Writers'-Strike Talks Break Down Again, 2008 to Be Really Boring

Photo: Photo illustration: AP

Negotiations between the Writers Guild and the AMPTP broke down Friday night, and no one's sure when they'll resume — possibly never! Producers reportedly walked out after WGA leaders refused to drop a few of their larger demands, including jurisdiction over writers for reality TV and animation, the right to strike in sympathy with other unions, and a proposal that would let third-party arbitrators, instead of the marketplace, decide the value of transactions.

Writers are accusing the AMPTP of planning their walkout in advance and holding talks just for show (if you'll recall, the WGA totally called it last week), while producers are charging the guild's leadership with having "an ideological mission far removed from the interests of their members." Also, now if the Directors Guild, whose own contract expires in July, comes to an agreement with studios soon, it will likely be seen as undermining the writers. Bottom line? The strike is probably going to last for a long time, and in 2008 we'll have nothing but reruns and reality shows to entertain us. Thank goodness for Grand Theft Auto IV!

WGA talks leave bitterness [Variety]
Screenwriters Dig in for an Extended Brawl [NYT]
Reruns and reality will rule [LAT]