PBS Pulls Out of TCA Tour, Citing Talent Reluctance; MTV Reconsidering; Likelihood of Press Tour Now "Very Low"

After weeks of indicating they were committed to the Winter Press Tour, PBS abruptly cancelled yesterday, "citing reluctance of the talent to participate" said Dave Walker, Television Critics Association (TCA) President and critic for the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

In an glum assessment of the situation, Walker warned members by email that the "likelihood of a TV Tour occurring if the strike is still on is now very low."

TCA management has burned the midnight oil trying to preserve the venerable event but the uncertainty surrounding the strike has made it difficult for the critics to plan with any confidence.

Prospects for a quick strike resolution in time for TCA to organize the tour were further diminished last week.  Strike negotiations turned bitter.  WGA members were infuriated by the proposed AMPTP "New Economic Partnership."

In the NY Times this morning, Mona Mangan, executive director of the East Coast WGA, characterized the offer as "lipstick on a pig."

Furthermore, the NY Tiimes reports that studio and network execs have stepped up their own public relations campaign after weeks of being outgunned in the press by a WGA blog and Youtube blitz.  The NY Times says that execs "worked the phones" with reporters to explain their positions and their "resolve equal to the writers."

UPDATE:  Hollywood Reporter says "MTV cable networks and possibly others are reconsidering earlier decisions to participate."