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Deal Reportedly Reached In Writers' Strike 333

Posted by kdawson
from the gonna-be-a-backlog dept.
BlueshiftVFX writes to let us know that the writers' strike may be over. CNBC and other media are quoting former Disney CEO Michael Eisner: "It's over. They made the deal, they shook hands on the deal. It's going on Saturday to the writers in general... A deal has been made, and they'll be back to work very soon."
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Deal Reportedly Reached In Writers' Strike

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  • I guess... (Score:5, Funny)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Friday February 08, 2008 @11:23AM (#22348732)
    I guess this means the Colbert/Stewart/O'Brien fued has been resolved, too...
    • by mcmonkey (96054)
      Wasn't Stewart on Letterman's show before Conan was on Stewart's and Stewart could spawn Colbert?

      (I don't have Sirius, but I'm sure Stern is taking credit for all of them.)
      • by eln (21727)
        Possibly, but Letterman has writers, so he didn't need to get involved in the fight.
    • Re:I guess... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday February 08, 2008 @11:48AM (#22349130)
      I guess now the shows can go back to the same tired old bits they were rehashing before the strike forced them to get creative for the first time in years. -sigh-
      • by squiggleslash (241428) on Friday February 08, 2008 @12:18PM (#22349634) Homepage Journal
        Well, some of them. The good news is that they can take some of the programs that were suspended due to the Writer's Strike, like Bionic Woman and Journeyman, and go ahead and cancel them.
        • by Thyamine (531612)
          This is exactly what I'm afraid of. I enjoyed Journeyman, and was disappointed that they decided to not even give it a full season, although they were blaming that on the writer's strike. There were some hopeful glimmers that if the writer's strike lasted through the spring pilot season, in the fall they'd have a good chance of getting at least part of a season again. Instead, they felt that having Deal or No Deal on extra nights somehow was a better choice. Thanks NBC for once again dropping a good sho
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by glwtta (532858)
          Bionic Woman could not have possibly been affected by the strike - there is no way that someone was getting paid for writing that.
      • by reddburn (1109121)
        Creative? Replacing one tired genre (a sitcom/hour long crime/medical dramafest) with "Reality"?
      • Didn't you post almost exactly the same sentiment just nine minutes previous? Talk about rehashing old bits...
      • by jacobw (975909)

        I guess now the shows can go back to the same tired old bits they were rehashing before the strike forced them to get creative for the first time in years. -sigh-

        Heh. I'm amused that this came from one [slashdot.org] of [slashdot.org] the [slashdot.org] four [slashdot.org] people to make the same Onion reference!

      • Re:I guess... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by moosesocks (264553) on Friday February 08, 2008 @03:08PM (#22352318) Homepage
        I've actually been rather impressed with some of the new TV programming over the past few years. Also remember that 99% of anything is crap (and that includes reality shows)

        Lost is far from formulaic and repetitive, although the writers have been taking it a bit too far, and need to start winding down the series (ideally in one or two seasons, rather than the proposed three). I lost track halfway through the second season, so I can't comment on how it's been recently.

        Heroes is one of the most popular shows today, and has terrific nerd-appeal. The current season has been somewhat subpar, but the original series was engaging and enjoyable.

        Battlestar Galactica is easily the best-written and produced Sci-Fi series to air in years. It's also quite a bit more palatable for normal audiences.

        24 is the best 80s action movie ever made. Although I don't particularly agree with its politics, it's quite an engaging storyline.

        House is quite good. Perhaps becoming a bit repetitive, but definitely the best of the "medical" shows.

        Mythbusters? How can you read slashdot and not love mythbusters, even in spite of their disregard for the scientific method?

        The Daily Show and Colbert Report singlehandedly got an apathetic generation interested in politics. That's no small feat.

        Over in the UK, they've got Top Gear, The Mighty Boosh, the current incarnation of Dr Who, along with a fantastic array of other programming that doesn't make it to the US -- Thanks to advances [youtube.com] in filmmaking technology, their documentaries and nature series are also absolutely captivating to watch.

        (After writing this post, I feel the need to assert that I'm not a couch potato! The magic of TiVo lets me save the good stuff for saturday nights.)
  • Is it? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by porcupine8 (816071)
    I've heard rumblings elsewhere that Eisner is spewing crap, and honestly he's not someone I'm going to trust without outside confirmation. When a writer says it's over, I'll believe it.
    • Re:Is it? (Score:5, Informative)

      by NekSnappa (803141) on Friday February 08, 2008 @11:32AM (#22348862)
      Well according to the Writers Guild website

      The Latest Word

      (2/4/08)

      Dear Fellow Members,

      I would like to update you on where we stand with bargaining with the AMPTP. While we have made important progress since the companies re-engaged us in serious talks, negotiations continue. Regardless of what you hear or read, there are many significant points that have yet to be worked out.

      In order to keep members abreast of the latest developments, informational meetings are being planned by both Guilds for this weekend - details to be announced. Neither the Negotiating Committee, nor the West Board or the East Council, will take action on the contract until after the membership meetings.

      As the talks proceed, never forget that during this period it is critical for us to remain on the picket lines united and strong. We are all in this together.

      In Solidarity,

      John F. Bowman

      Chair, WGA Negotiating Committee

      • Re:Is it? (Score:5, Informative)

        by longacre (1090157) * on Friday February 08, 2008 @11:58AM (#22349346) Homepage
        That WGA post was made three days before Eisner's statement. Still, Eisner is the only one saying it's over. No one from WGA or any studios have said a word.
        • by andphi (899406)
          You're exactly right.

          The story isn't that the strike is over or even that the strike might be over soon (though it might be). The "story" is that Michael Eisner thinks the strike is (or should be) over. Eisner sided with the AMPTP, so this announcement of opinion is no surprise.

          The truth is, the strike ends when the WGA says it does. The WGA membership hasn't yet voted on the latest proposals, so the picketing continues.
          • Michael Eisner, the Steve Ballmer of the entertainment industry.
            • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

              Some choice Eisner quotes:

              "Writers, Writers, Writers!"
              "I'm gonna fscking KILL the WGA!" *throws chair*
              "The Creative Commons licenses are a virus that's destroying the movie industry!"

              and, finally:

              "Linux violates 439 Disney patents!"
        • Sumner Redstone of Viacom seems to believe [yahoo.com] the strike is about to end too. I'd imagine Eisner's lack of power means he's one of the few people who can talk directly about what's going on.
  • Terms? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by timeOday (582209) on Friday February 08, 2008 @11:24AM (#22348752)
    With no linked article and no information in the summary, I'm curious if the writers got their Internet distribution royalties after all?
    • by kellyb9 (954229)
      While I understand the argument that they are "entitled" to Internet Distro Royalities, I can't say that I fully agree. I guess I tend to put things into the context of what would the average company do if I came up with something novel on their dime. Maybe, I'd see some of the profit, but probably not, I can't see why we hold these people to higher standards. In other words, if I work for company A and devise a really good process for something. That company can basically use that process or parts of that
  • by TheBiGW (982686)
    'As a result of studio cutbacks, however, many of the writers who went on strike are unlikely to return to the same big-money contracts they'd had as individuals with the studios.' It seems like no-one won from these strikes. TV companies take write downs, writers are not paid as well as they were, everyone looses.
    • by jandrese (485)
      Depends if the writers are going to get new media royalties I guess. That could be a pyhrric victory for the writers.
    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday February 08, 2008 @11:51AM (#22349198) Homepage
      'As a result of studio cutbacks, however, many of the writers who went on strike are unlikely to return to the same big-money contracts they'd had as individuals with the studios.'

      That sounds a lot to me like "We fired these guys for supporting the union, but we can't say that because that would get us in trouble with the NLRB."
      • by Sancho (17056) on Friday February 08, 2008 @12:42PM (#22349992) Homepage
        The studios weren't making as much money due to the strike. It's pretty reasonable for them to cut back on the budget. Now that the writers are willing to write again, they get to deal with the budget.

        I was pulling for the writers from the beginning, but we can't pretend that money just grows on trees like the government likes to think.
      • by BeanThere (28381)
        It might be, but it's also just a fact that companies can't generate revenues without a product if the people creating the product are striking, and without revenues you really actually genuinely truly in fact can't pay people. The options for a business to keep pay people are pretty much to either sink cash (if they're lucky enough to have) or take out a loan. Such is the nature of striking.
  • Too late? (Score:4, Funny)

    by n0dna (939092) on Friday February 08, 2008 @11:27AM (#22348798)
    I've nearly forgotten which couple of shows even held my attention.
  • Original story link (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheBiGW (982686) on Friday February 08, 2008 @11:30AM (#22348838)
    This seems to be missing so here it is: http://www.cnbc.com/id/23057002/ [cnbc.com]
  • Sooooo.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nickj6282 (896871) * <nickj6282 AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday February 08, 2008 @11:30AM (#22348840)
    We're just not going to get an article with this one? Are we supposed to take Kdawson's word for it? Way to go!
  • Darn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Friday February 08, 2008 @11:31AM (#22348856) Homepage Journal
    Part of me was hoping this would never be resolved and that this would eventually cause a media revolution. Whether it was the rise of local access channels or simultaneous live airing and official torrent release, I thought there was a small chance it might have really changed things from top to bottom.

    Ah well, at least The Office will be back.
  • by webword (82711) on Friday February 08, 2008 @11:33AM (#22348880) Homepage
    Man, if the strike is over too soon then the new reality shows will get killed.

    I mean, aren't you dying to see My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad [nbc.com]?

    It debuts on February 18th! Don't miss it, kids!
  • Like any good comedy it's all about timing. Writers used the directors deal as a template, or so it's rumored. Then again, now the studios have had a wonderful excuse to cut some dead weight and they'll have a deal in time for the Oscars.
  • oblig. (Score:2, Funny)

    by syrinx (106469)
    I'm sure this will be needed at some point, so let's get it out of the way now:

    Area Man Constantly Mentioning He Doesn't Own A Television [theonion.com]
  • Sources say that once Jack Bauer got bailed out of jail, he then met with the WGA to discuss the details over a friendly cup of White House approved [latimes.com] tea. Interestingly, it took only 30 minutes for the WGA to agree on a 30% salary cut.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by pandrijeczko (588093)
      I say put Jack Bauer in "Lost" - it would only take HIM 24 hours to get off the island...
    • by sconeu (64226)
      A lady in my Weight Watchers(tm) group was a production assistant on 24, and she got laid off due to the strike.
  • Not dead yet (Score:2, Informative)

    by xsarpedonx (707167)
    Although it would appear that the strike is likely on it's way to being over, it's not quite over yet. [deadlineho...ddaily.com]

    Here's the WGA's timetable [deadlineho...ddaily.com] for the next few days which may result in the actual end of the strike.
  • Let's hope that the deal means no more crappy sitcoms that just take and take from old favorites like Seinfeld, Friends, & Cheers. That type of workmanship is why they've been getting crappy pay in the first place.
  • by jbarr (2233) on Friday February 08, 2008 @11:51AM (#22349194) Homepage
    ...for all of that quality programming to return!
  • whenever the subject matter of tv comes up, i can count on someone in the comments smug enough to loudly announce that he doesn't watch or own a television. who do i get to ridicule now?

    where oh where is my favorite smug stereotype? [theonion.com]

  • by initialE (758110) on Friday February 08, 2008 @11:54AM (#22349258)
    It was either that or outsource scripts to India. Imagine Bollywood style comedy on American TV...
  • 40 comments about the writer strike ending and not a single one of you posted the obligatory:

    That's Great, When's Battlestar Galactica Going to Be On Finally?

    They just don't make geeks like they used to, I guess.
    • Go Battlestar! (Score:2, Informative)

      by BlueshiftVFX (1158033)
      actually I Included that when I submitted the article! since BSG is in it's final season it currently got cut short to 16 eps. now hopefully it can go out with the full 20-22 eps. and finish as intended.

      (I used to work on the show)
  • for shows like Prison Break, Ugly Betty* and Lost? Will their seasons just end as they are or will they just have a little hiatus and continue the season in a few weeks?

    *obviously I don't watch the show, as charming as it is. I'm asking on behalf of others
  • Pity It's Over (Score:5, Informative)

    by Phoenix666 (184391) on Friday February 08, 2008 @12:03PM (#22349416)
    I had a dark horse hope that perhaps the writers would learn to disintermediate the studios. The reason is a friend recently turned me on to BBC's "I.T. Crowd," which you can only watch in the States over the intertubes.

    There are no commercials in the webcast, of course, but the BBC shop sends me emails advertising box DVD sets of Doctor Who and the like; definitely a fave show and the sort of message I'm open to, as opposed to endless commercials on regular TV for cars and feminine hygiene products, which I'm not in the market for.

    • <PEDANT>Just a quick note, The IT Crowd is on Channel 4, not the BBC.</PEDANT>
    • There has been some movement in that direction. For example, screenwriter John August [imdb.com] recently decided to start shooting a "short-film-slash-web-pilot" on DV. Here's how he explained his decision [johnaugust.com] to take production into his own hands:

      The message from writers to the studios had been, "Come back, baby. We can work this out." But after the second time negotiations fell apart, the message became, "Maybe we should see other people."

      I decided to start seeing other people.

      And then there's StrikeTV [myspace.com]. As Strik

  • I heard he dropped out because without writers he had nothing to say. :) Think he will make a comeback?
  • Whew... (Score:2, Funny)

    by CannedTurkey (920516)
    I had begun to worry that my supply of fresh books might dry up any day now.
  • Great (Score:4, Funny)

    by slapout (93640) on Friday February 08, 2008 @01:02PM (#22350366)
    Now we can get new episodes of our favorite reality shows. Oh wait...
  • by VValdo (10446) on Friday February 08, 2008 @02:04PM (#22351350)
    Guys... Eisner proclaiming the strike over is just part of a PR effort to attempt to pressure writers to vote for the strike proposals by creating the wide expectation that the strike is over, that it's a done deal. That way, if the writers turn the proposal down, people feel let down.

    The strike is NOT over.

    If you watch the video [cnbc.com] where Eisner insists the strike to be over, he says quietly at the end that he is really just passing on a rumor. He also points out that the writers have to vote on the offer. He says the writers would be "insane" not to take it, but he also previously had stated [wikipedia.org] that the entire strike was "insanity" so he's not the most unbiased person on this.

    The strike is not over until the full WGA membership votes on the proposal. They may do so, but they may not. The terms of the contract proposal have not even been seen by the writers, so there's no way to know right now what's going to happen.

    If you don't believe me, may I recommend this post by Joss Wheden [blogspot.com], or this one [deadlineho...ddaily.com], or this one [deadlineho...ddaily.com].

    W
  • by steppin_razor_LA (236684) on Friday February 08, 2008 @04:52PM (#22353846) Homepage Journal
    WGAW is having a meeting Saturday night with its members to discuss the deal points proposed by the studios. I don't know if the studios have finished "inking" their proposal (i.e. I believe that there was a verbal "fuzzy" agreement but specific legal language is still being drafted).

    The deal will be presented to the membership on Saturday where I believe an informal vote will be taken. I believe that a full ratification vote is required by the constitution for the deal to be formally accepted but that the Board of Directors can lift the strike without before that happens.

    The terms for compensation for Internet re-usage in the DGA deal were not very appealing for Writers and Actors. I haven't seen what the deal terms are that have been proposed to the WGA, but if they didn't make good progress on this, the deal might be met with a mixed reception by members.

    That said, the Negotiating Committee and the Board of Directors have the pulse of the membership my guess is that the membership will go along with the recommendations of the Negotiating Committee and the Board of Directors. I don't know how unanimous the NC/BoD are with respect to the deal (i.e. whether there is agreement that the deal is fair enough or whether the strike should go on longer).

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