The tone of the WGA strike -- now in its sixth week -- keeps getting nastier, with both sides abandoning any pretense of diplomacy.
In the wake of Friday's meltdown of negotiations -- spurred by the AMPTP's insistence that the Writers Guild of America remove half a dozen demands as a condition of continuing the bargaining -- the WGA and AMPTP made it clear in dueling statements Monday that there's virtually no chance they'll get back to the table anytime soon.
Monday saw both sides resort to insult as the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers persisted in referring to WGA leaders as "organizers" while a guild missive about the AMPTP began, "They lie. And then they lie again. And then they lie some more."
The exchanges left the town buzzing over the ugliness of it all. Many industry insiders expressed disbelief that the divide is so huge that guild and AMPTP negotiators can't agree on even the most mundane matters, such as the timing of the AMPTP's delivery of its most recent offer on Friday.
"It's really over," opined one veteran exec. "The only way that they could get back together is for the WGA leaders to say, 'OK, we were wrong, and we'll take everything off the table except for streaming and electronic sell-through.' That's not going to happen because they've talked themselves into a corner."
FX STARTS UP ORIGINAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN
FX has done a fine job of launching and promoting series during the past few years, but it hasn't been as successful in marketing itself. The News Corp.-owned cabler aims to change that with an image-burnishing campaign set to launch this month that will include a 60-second spot during Fox's February telecast of the Super Bowl.
Campaign is built around the tagline "FX: There is no box," which the basic cabler hopes will become as ubiquitous as HBO's oft-repeated "It's Not TV. It's HBO."
John Landgraf, the net's prexy-general manager, unveiled the campaign Tuesday ayem at a press briefing, where he showed the various spots that feature brief cuts of the network's eight regularly scheduled original series. (Three of the spots run for 60 seconds, and there are 30-second ads covering each of the eight shows.)
Landgraf said one of his goals is to implant in viewers' minds that FX is the home of shows like "The Shield," "Nip/Tuck" and "Rescue Me," which try "to obliterate the cliches of standard genres like police shows and medical shows."