An email circulating is urging all scribes to show up at Pico Boulevard studio by 10 a.m. Undoubtedly, the guild’s stewards are mindful of the fact that by Friday scribes will have been on the march for five days and would benefit from a big morale-rally, and it’s likely that guild organizers and strike captains can use a break from having to fan out across the 818, 323 and 310 area codes. Plus, the concentrated effort targeting one studio is sure to generate more media coverage. (Pictured left, the studio entrance circa mid-1930s.)
As for why the WGA set its sights on 20th (the studio where John Ford made “The Grapes of Wrath” and “How Green Was My Valley,” interestingly enough), it’s unclear, but one explanation that springs to mind is that the sprawling Rancho Park is just across the street. A nice verdant respite for weary pickets and tired feet. (And it’s got a great little bandstand just right for rhetorical grandstanding.)
By the time the scribe tribe gathers on Friday, it’s a safe bet that many strikers will be fired up by the comments News Corp. prexy Peter Chernin made during the company’s third-quarter earnings conference call on Wednesday.
“We save more money in deals and story costs and not producing pilots than we lose in advertising,” Chernin said on the call. “It will help growth in market share in Fox Broadcasting, and we’re better positioned than any of our colleagues. Our animated shows are a year ahead in terms of scripts, we have ‘American Idol’ and other reality shows coming. A strike lasting longer than eight months or a year would end up hurting other parts of the business.”