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Writers' Strike Diary: It's Officially Ugly

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Week five of the writers strike, and it's officially ugly.

The low-lights from last week: That poorly sourced internet "scoop" that a deal was in place to end the strike. No such deal ever existed.

Carson Daly being vilified for saving his staff's jobs by going back to work.

Carson Daly being on TV at all which, in and of itself, is sorta a low light.

Jay Leno -- who promised nobody would "miss a car payment or lose their house" -- (initially) leaving his staff to flounder as NBC shut down the Tonight show. Hey, it's hard to make good on your promises of financial support when you're only banking $27 Mil a year.

Speaking of money: the guild got at least an initial portion of a new offer from the producers. Then, promptly walked from the table saying they needed four days to digest the proposal. Then, took all of four minutes to publicly shred the offer.

The AMPTP took all of four minutes to publicly shred David Young who has "no experience in these sorts of negotiations," and is "not capable of making a deal."

And then there was the AMPTP's offer itself; the New Economic Partnership. I'm on strike, so go ahead and write your own Orwell quip.

The good news? The strike will have less of an economic impact on Los Angeles than originally predicted. $380 million dollars if the strike goes 22 weeks as it did in '88. That's down from a forecasted one billion dollars.

Prior to the guild's Thursday walk off, someone close to the negotiations told me they thought the strike would not be resolved just after the New Year. I've since been told January would now be wishful thinking.

What's more likely: if there's no movement this week, expect the AMPTP to bypass the guild and negotiate in earnest with the DGA. If that's the case, look for an early March end to the strike. Best case. Otherwise the DGA's got 'til the end of June to conclude things.

June.

By the way, if you want to read a truly heartbreaking narrative of the "forgotten" writers guild strike -- you remember which one I'm talking about, and it's not the '88 strike -- check out this piece which ran in the LA Times.

Read more strike coverage on the Huffington Post's writers' strike page.