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Rant On...
This Week in 24
This Week in Entourage
Tremendous Upside w/ Dave & Niraj

The writers strike should end tomorrow nightTV
And it likely will end tomorrow night (though some news outlets are erroneously reporting it's already over...writers can still nix this deal), as the WGA has recommended that the latest contract offered by the AMPTP be approved by the members. However, until the members vote to pass it, the strike isn't officially over. That vote will take place tomorrow, and the WGA will announce the results tomorrow night.

After something like 3 1/2 months on strike, it'll be nice to get some good TV on again. Of course there will probably be some delay before we start getting new content, but TV Guide has a rundown of when you can expect your favorite shows to return to air.

They're updating that list as they get more information, but here's some of my favorites:
Expected to return this fall or January '09.

30 Rock
Expected to shoot 5 to 10 new episodes to air in April/May.

The Office
Expected to shoot 5 to 10 new episodes to air in April/May.

(No word yet on
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia or Entourage)
The vote, if passed, will cause an immediate end to the strike, meaning writers could even return as soon as late Tuesday night.

Full details on the deal:
The main advance for the writers comes in the area of residual payments for material broadcast over the Internet and other digital media. As the market for network TV reruns ebbs, industry players expect Web streaming to start spitting out cash in coming years. The writers were especially sensitive about this issue because they believe they were shafted out of millions of dollars in DVD revenue as a result of home-video deals made during the 1980s.

The DGA agreed to a flat fee for material used on the Web, but the writers, in the third year of their contract, will get something far better: a percentage of the distributor's gross receipts. Why does this matter? First, it's proportional. On the off chance that Web streaming does explode into a commercial leviathan, writers will reap the benefits, as opposed to collecting a fee that could wind up looking like a consolation prize. And more important, writers will be paid off the gross that's actually connected to a retailer's price -- say, the $1.99 iTunes charges for a TV episode -- as opposed to the less-impressive "producer's gross," which entails complicated formulas that require a platoon of accountants to unpack.

Now, all of this does not mean that the tentative agreement is nirvana for Hollywood's scribe tribe. Some guild dissenters are already attacking a provision that says the studios don't have to pay any residual on streamed content for up to 24 days after its initial airing. This term exists because the studios don't want to have to fork over cash every time a DVR user queues up a show a week or two after its original airdate. But critics say it gives the studio bosses a significant loophole to exploit.

Nor does the deal extend to jurisdiction over reality and animation writers, which Patric Verrone, president of the guild's West Coast branch, had promised members would be in the next contract. Many in the guild say officials merely used the issue as a stalking horse for the much more vital area of new-media residuals.

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  • finally
    Posted by: junosand on Feb 11th, 2008 | 12:14pm

    it'll be good to have the writers back, although i think the entourage writers went on strike after season 2

    • [Untitled]
      Posted by: niraj on Feb 11th, 2008 | 02:30pm

      Well played. And probably true. Maybe they'll pull a 24 and revamp the show due to fan can only hope!

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