Writers Guild of America (WGA) resumed contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, representing broadcast and cable networks and movie studios, on April 10. An initial two weeks of talks in March ended in impasse. If no settlement is reached Guild members will begin voting on authorization to strike April 19.
The current three-year Minimum Basic Agreement expires May 1. This season there are more series than ever, 455, but fewer episodes, with many of the shows having eight to 12 episode seasons, compared to a traditional 22 to 24 episode broadcast series. Because writers are generally paid on a per-episode basis many are earning a fraction of what they did previously.
Hollywood is hoping to avoid a work stoppage like the 100-day strike in 2007, which forced primetime shows to run reruns while many movie projects were put on hold.