Date: 6th September 2000

Scab Now, Strike Later?

In an effort to assure a stockpile of scripts in the event of an expected strike by the Writers Guild of America next May, network execs have offered the producers of at least two sitcoms a hefty bonus to produce 5-7 additional scripts this season, according to online TV columnist Aaron Barnhart . The scripts would be used to produce new programs in the 2001-2002 season if writers are still on strike then, Barnhart noted. The reported offer has prompted Writers Guild president John Wells, who also is the executive producer of E.R. and The West Wing, to dispatch a letter to members advising them of the situation and urging them to reject any requests to increase their output. (The Hollywood Reporter published excerpts from the Wells letter today -- Wednesday.) One unnamed producer told Barnhart, "The more scripts and episodes they have in the bank, the longer they can withstand a strike, which then defeats the purpose of a strike, doesn't it?"

Source: Studio Briefing