I am thrilled to give you a report on how today’s much-anticipated resumed contract talks went between the writers and the producers. And they went well, according to my sources. “It was very productive, very level-headed, and it seemed as though the producers came ready to bargain,” an insider told me tonight. “Reasonableness ruled the day.”
In fact, the AMPTP reps for the studios and networks showed up to the first day’s negotiating session since the WGA strike began November 5th with what was described to me as “a very comprehensive proposal which laid out to all the entire roadmap to the deal. Over the course of the session, the producers addressed every single issue, and the writers listened and kept getting up to caucus.”
According to my sources, both sides spent the session recapping where they’d left off negotiations back on November 4th, which was the last time the WGA and AMPTP faced off. “So they basically went through all the proposals on the table: what they’d already agreed upon, and where they needed to go from here,” an insider explained to me. “Tomorrow, they really start advancing the ball forward.”
There will continue to be a news blackout on the contract talks, meaning no end-of-day statements by either the AMPTP or WGA, “because no one wants to be the one to derail any progress.” (My lips are sealed about the site of the meetings.) Both sides plan more negotiating sessions not just for Tuesday but also for at least Wednesday. “It’s anyone’s guess where this process goes,” said a source. “Today, they spent time on old business. Tomorrow, they handle new business — and that’s where the rubber can really meet the road.”
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