Sunday, November 23, 2008

Actor Strikewatch Update: November

The winds are fanning the possible flames of a debilitating actor's strike again, an issue largely dormant since July, when the Screen Actor Guild's primetime contract expired.

In the aftermath, there was no new contract, but there was also no strike, due to prevailing belief that the union's membership would not have the stomach to authorize a strike on the heels of the writer's strike. Life went on, and filming at all networks for a new television season commenced on schedule.

Last week, the union met with the producers (AMPTP), along with a federal mediator, for the first time since July, with negligible signs of progress.

Today, the news media are reporting that talks officially broke down completely, and the union responded by announcing a campaign to convince its members to authorize a strike. Whether they will be successful in the midst of a worldwide economic downturn, but with so much on the line such as "new media" viewing payments (have you watched Lost on lately?), has yet to be seen. Read more at a nice, in-depth article at the LA Times.

If a strike does begin in the near future, it will of course interrupt the filming of Lost's Season 5, which will probably be somewhere more than halfway through the season by the beginning of the new year. It doesn't look likely yet, but fans should keep an eye on the news to see if the Screen Actors Guild manages to muster a strike authorization. If that happens, it will almost certainly affect our 2009 fix of Lost in some fashion.
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