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Upfronts: What to Expect as War Between Writers and Agents Looms

The major TV networks show off their goods each year during over-the-top Upfront presentations that take over New York City. But this year, there will be more tension than ever with sweeping changes across the television business and the executive ranks, not to mention the ongoing battle between the Writers Guild and talent agencies, which continues to be contentious.

As hundreds of TV stars embark on Manhattan and network executives get ready to woo advertisers with nearly $10 billion in ad spending on the line for the 2019-2020 season, how will Upfronts differ from years past? With Apple, Netflix and Disney Plus shelling out big bucks to attract top-tier talent, old-school broadcasters have endless competition for content, but they also have the advantage of a traditional advertising model and family co-viewing, which emerging platforms have not yet proven.

Here, Variety senior correspondent Elizabeth Wagmeister sits down with business editor Cynthia Littleton and senior TV editor Brian Steinberg to discuss what to expect at this year’s Upfronts.

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