Long live the strike! Wait, no.
Three long months of no TV has finally ended. Well, will finally end tomorrow when writers return to work. Members of the WGA voted overwhelmingly (92.5%) in favor of ending the strike.
Now the networks are busy working out when shows will come back, with some returning as soon as possible and others not coming back until next season. However, there will most likely not be any new episodes of scripted shows until April. Couple that with the fact that American Gladiators is over on Sunday and it makes the next six weeks seem much longer than they really will be.
Statements from both sides after the jump:
“The strike is over. Our membership has voted, and writers can go back to work,” said Patric M. Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America, West. “This was not a strike we wanted, but one we had to conduct in order to win jurisdiction and establish appropriate residuals for writing in new media and on the Internet. Those advances now give us a foothold in the digital age. Rather than being shut out of the future of content creation and delivery, writers will lead the way as TV migrates to the Internet and platforms for new media are developed.”
The success of this strike is a significant achievement not only for ourselves but the entire creative community, now and in the future,” said Michael Winship, president of the Writers Guild of America, East. “The commitment and solidarity of our members made it happen and have been an inspiration not only to us but the entire organized labor movement. We will build on that energy and unity to make our two unions stronger than ever.”
WGAW and WGAE members will next vote to ratify the tentative three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The membership ratification vote will be conducted by mail and also at membership meetings on February 25, 2008.
The Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP) also made the following joint statement:
This is a day of relief and optimism for everyone in the entertainment industry. We can now all get back to work, with the assurance that we have concluded two groundbreaking labor agreements — with our directors and our writers — that establish a partnership through which our business can grow and prosper in the new digital age. The strike has been extraordinarily difficult for all of us, but the hardest hit of all have been the many thousands of businesses, workers and families that are economically dependent on our industry. We hope now to focus our collective efforts on what this industry does best – writers, directors, actors, production crews, and entertainment companies working together to deliver great content to our worldwide audiences.
Peter Chernin, Chairman and CEO, the Fox Group
Brad Grey, Chairman & CEO, Paramount Pictures Corp.
Robert A. Iger, President & CEO, The Walt Disney Company
Michael Lynton, Chairman & CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Barry M. Meyer, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros.
Leslie Moonves, President & CEO, CBS Corp.
Harry Sloan, Chairman & CEO, MGM
Jeff Zucker, President & CEO, NBC Universal