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Argentina’s TV strike continues

Actors, producers, and broadcasters resume talks

BUENOS AIRES — Argentine actors, producers and broadcasters resumed talks on Tuesday after a dispute on pay and working hours halted the production and airing of fiction series.

Reps for the Argentine Assn. of Actors (AAA), the Argentine Chamber of Independent Television Producers (Capit) and the networks met at the Labor Ministry in Buenos Aires, a spokeswoman for the government department told Daily Variety.

Negotiations fell apart Monday, the first day of talks since producers closed studios Friday and broadcasters yanked local fiction programming Monday.

The nets kept fiction programs off the air Tuesday even though they pull in strong audience numbers and ad coin.

Working hours have emerged as the main point of friction in the standoff.

Actors want to cut daily studio shifts to 8.45 hours from 11 and in protest last week they worked only 6.25 hours, the standard based on union regulations.

However, Capit said late Monday that to make a daily, one-hour episode of a telenovela actors must be available at least nine hours a day or production is impossible.

On Tuesday, AAA said it would continue to press for daily studio times of 8.45 hours a day.

The conflict has left viewers without popular series like teen telenovela “Patito feo” (Ugly Duckling) on Artear-Canal 13. And it is threatening to stall production of series for next season, including the weekly comedy “Aqui no hay quien viva” (Nobody Can Live Here) for Telefe.

Local fare fills 75% of the schedule in Argentina, with most fiction coming from indie producers Cris Morena Group, Dori Media Group, Endemol, Ideas del Sur and Pol-ka. Their programs are widely exported in original and remake formats.

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