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Hollywood writers return to table for negotiations
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hollywood film and TV writers who’ve been on a nearly two-week strike against studios will return to contract negotiations on Nov. 26, their union and producers said Friday.
In a joint statement, the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said both sides had agreed to return to formal negotiations.
The statement said no other details would be released.
Meanwhile, the writers, who went on strike Nov. 5, would continue on the picket line, said Gregg Mitchell, a spokesman for the guild.
Some writers applauded the return to talks.
“That’s fabulous, that’s great,” said Sean Jablonski, a writer for the FX drama “Nip/Tuck.” “You can’t get a deal until two sides sit down and talk about it,” Jablonski said.
“It’s a good message to hear around the holidays,” he said.
John Aboud, a TV writer and a strike captain, said he hoped a return to talks would quickly lead to a contract.
“I’m delighted to see they’re starting to move forward and I hope we can wrap this thing up soon,” Aboud said.
It’s unclear what pushed both sides back to the table. The strike has been bruising and very public, with writers being joined by actors on picket lines and producers taking out full-page newspaper ads to tell their side of  the story.

Brooks closes concert series in Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An international audience joined a Kansas City crowd as Garth Brooks played the final show of the concert series that ended his nine-year touring hiatus.
The show was simulcast to fans in movie theaters across North America and Europe on Wednesday. The 45-year-old country singer had retired from touring to be a stay-at-home dad.
As he had done for the other eight Kansas City shows, Brooks opened by rising from a hole in the stage while playing “The Fever.” But he appeared stiff during the first 90 minutes of his performance as he played a string of hits that included “Friends in Low Places” and “The Dance,” wrote Timothy Finn, a reviewer for The Kansas City Star.
Brooks then told fans the simulcast had ended and promised the rest of the night was for them.
“Instantly, his mood changed and so did theirs,” wrote Finn.

Couric mocks Rather in Web video during pre-broadcast
NEW YORK (AP) — Though battles between news anchors have historically been between rival networks, today’s ripest feud is a purely CBS affair: Katie vs. Dan.
The rivalry took a humorous turn Thursday when a video was posted on the Web showing Katie Couric mocking Dan Rather while preparing to anchor a broadcast from Nashville, Tenn., last week.
While her CBS crew prepared for the Nov. 8 evening broadcast and makeup was applied to her, Couric mocked Rather. A video of Rather surfaced last month, showing the former “CBS Evening News” anchor obsessing over his appearance before a remote broadcast — particularly questioning the wearing of an overcoat.
“I’m going to be like Dan Rather on YouTube,” joked Couric, alluding to Rather by fiddling with her coat. “Geez, don’t you think he deserves a little payback?”
She then added, laughing: “This tart is ready to go!”
Rather, who left CBS News in March 2005, in June referred to his successor as “a nice person,” but said “the mistake was to try to bring the ‘Today’ show ethos to the ‘Evening News,’ and to dumb it down, tart it up in hopes of attracting a younger audience.”
The video of Couric ( was posted by comedian Harry Shearer on, a video Web site co-founded by Shearer. He also posted the video of Rather, taken from his anchoring days, last month (
Jen Farley, a spokeswoman for CBS would not comment on whether someone from CBS had supplied the video.
It could have come from any number of places, including CBS affiliates, which receive pre-broadcast footage.
“It was from an open satellite from a location in Nashville,” Farley said.
The timing of the video coincides with a legal battle between Rather, who now does the show “Dan Rather Reports” for cable station HDNet.
Rather is suing CBS for $20 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages, claiming his bosses made him a “scapegoat” for the controversy that arose over a disputed story about President Bush’s military service.
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