ABC's "Lost" online model a solution?



Striking writers say the studios are refusing to pay for the use of their scripts on the Internet for free video sites. But ABC Studios is doing just that with "Lost," said a NY Times story. Over the next three months fans of the show can go to to view weekly episodes of "Lost: Missing Pieces," a series of new two- to three-minute shorts that reveal background information and previously undisclosed details about the show.

The "Missing Pieces" episodes were produced under an agreement with the writers’ union that provides for much of what the writers say the studios have been refusing to offer, said the story. The episodes were written by the regular writers of the television series. They also feature the show’s regular actors and characters. The writers, actors and others involved in the production were paid specifically for their work on the Web episodes and will earn residual income, just as they do for the over the air show.

Nevertheless, the television and film studios offered terms similar to the "Lost" deal in the negotiations that took place before writers began their strike on Nov. 5, Barbara Brogliatti, a spokeswoman for AMPTP, told the paper.

Charles Slocum, assistant executive director of the WGA West, said in an interview he believed "in general terms" that the "Lost" deal created "the pattern that we are looking for in our negotiations," although he noted that the guild was seeking better financial terms.