Television Industry NewsBy Christian
February 12, 2001 - 9:29 PM
- In what is seen by many observers as promising, Hollywood writers and producers today entered into their fourth week of negotiations for a new film and television contract.
According to a Variety report, the trade paper's sources warn that both sides in the negotiations are still far apart on several key issues, but the fact that the negotiations have gone on beyond the original two-week deadline set by the Writers Guild of America is seen as a good sign. "The fact that the talks have gone into the fourth week is a good sign of a willingness to reach an agreement," said one negotiatior. "If the WGA had walked away after two weeks, it would have shown they were probably planning to go on strike, instead of being willing to be creative about finding a solution."
As previously reported, on the 1st of May, the current contract of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) runs out, and the industry has already begun preparing for a potentially crippling month-long strike. On the 22nd of January, the WGA began early negotiations with the AMPTP, and though no details have yet emerged about the actual content of the talks, the fact that they are still going on could be seen as positive.
- UPN, Voyager's home station, has ordered a pilot called 'The Tranny', which will star RuPaul Charles as the transsexual nanny of three children. Though you wouldn't expect it, RuPaul's character is described by Variety as the most down-to-earth member of a dysfunctional family.
- According to another Variety report, UPN is the third network among African Americans. It's sitcom 'The Parkers', which last year was the most popular show among that group, this year dropped to no. 2.
- And finally, MediaWeek is reporting that "speculation is mounting" about News Corp. and Viacom possibly swapping some television stations in the US. News Corp. is close to completing its acquisition of the Chris-Craft station group, which contains UPN affiliates in 8 important markets, while Viacom owns several stations that are affiliated with News Corp.'s Fox network. However, any such deals would still be a while in the future, as the Chris-Craft acqusition hasn't even been officially completed yet.