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With possible TV writers' strike on horizon, NBC Entertainment boss says things are 'quite peaceful'

Evie Fordham

The chairman of NBC Entertainment seemed optimistic despite the possibility of a television writers' strike this year while speaking at the 2020 Television Critics Association gathering this weekend.

"We think of ourselves as very talent friendly and we're proud of how we remunerate people who work here and come here as performers, writers and directors," NBC's Paul Telegdy said, according to Deadline. "This is a circuitous way of saying, that while I'm not directly involved in those negotiations, we've been told that we should be cautious as always and that a strike is something we should always be prepared for but that things seem to be quite peaceful right now."

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The Writers Guild of America's film and television contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers expires this year.

Although Telegdy gave the negotiations a positive spin, the way Americans watch television is changing and could impact NBC's relationship with writers. The rise of streaming has brought the question of how creatives will be compensated now that residual checks that roll in when television shows and movies hit the airwaves don't always apply.

In addition, the WGA is already expending a good deal of energy on a dispute with talent agencies, according to Deadline. Television studios are piling up scripts to use in case of a strike, Deadline reported.

Telegdy was made co-chairman of NBC Entertainment along with George Cheeks in September but now runs the business solo. His predecessor, Robert Greenblatt, ran NBC Entertainment for nearly eight years.

A writers' strike that lasted from November 2007 to February 2008 started when last-minute negotiations between the WGA and the AMPTP failed to produce a deal on how much writers are paid when shows are offered on the Internet.

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Before 2007, writers had not gone on strike since 1988, when the walkout lasted 22 weeks and cost the industry more than $500 million.

FOX Business' inquiries to WGA West and AMPTP were not immediately returned.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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