Strike Rumor: Studios To Break Off Talks, Blame Writers For Everything Bad That Follows

· A happy thought as we head into the weekend: Before joining this morning's negotiations, the WGA released a statement addressing rumors currently circulating that the studios are soon going to accuse the writers of stalling, storm away from the bargaining table until after the holidays, and trash the entire fall TV and spring seasons in an effort to prolong the strike. The Guild assures the public that it wants to continue negotiations for as long as it takes to get a deal done, and that no one should take seriously the full-page THE WGA WANTS TO DESTROY CHRISTMAS ad, featuring a Santa Claus bludgeoned to death with a WGA picket sign, that the AMPTP will take out in major publications on Monday. [Variety]
· The strike has decimated the ratings for late night shows, as TV audiences are unwilling to sit through the repeats that have been running since writers hit the picket line in early November. The Tonight Show has been the most adversely affected, with numbers off 40 percent from last year. Amazingly, viewers are finding that "vintage" Leno episodes featuring the hottest stars of 1994 plugging long-forgotten projects haven't aged well. [Variety]

· Meanwhile, ABC and CBS fired some of their final first-run, scripted TV bullets at each other Thursday night, with new episodes of Grey's winning the 18-49 demo and CSI taking a victory in total viewers. [THR]
· The Devil Wears Prada's Anne Hathaway! How to Lose A Guy In 10 Days' Kate Hudson! Starring in...Bride Wars! (Two best friends, one wedding date, fatal gunfire etc etc.) [Variety]
· Realizing that only rival Sumner Redstone lives forever, Rupert Murdoch has started to hand over the reigns of New Corp to son James. [THR]