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Writers strike out on their own with a website

New online project gives writers greater control over their work.

In this image released by Strike.TV, Joanne Whalley, left, and Timothy Dalton are shown in a scene from, "Unknown Sender."


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Striking writer Peter Hyoguchi was walking the picket line outside Disney’s ABC Studios in Burbank, Calif., in January when he had an epiphany. What if scriptwriters launched a website featuring their work, which they would own and control free of studio interference?

That hunch is about to be tested. After months of planning and delay, Mr. Hyoguchi and his colleagues have turned their seemingly quixotic idea into a reality. Two weeks ago, they launched an online “network” for original programming named Strike.TV. It marks an ambitious effort to connect film and TV writers to the fledgling world of online video. The portal will run 45 original Web series with more than 200 episodes from such veteran writers as Lester Lewis, a producer on “The Office,” and Ken LaZebnik, a “Star Trek: Enterprise” scribe. Shows include actors Timothy Dalton and JoBeth Williams.

Episodes are mostly three to five minutes and roll out daily on Strike.TV, and they also are available on YouTube and Joost.

The Los Angeles company just signed an agreement with Hulu, an online video service backed by NBC, FOX, and other networks, to become its largest supplier of Web-original entertainment.


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