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The Strike Is Winding Down

By Rachel
February 9, 2008 - 5:17 AM

Next week could begin with the end of the strike in sight.

After talks resumed between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) several weeks ago, there was room for cautious optimism that a deal could be reached between both sides that would bring an end to the writers' strike. The strike began on November 5, and with a meeting set for this Saturday, February 9, the time may be approaching for the writers to put down their picket signs. Using the deal reached by the Directors Guild of America (DGA) as a starting point, negotiators for the WGA and AMPTP have reached an agreement that they hope will be embraced by the rest of the writers' union.

Informal meetings set for Saturday with the East and West branches of the WGA will share the details of the agreement with guild members. If the reaction to the proposed terms is positive, the guild will move quickly to ratify the contract. The process would take several weeks, but the strike itself could end as early as Monday, allowing the writers to return to work while the contract is finalized. Although it cannot be guaranteed that the writers will accept the contract, former Walt Disney chief executive Michael Eisner seemed confident during an interview on CNBC's Fast Money. "It's impossible the writers will turn it down," he said.

If the contract goes through as expected, popular shows such as CSI could return to production and add more shows to the current, shortened seasons. TV executives have considered February 15 the deadline for saving the current season and the upcoming pilot season, and networks are currently making tentative plans for continuing their series if the writers accept the proposed deal this weekend. According to industry executives, shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and its spinoffs would need eight weeks after the strike is over to return to television screens. While not all series will film more episodes for the present season, Ausiello is reporting that CBS is planning to film four to seven additional episodes of all three CSI series, to be aired in April and May. As with the proposed contract itself, these numbers remain uncertain at this point. More concrete details will become available after the WGA meetings.

The following articles from Variety provided information used in this article: "Strike: An end in sight?", WGA, studios hammer on details and WGA schedules Saturday meeting. Eisner's opinions can be read in an article found at the Times Colonist. Information about the number of episodes that could be produced for various television shows can be seen on the Ausiello Report. Thanks to WhosLaughingNow and Destiny from TalkCSI for sharing several links.

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