Showrunners United: Get back, and we’ll go back

There’s news from the showrunner front.

After today’s rally at Disney, the hyphenates held a long meeting at WGA HQ. They’re not backing down, but they did appear to come to a consensus to try to use whatever leverage they have to woo studios back to the negotiating table.

For now, they’re staying off the job — and writing is out of the question until a settlement is reached. But, “We will gladly return to our (showrunner) jobs the day that the producers return to the negotiating table,” said one person who was at the meeting.

Move seems designed to send the nets and studios a message: If you start bargaining, we’ll help finish up the scripts we’ve already written. Of course, most shows will run out of scripts in a few weeks, which means the offer has an expiration date.

Hyphenates also vowed to stay unified if the studios decide to sue them for breach. “We pledged that if anyone gets sued for breach, then we’re going to stand by them. We won’t go back to work unless those suits are dropped,” the source said.

Showrunners began their powwow with lunch at Burbank’s The Smokehouse. When it became clear there were too many of them to have a meeting at a restaurant, they opted to head to WGA HQ.

CBS Par and 20th have started sending out sternly worded breach letters to showrunners who’ve been absent from sets. Earlier in the week, studios suspended a number of overall deals with both writers and non-writing producers.

A WGA spokesman did not return a call seeking comment.

–Josef Adalian

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  1. Becca says:

    Dear Strikers,
    I’m a writer too, though not on your level. I support you 150%. Hold strong and get what you rightly deserve. If I was there, I would be standing with you.
    If your shows go dark, I will turn the TV off and read.
    Any writer from any country who steps in during the strike should be banned from writing on any US production in the future. (Variety: “Will Producers turn to UK writers”)
    from Ft. Lauderdale, FL

  2. annie says:

    “Both sides should be at the table negotiating in good faith. There are too many people being hurt by this strike whose lives are changing because of the possibility it may go on for awhile.”
    We are ready and willing to negotiate. It is the AMPTP who will not sit at the table with us.
    I say this as a writer whose husband makes his living below-the-line. We’re having a baby in a week. We are counting the cost.
    And it’s worth it. This strike is about hard working people being denied fair compensation in order to inflate the bottom lines of mega corporations like Viacom, NBC/Universal, and the like.
    Believe me, we will not back down so long as these studio chiefs insist that we work without compensation.
    Put it on the internet and sell ads around it–that’s just TV on a different box. It’s not promotion. Fair is fair.

  3. Angry Young Writer says:

    If the showrunners go back to work and finish the episodes, then this strike will have turned out to have been a pointless mistake.
    If the writers are willing to give back the showrunners in order to re-start negotiations, then the writers have lost and should just accept whatever is being offered and get back to work.
    You don’t threaten a strike. Then go on strike. Then allow people to go back to work to negotiate a resolution and lose all your leverage. It makes zero sense.
    Both sides should be at the table negotiating in good faith. There are too many people being hurt by this strike whose lives are changing because of the possibility it may go on for awhile.
    Stop being children and settle this thing so people can relax and enjoy their holidays with their families instead of panicking about what to do next.

  4. annie says:

    Half of nothing is nothing… try to buy groceries on that!

  5. KJ Stewart says:

    Sorry folks but I don’t feel it. I am an experienced writer and Id take half of what the guild writers get and be happy. Yes I am available during the strike. Write me…

  6. Adam says:

    Power to the WGA!

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