The entire industry is holding their breath awaiting the results of meetings in NYC and L.A. where the WGA top brass will pitch the new contract to the members, hopefully ending the three-month-old strike, reports the trades. Members will meet in L.A. at 7:00 pm at the Shrine Auditorium, while WGA East will hold their meeting at the Crowne Plaza at 2:00 pm.
If the members like the deal, the guilds' boards could start the ratification process over the weekend, which could lead writers returning to work as early as Monday. The ratification process could take as long as two weeks, but if a majority of the rank-and-file support the deal a "back-to-work" order may be issued as a good faith measure.
However, the deal isn't a lock with a group of members unhappy with the streaming deal that was part of the DGA agreement and rumors that the contract would give studios a 17- to 24-day free usage window for online. However on the flipside, there is another group of showrunners and writers who have threatened to go back to work if a deal isn't put in place soon, believing that the longer the strike is drawn out the more harmful it is to the writers' cause.
Over the past two weeks, negotiating committee chief John Bowman, WGA West president Patric Verrone and exec director David Young worked on the contract with News Corp. president/COO Peter Chernin and Disney CEO Robert Iger. Bowman, Verrone and Young will lead the L.A. meeting, while WGA East president Michael Winship will oversee the NYC powwow.