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After last-minute talks fell apart at 9:30 last night, the Writers Guild has gone on strike, and production will immediately shut down on most late-night talk shows and multiple-camera sitcoms. (Dramas and single-camera comedies, for which scripts lock well in advance of shooting, should be able to produce a few more episodes out of the scripts they have.) As of half an hour ago, supposedly, hundreds of Writers Guild members are picketing Rockefeller Center. (Picketing in L.A. starts at 9 a.m. PST.) Have you seen any picketers? Anyone famous? Is Aaron Sorkin taking time out from Farnsworth rehearsals to picket 30 Rock? Is Tina Fey’s picket sign funnier than his? And, given that Variety reports that writers were told not to bring hors d’oeuvres to the picket lines (“This is not a posh strike!” one memo read), do they seem well-fed?
The strike is getting covered just about everywhere this morning. Variety focuses on the impact of upcoming Directors Guild negotiations on this strike, and also quotes anonymous writers who are upset they’re being forced to walk picket lines at studios where they have relationships. The New York Times and L.A. Times also have stories. The Guild has posted a PDF offering a checklist of its gripes with the producers, and the L.A. Times has a breakdown of how long many of your favorite TV shows will last before they run out of episodes.
We’ll be covering a bunch of different aspects of the strike all day, but first of all: Any picketer sightings?The Strike Has Begun!