1. Headline
  1. Headline
updated 10/10/2007 2:41:55 PM ET 2007-10-10T18:41:55

Talks between Hollywood writers and studios abruptly broke off for the weekend, dimming hopes of averting a strike that could cripple the television industry.

  1. More Entertainment stories
    1. Autistic ballerina dances her way into hearts

      In a popular YouTube video, the beaming little ballerina dances an entire four-minute routine seemingly perfectly, matchin...

    2. Every on-screen drink in 'Mad Men' in 5 minutes
    3. See the 'Dancing' stars' most memorable moves
    4. Emmy's biggest snubs? Cranston, Hamm, more
    5. 'Toy Story' toys burn up in prank on mom

The Writers Guild of America has been in talks since July with studios represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Negotiations lasted only about an hour on Friday and were not scheduled to resume until Tuesday.

In statements Friday, each side accused the other of intransigence and expressed frustration at the sluggish pace of negotiations.

The writers' contract expires Oct. 31. Studios and TV networks have accelerated filming of shows and movies and begun stockpiling scripts in case of a strike. The last strike in 1988 lasted 22 weeks, and losses to the industry were put at $500 million.

The sticking points include a proposal to delay paying residuals on movies and TV shows until producers have recouped their costs, guild negotiators said.

The guild also is proposing doubling payments on profits made from DVD sales and providing union pay and benefits to writers working in reality television and on basic cable shows.

The two sides also remain far apart when it comes to setting pay for reality TV shows, and for work distributed online and to portable devices such as cell phones.

The studios say they need time to determine which models of digital distribution are likely to be profitable.

"We have had six across-the-table sessions and have been met with only silence and stonewalling," said J. Nicholas Counter III, president of the motion picture alliance.

"The WGA leadership is hidebound to strike. We are farther apart today than when we started, and the only outcome we see is a disaster," he said.

The writers decried the plan for residual payments.

"Our members will not stand for that," the guild said. "The entertainment industry is successful and growing like never before. Writers, whose creativity is at the heart of that success and growth, are committed to sharing in it."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. TODAY

    video Should AirAsia jet have been allowed to fly through approaching storms?

    12/29/2014 12:36:42 PM +00:00 2014-12-29T12:36:42
  1. Missing AirAsia plane likely on 'bottom of the sea,' search official says

    The AirAsia passenger jet that disappeared with 162 people on board most likely crashed into the sea, the head of the rescue effort told reporters Monday, as dozens of planes and ships mounted a search.

    12/29/2014 11:53:20 AM +00:00 2014-12-29T11:53:20
  1. TODAY

    video Dozens still on burning ferry, awaiting rescue

    12/29/2014 12:39:37 PM +00:00 2014-12-29T12:39:37