That's the likely launch date for contract negotiations between the Directors Guild and the media companies (aka the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers). The directors will no doubt ask for more money in the digital arena, but Variety reports that their proposal won't be as expansive as the deal being demanded by writers. If the two sides reach an agreement, the digital terms are expected to serve as a de-facto template for talks with the other guilds (leverage-wise, not a good place for the WGA to be). Meanwhile, the late-night talk shows are slated to return next Wednesday, even though the hosts and producers aren't quite sure what they'll be doing. From the WSJ:
Because of the ambiguity of the rules, the guild is encouraging late-night producers to be in frequent contact with guild authorities to vet potentially rule-breaking bits, says Chris Albers, a monologue writer for "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" who is out on strike and a former president of the guild. Mr. Albers says the guild likely would permit a more free-flowing monologue, in the style of Jack Paar, who hosted a version of "The Tonight Show" from 1957 to 1962 and opened the show each night with a more personal approach than the current crop of hosts use. He also says that audience participation would probably make the cut. But he says anything traditionally written by writers -- David Letterman's "Top Ten List," for example -- and anything based on ideas developed by writers before they went on strike are unacceptable.
Also, it's looking like that joke of an organization putting on the Golden Globes might be forced to call off the high-rated NBC broadcast and instead hold a mere private event. Presumably, that would call off the WGA picketers and allow all those celebrities to show up. From the NYT:
In an unusual convergence, NBC Universal has more on the line at the Globes than any other major media company. Its film studios lead the pack this year with a combined 20 Globes nominations, including one for best drama for the year’s most nominated film, “Atonement,” and a best comedy or musical nomination for “Charlie Wilson’s War,” which stars Mr. Hanks, also a nominee. NBC has another six nominations for its various television shows, including the comedy “30 Rock.” And, of course, the network usually reaps a one-night advertising bonanza from the broadcast — revenue that would be reduced if the audience switched off a show that delivered shots of guild foot soldiers on Wilshire Boulevard in place of celebrity presenters and the annual fashion parade.