TUESDAY NEWS ROUND-UP: strike update plus The Golden Compass, and Tin Man breaking records

It's now a whole month since Hollywood's writers upped keyboards and hit the picket lines on strike. Having first sat around the negotiating table last Monday, the two sides in the dispute (the Writers' Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) are now returning to talks after a four-day break, with the writers expected to make a counter-offer to the one the studios made last week. Variety reports that the writers are not satisfied with the deal the studios proposed (to make a fixed annual payment for material used on the web, rather than compensating the writers according to how much the material is used), with WGA West president Patric Verrone quoted as saying, "We have to get a better proposal on the table." The AMPTP countered by saying they haven't made a "take it or leave it" offer. "It is designed to allow both sides to engage in the kind of substantive give and take negotiation that can lead to common ground." With many shows already on a hiatus from production because of the strike, hopefully that common ground isn't too far away...

Of course, the strike isn't the only thing on the US TV news agenda. SciFiWire is reporting that the new Tin Man mini-series has broken records, its 6.3 million viewers making it the most watched broadcast in the Sci Fi Channel's history. You can read more about this new take on Wizard of Oz in the next issue of SFX, on sale Wednesday 19 December.

And the back-from-the-dead Jericho has been given a February start-date by CBS. According to SciFiWire the seven new episodes (conveniently already in the can as they were shot pre-strike) will fill the hole in the schedules left by Cane, which has run out of episodes to screen.

And if you fancy getting a teaser for the Golden Compass before it opens tomorrow, you can catch the first few minutes of the film at
Yahoo Movies .

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