Briefs: striking writers to meet with producers; Todd Chrisley update

As the writers strike approaches the 100-day mark, the film and TV producers have offered to re-open negotiations with the Writers Guild of America later this week.

This is the first glimmer of hope that a resolution might come to pass since the strike began in early May, the union’s first strike against scripted TV and film in nearly 16 years. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers negotiates contracts with various unions, typically every three years on behalf of clients such as Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney and Sony as well as traditional broadcast and cable networks.

“The AMPTP, through Carol Lombardini, reached out to the WGA today and requested a meeting this Friday to discuss negotiations,” the union stated in the message sent to members. “We’ll be back in communication with you sometime after the meeting with further information. As we’ve said before, be wary of rumors. Whenever there is important news to share, you will hear it directly from us.”

Although a very small percentage of WGA writers are based in Georgia, the anticipation of the strike earlier this year slowed production down in the state as early as February. And when SAG-AFTRA actors went on strike last month, almost all production shut down save for a handful of unscripted shows and indie movies.

It’s unclear if getting back to the table will necessarily enable the two sides to quickly close the differences over many key issues. The studio group in May rejected WGA’s proposals regarding TV staffing minimums, residuals for streaming and protections for writers regarding the advent of artificial intelligence.

AMPTP is feeling more pressure now that both SAG-AFTRA, the actor’s union, and WGA are on a simultaneous strike for the first time in 63 years. While the pipeline for scripted content won’t be badly impacted by a brief strike, especially for many of the streaming services, the calendar for early 2024 may start looking pretty bare if it drags on much longer.


Reality stars Todd Chrisley, wife indicted by federal grand jury on tax evasion charges

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Former Georgia residents Todd and Julie Chrisley, reality stars convicted on multiple tax fraud charges last year that happened while they lived in the state, are now imprisoned in separate federal facilities and have not spoken to each other in six months, according to their daughter Savannah.

“195 days without a word to each other…” Savannah wrote in an Instagram story along with throwback images of the couple. “My heart is breaking … Please help to bring justice!”

During her podcast last month, Savannah spoke with Todd Chrisley’s attorney Alex Little, who painted an expectedly rosy picture of his client’s mindset. Chrisley is set to be in prison for 12 years, though he can trim that a bit with good behavior. His wife Julie will serve seven years.

“He is relentlessly optimistic and also, he stays on track,” Little said. “He’s not gonna get sorta down in the dumps because this is where we are.”

Their TV show “Chrisley Knows Best” ran from 2014 until earlier this year with the final episodes taped before their federal trial last year. After many years in Atlanta, they moved to Nashville in 2016.

Chrisley is still attempting to appeal the verdict. “He’s focused on what he has to do to win the appeal,” Little said. “He’s very focused on what we’re doing when things are happening, keeping track of the process. He knows what our strong arguments are and he checks on those all the time.”