BURNING STRIKE QUESTION NO. 1: So…is there any end in sight?
Short answer: No. Eleven weeks into the strike — and five weeks after the WGA and AMPTP stopped talking — there are no new negotiations scheduled. (The WGA refuses to take issues including jurisdiction over reality TV writers off the table in advance, and the producers refuse to negotiate until they do.) The WGA, meanwhile, canceled its West Coast awards show, three days after NBC and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association scaled the Golden Globes down to a sad press conference. And the Guild’s strong alliance with SAG is forcing Oscar organizers to consider solutions like postponing the ceremony to avoid a night of zero stars: SAG prez Alan Rosenberg insists potential Oscar noms will continue to honor picket lines ”for as long as the strike takes.” Tinseltown’s white knight may just be the Directors Guild of America, which announced a new three-year deal with the producers association on Jan 17. The DGA, whose previous contract is up in June, faced many of the same compensation issues as the writers — and the Guild went into the negotiations armed with its own study on new media. With a deal between the DGA and the producers now hammered out, the WGA and the AMPTP will feel more pressure to end their standoff and get back to the table. —Vanessa Juarez
NEXT PAGE: What about next summer’s movies?