Talks continue as Hollywood waits on SAG

AFTRA and the majors have launched a second week of primetime negotiations for a deal that’s expected to do little toward easing the town’s strike fears — since SAG still won’t have a new feature-primetime contract once AFTRA makes its deal.

The Screen Actors Guild hasn’t yet responded to an invitation from the majors to resume negotiations May 28. It also hasn’t yet decided whether to ask its 120,000 members for a strike authorization, which requires 75% approval.

And with SAG’s current deal expiring on June 30, the lingering uncertainty has put the brakes on any feature greenlights.

SAG’s scheduled a town hall meeting to update members on the negotiations next Monday in Los Angeles.

The American Federation of Television & Radio Artists and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers held their fourth day of talks Monday with a news blackout remaining in effect. Talks will resume today with a deal expected to emerge, but probably not until the end of this week at the earliest.

AFTRA’s initial proposal, as approved by its national board, was the same as SAG’s, but it’s expected that AFTRA’s leaders may be more willing to scale back their demands to reach a deal. SAG spent 18 days of bargaining with the AMPTP before talks ended a week ago with major gaps remaining over DVDs and new media.

AFTRA’s negotiating on its own on primetime for the first time in three decades. It split from joint bargaining with SAG in late March following a series of bitter jurisdictional disputes.

AFTRA’s contract covers “Rules of Engagement,” “Cashmere Mafia,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Flight of the Conchords,” “Dante’s Cove,” “Reaper” and ” ‘Til Death.” The latter two shows were just picked up for next season by the CW and Fox, respectively.

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