The WGA and David Letterman's Worldwide Pants have reached an agreement that will allow "Late Show with David Letterman" and "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" to return to the air next week with their writers. Letterman-produced CBS shows will return Wednesday, the same day Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel get back to work--without their writers.
Worldwide Pants CEO Rob Burnett said it wasn't tough to make a deal with the WGA. The pact was negotiated by Burnett, longtime Letterman attorneys Jim Jackoway and Alan Wertheimer and WGA leaders including WGA West prexy Patric Verrone and exec director David Young.
"I found the guild straightforward and easy to deal with," he told Daily Variety. "It was a big decision so it took an appropriate amount of time."
The WGA issued a statement Friday confirming the agreement, citing the deal as proof that its demands aren't unreasonable.
"This is a comprehensive agreement that addresses the issues important to writers, particularly new media," the Guild said. "Worldwide Pants has accepted the very same proposals that the Guild was prepared to present to the media conglomerates when they walked out of negotiations on December 7. Today's agreement dramatically illustrates that the Writers Guild wants to put people back to work, and that when a company comes to the table prepared to negotiate seriously a fair and reasonable deal can be reached quickly."
AFI LISTS TOP MOMENTS OF 2007
The American Film Institute picked its seven moments of significance in film and TV for 2007, citing a range of events, from the iPhone's release to the writers strike, as having the most cultural impact this year.
Topping the list was the strike, now in its eighth week. AFI said the "traumatic" Writers Guild of America work stoppage was emblematic of the "ongoing digital revolution" and that it was part of an industry paradigm shift.
This revolution apparently advanced in less turbulent ways, too. Other high-tech moments that were spotlighted include the HD quality of Discovery Channel's "Planet Earth" and the iPhone.
With "Earth," AFI said the 11-part nature series "illuminated the power of television as a unifying force in our global community" and touted its use of digital technology. Excitement for the iPhone, on the other hand, was a "symbol of a public that demands its content where they want it and when they want it."
The list also called attention to a notable trend in filmmaking brought on by the war on terror. The response to ongoing wars in the Middle East, in movies such as "In the Valley of Elah," "Lions for Lambs," "Grace Is Gone" and "A Mighty Heart," was described as the most immediate cultural response to war in American history and a stark contrast to the pro-war pics that unspooled during World War II.
Two TV evolutions also made the cut. AFI recognized what it calls the "hyper-tabloidization" of TV news, reflecting on 2007's unending coverage of Lindsay Lohan-Paris Hilton-Britney Spears, et al., often in lieu of more traditional news. Also on the list is a potential redefinition of the TV "season," thanks to the rise of summer hits such as "Damages" and "High School Musical 2" on cable.
Finally, AFI paid tribute to veteran directors Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni, whose deaths this year marked "the end of an era."
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