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AFTRA, Studios Near Deal

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As reported by Variety and recapped by the NY Sun...

AFTRA, Studios Near Deal

By Staff Reporter of the Sun
May 27, 2008

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and major studios are nearing a deal on AFTRA’s prime-time contract after 16 days of negotiations held at the headquarters of the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers at Encino, Calif., Variety reported Monday.

Neither side issued an official announcement this weekend, after eight consecutive days of bargaining over the contract covering a number of prime-time shows, including “Cashmere Mafia,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Rules of Engagement,” and “‘Til Death.”

AFTRA president Roberta Reardon had indicated Sunday that their talks had been productive, and that the two sides were advancing toward an agreement. The central obstacle has been the studios’ desire to distribute Web clips without the consent of performers.

The Screen Actors Guild is scheduled to resume its feature-prime-time negotiations on Wednesday. The SAG and AFTRA deal expires June 30, and their lack of resolution has kept Hollywood on the edge of its seat after the tumultuous writers’ strike.

AFTRA split from joint negotiations with SAG in March after a jurisdictional dispute; this year marks the first in three decades that SAG and AFTRA have conducted separate prime-time contract negotiations.

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