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Will directors' deal help end WGA strike?

Writers walk the picket line in front of Fox Studio in Los Angeles.

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: There might not be a lot of new material on TV, but the plot in the writers' strike has a new twist: The film directors' union and the major studios have reached a tentative contract.

And as Renita Jablonski reports, it puts pressure on the writers to reach an agreement.


Renita Jablonski: Now that producers have a deal with the directors' union, an olive branch is going out to the writers' union. Patrick Verrone is president of Writers Guild of America West. He says he's ready to forgive, but not forget how the last round of talks broke down in December.

Patrick Verrone: You know, we've been looking to bargain with the conglomerates now for over a month -- they walked away from the table. We're still willing, ready and able to bargain with them.

Writers want more money for movies and TV shows that end up on the Internet. The directors' deal includes higher residuals for online video. The hope is the contract can be a template for a new WGA contract. Verrone says it's too soon to start writing a happy ending.

Verrone: We have to look at the contract. We aren't going to be overly optimistic or pessimistic at this time.

The writers strike is entering its 11th week. Hollywood's waiting to see whether it'll be able to dress up for the Oscars next month. I'm Renita Jablonski for Marketplace.

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