Happy Ending To Hollywood Labor Strike?

Thousands of people from unions including the Teamsters, Service Employees International, the California Nurses Association and other supporters join Writers Guild of America (WGA) pickets on a march down Hollywood Boulevard in the third week of the WGA strike against television and motion picture companies Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007.
AP
It's labor strife, Hollywood style -- TV and film writers picketing, a production number with a cast of thousands, and a solid-gold sound track, reports CBS News correspondent Sandra Hughes.

And where else but Hollywood do they serve scones on the picket line?

Since contract talks broke down three weeks ago, writers have written nothing but snappy chants -- "Union-busting is disgusting!" -- and strike satires on YouTube.

And it appears to be working. The studios, which have been silent throughout, have agreed to resume talks Monday.

"This is an industry where you don't get divorced," said Shawn Ryan, a writer. "You have to go to marriage counseling."

All over town, the pressure for settlement has been building, with predictions a long strike could cost Los Angeles $20 million a day.

Democratic presidential candidates indicate they will boycott the debate in December sponsored by CBS if there is still a strike. There is also pressure from worried agents and stockholders.

After all, noisy picketers have shut down shoots -- from "C.S.I" to "Desperate Housewives." There are widespread layoffs, studios are even shutting down, and a few high-profile movies have unfinished scripts, like "The Da Vinci Code" sequel.

Writers want a bigger bite of the new media money, so-called residual payments when shows they have written are downloaded to computers and phones.

Writer and producer Danny Kallis created the Disney cable hit "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody."

"My daughter keeps saying, "Hey dad, your show was number one on downloads on iTunes!'" said Kallis.

Studios say the business is too new, the profits too slim. Kallis says no way.

"Without any advertising, without any promotion, without having to make a DVD or a box and distribute it, a kid pushed a button and got my show and paid $1.99," said Kallis.

Writers say they know people who think they are rich spoiled brats.

"I'm not rich!" said writer Jeff Garlin. "When you have a show on HBO, you're not rich!"

"I depend on residuals!" said writer Marcy Goldman. "And I got a check a couple of weeks ago for one cent. I mean it's insane!"

When talks resume Monday, so will the picketing, with many in Tinseltown hoping both sides can get on the same page.