LOS ANGELES The following is a chronology of major developments in the labor dispute between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the major film and television studios.
* July 16 - Formal contract negotiations begin between the 12,000-member WGA and the studios' bargaining entity, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
* October 16 - Removing a major sticking point, the studios drop a highly contentious proposal to overhaul the "residual" fees earned by writers when their work moves beyond its initial broadcast or theatrical release.
* October 19 - WGA leaders get authorization from members to call a strike if necessary once their contract expires at the end of October.
* October 25 - Studios seek to break a deadlock by offering a newly condensed package of proposals. The union dismisses it as a collection of "minor adjustments to major rollbacks."
* October 30 - A U.S. federal mediator joins the talks at the invitation of both sides as the expiration of the writers' contract draws near.
* October 31 - With hours to go before the midnight expiration of the old contract, the two sides break off talks.
* November 1 - The writers' negotiating committee tells a boisterous membership meeting it will urge the WGA West and WGA East governing boards to declare a strike.
* November 2 - WGA leaders unanimously endorse the negotiators' recommendation and call for a strike to begin at 12:01 a.m. on November 5, barring a last-minute settlement.
* November 4 - The two sides meet for a final round ahead of the strike deadline. The union gives up its demand for higher DVD residuals and studios offer some concessions on new media. But talks break down after nearly 12 hours when the WGA refuses to suspend its strike deadline and studios refuse to negotiate further.
* November 5 - The WGA begins picketing in New York City and Los Angeles as the first major strike against U.S. film and TV studios in nearly 20 years begins. Late-night TV talk shows are immediately forced into reruns.
* November 26 - Writers and studios resume contract talks for the first time since the strike began but, in a departure from the public rancor that marked earlier negotiations, they adhere to a media blackout.