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Hundreds of writers hit picket lines in New York and L.A.

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Wearing red WGA T-shirts and chanting slogans like “Be Fair, Give Us Our Share,” hundreds of writers hit the picket line Monday morning in Burbank, CA after the Writers Guild of America failed to reach an 11th-hour agreement with studios on Sunday night. Over at the NBC lot, Jay Leno brought support, and Krispy Kreme donuts, to the 20 or so scribes on the picket lines by the front gates. “I’ve been working with these people for 20 years!” said a leather-clad Leno, who pulled up on his motorcycle. “People get the wrong idea about how much writers make. I know I’m real cheap and I don’t pay them anything. There aren’t many unions left. We have to stick together.” The Tonight Show head writer Joe Medeiros, who was joined on the picket line by the head writers from Ellen and Last Call with Carson Daly, was heartened by the gesture. All three talk shows tape at the NBC lot, as does the NBC daytime drama Days of Our Lives. “It shows that Jay supports the men and women who have been with him,” Medeiros said. “I’ve been with Jay since 1988. We’re like family. I appreciate the difficult position that he’s in, but I’m thrilled he’s out here supporting our cause.”

addCredit(“Credit: Lynette Rice”)

Less than two miles away at the ABC/Disney lot, more than 100

scribes were picketing the various gates on the lot where shows like Brothers and Sisters are taped. Adding gravitas to the picket line were showrunners from B&S, Lost, October Road, Reaper, and Kyle XY. “This is extremely important for showrunners,” says B&S

creator Greg Berlanti. “Writers are going to watch them to see how they

behave in this process, and I think its important to remind the studios

and fellow writers about what’s important and why we are here.” Added

Carlton Cuse, the Lost exec producer who was walking the picket

line with his fellow EP Damon Lindelof: “This is a legacy strike. Its

more about the future of the Guild for future writers. Any kind of

prolonged strike now will cost writers more now than they will gain in

the specific contract. It just feels like one of those seminal turning

points where the issue at stake is the future of the residual system.”

Meanwhile, in New York, at least 200 writers came through the picket lines by mid-afternoon Monday. Even 30 Rock creator and star Tina Fey and SNL cast member Amy Poehler made it out to the tourist-laden Rockefeller Center around lunchtime to show their support. 

Though the writers’ negotiating committee was set to reconvene

today, there are no plans as of yet to resume talks with the

producers.

Less than two miles away at the ABC/Disney lot, more than 100scribes were picketing the various gates on the lot where shows like Brothers and Sisters are taped. Adding gravitas to the picket line were showrunners from B&S, Lost, October Road, Reaper, and Kyle XY. “This is extremely important for showrunners,” says B&Screator Greg Berlanti. “Writers are going to watch them to see how theybehave in this process, and I think its important to remind the studiosand fellow writers about what’s important and why we are here.” AddedCarlton Cuse, the Lost exec producer who was walking the picketline with his fellow EP Damon Lindelof: “This is a legacy strike. Itsmore about the future of the Guild for future writers. Any kind ofprolonged strike now will cost writers more now than they will gain inthe specific contract. It just feels like one of those seminal turningpoints where the issue at stake is the future of the residual system.”

Meanwhile, in New York, at least 200 writers came through the picket lines by mid-afternoon Monday. Even 30 Rock creator and star Tina Fey and SNL cast member Amy Poehler made it out to the tourist-laden Rockefeller Center around lunchtime to show their support. 

Though the writers’ negotiating committee was set to reconvenetoday, there are no plans as of yet to resume talks with theproducers.

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