Tuned In

Strike Watch: Showdown at the Bargaining Table; Showtime at CBS

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Keeping the posts brief for now due to numerous year-end deadlines, but a couple interesting strike tidbits this morning. First (this via TV Decoder at the NY Times), someone at the AP with a better eye for numbers than mine has assessed the studios’ latest proposal and the writers’ counterproposal and concluded that the two sides are only $21 million apart as they continue to bargain.

Current mood: Mildly optimistic. That sounds like a small difference, but the WGA has already said that the offers are farther apart by its own reckoning. And as the AP notes, the bigger issue is not how much the difference is, but where it is: in the amount writers are compensated for Internet work. The real issue is not how many millions the deal adds up to today, but how many more millions, or billions, it amounts to in the future once the Internet is a far greater source of revenue. Still, at least both sides are talking, and–more important–sounding a lot more civil.

And if the strike isn’t settled? Says the Hollywood Reporter, look for Dexter to move–in edited form–to CBS. The big winner of the strike may end up being not the studios or the writers, but CBS’s sister network in Viacom, Showtime. Not only would Dexter be a vast improvement on CBS’s current set of dramas (strike or none), considering that CBS is already known for its often-gory crime procedurals, this is one broadcast network where Dexter could really make a killing.