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Screenwriters, Producers in Talks

February 3, 2001

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Hollywood screenwriters and producers resumed contract talks Saturday, ignoring a deadline the writers had set to break off discussions if they didn’t have a contract by Friday.

Writers Guild of America spokeswoman Cheryl Rhoden declined to say if the extension indicated progress had been made during discussions on Friday.

Representatives of the WGA’s 11,000 members, whose contract expires May 1, began face-to-face negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers two weeks ago.

The writers are demanding increased TV and movie residual payments and ``creative rights″ intended to give them more prestige and control of projects.

Both sides have acknowledged that a prolonged strike could be devastating. Besides driving some film production to Canada, industry observers estimate it could cost Los Angeles County as much as $2 billion a month in lost business.

A WGA strike in 1988 lasted 22 weeks and delayed that year’s fall TV season.

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