Negotiations are expected to resume in Hollywood this week after months of failed talks between studios and writers.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which is handling negotiations for studios, issued a statement on Thursday saying the Writers Guild of America reached out Wednesday “and asked for a meeting to move negotiations forward.”
“We have agreed and are working to schedule a meeting next week,” according to the AMPTP. Every member company of the AMPTP is committed and eager to reach a fair deal, and to working together with the WGA to end the strike.”
The WGA issued a statement late Thursday saying, “The WGA and AMPTP are in the process of scheduling a time to get back in the room.”
The two sides are not believed to have met at the bargaining table since mid-August.
Dozens of picketers are expected to show up Monday morning outside Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank.
Writers, who went on strike May 2, were joined on the picket line in July by the SAG-AFTRA actors union. There have been no known contract talks between the studios and SAG-AFTRA since that strike began.
Meanwhile, daytime talk shows “The Drew Barrymore Show,” “The Talk,” and “The Jennifer Hudson Show” each announced they will postpone their fall premieres.
This comes after Barrymore announced she was going to go on with the show’s premiere because it was within SAG-AFTRA’s strike guidelines. She received backlash over that, then posted an apology video, which she later deleted. Barrymore’s show was not the only one to face backlash, as “Real Time with Bill Maher” was set to return with a new season. Other daytime talk shows are under scrutiny, including “The View” and “Live with Kelly and Mark.” “The Talk,” which was set to resume Monday, is pausing its season premiere and says it will continue to evaluate plans for a new launch date.
On Monday at 9 a.m. Pacific Time, Bill Maher posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: “My decision to return to work was made when it seemed nothing was happening and there was no end in sight to this strike. Now that both sides have agreed to go back to the negotiating table I’m going to delay the return of Real Time, for now, and hope they can finally get this done.” Maher had previously stated he’d return the show to production without “writers or writing.”
The WGA is seeking contract improvements on many fronts, most notably higher residual pay for streaming programs that garner large viewership numbers, replacing the existing model that pays a standard rate regardless of a show’s popularity.
They are also calling for industry standards on the number of writers that are assigned to each show, increases in foreign streaming residuals and regulations that prevent the use of AI to writer or rewrite any associated literary material.
AMPTP negotiators have pushed back against some of the writers’ demands, mainly those calling for mandatory staffing and employment guarantees on programs. They’ve also thus far rejected demands for streaming residuals, claiming that their current requests would increase pay rates by 200 percent.
“Our negotiating teams know they can’t come back to our membership with a deal that’s weak, or lame, or something that’s going to kick the can down the road for another three years,” said SAG-AFTRA member Mike Nelson. “This is an existential crisis where, if we take a bad deal, or the writers take a bad deal, you’re talking about a career turning into a hobby.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Paramount Global, which owns CBS and KCAL News, is part of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. In addition, many KCAL News producers and writers are WGA embers. However, they operate under a different contract and are not part of the current negotiations.