TCA tour officially axed

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As feared, the annual Television Critics Association (TCA) winter press tour has been cancelled due to complications from the writers strike. The TCA recently updated its Web site with a simple red banner that reads: "Breaking News: January 2008 Tour Cancelled."

Although this may not seem like much to the casual television viewer, the TCA press tour, which is held twice a year, is the place where the networks really let their new wares fly. As such, it is also the main source for television previews in the press.

The fate of the winter edition of the TCA press tour (another is held each year in July) was up in the air earlier this month after network execs slowly voiced their concerns over attending. NBC was the first to completely pull out of the event, having given its notice shortly after the strike began.

"We just ran out of time," TCA rep Dave Walker told Variety. "Even if there were a stunning surprise settlement, the networks have said it would be difficult [to throw something together for the tour]."

The original deadline for cancelling the TCA tour had been set for later this week, but with recent talks between the Writers Guild of America and Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers crumbling bitterly, the TCA went ahead and made a decision today.

For more on the writers strike, check out TV.com's Strike Source, which features up-to-date statuses on shows, the latest information, and more.