writers. Plus, Variety reports that, without late-night talk shows, film studios find themselves with one less place to plug their movies, making Fred Claus' guaranteed failure even more guaranteed. Maybe Hollywood and Christmas are both doomed!

Deals, Lies & Backchannelling: Why This Is A Bigger Mess Now Than Ever Before [Deadline Hollywood Daily]
WGA strike could go into 2008 [Variety]
The Spirits of TV Past, Present and Future [NYT]
TV shows going quickly dark [Variety]
Strike impacts film marketing [Variety]