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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 November 2007, 09:09 GMT
Hollywood's writers restart talks
Writers manning a picket line outside a Hollywood Studio
Protesters brought along cut-outs of Marlon Brando and James Dean
Hollywood screenwriters have returned to the negotiating table, three weeks after beginning strike action.

The first day of secret talks with studios concluded without a resolution but discussions are to resume later.

Writers went on strike on 5 November, demanding a bigger share of profits from DVD sales and the internet.

The dispute is threatening US TV schedules, with December set to be dominated by repeats and holiday specials unless a deal is struck.

Postponed

If the strike runs into January, viewers will face a diet of repeats and reality shows as new material runs out.

Popular programmes including Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives are coming to the end of their current stock, while production on real-time drama 24 has been postponed so all 24 episodes can - eventually - be shown in the US on consecutive weeks.

Work on sitcom The Office: An American Workplace has been halted until a solution to the disagreement is found.

Screenwriters have been using blogs, videos and other online methods to galvanise their cause, and to reach out to the TV viewers who will feel the effects of the dispute.

Writers have also been using social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace to discuss the issues.

They have said that they will remain on picket lines until an agreement with the studios is reached.

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