Writers Guild Of America Strike Could Happen This Week

1 11 2007

Well, it appears for those of us who dig television that the writer’s strike most likely is going to happen. There could be a hail mary pass thrown, but it’s looking pretty doubtful.

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Of course, I watch a lot of BBC, so I’m in better shape, I think, than some. Let’s take a look, shall we, of how television addicts will be dealing with their, umm, well, addiction. Pop Matters breaks it down better than anyone and says we may even be seeing the UK versions of shows like “The Office” on NBC if the strike goes on for any length of time.

Variety, by way of Alan Sepinwall, gives a pretty good breakdown of what will be impacted first. It looks like Stephen Colbert just might have plenty of time to make his way to the presidency.

While the networks have been repeating the mantra that “screens will not go black,” it won’t take long for TV viewers to see the impact of a Writers Guild of America strike.

The canaries in TV’s creative coal mine are latenight hosts such as David Letterman and Jay Leno, whose monologues and sketches are dependent on union writers. If history is any guide, both shows will almost instantly go dark, as would “Saturday Night Live.” Comedy Central‘s latenight stalwarts “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report” would also likely switch to repeats in the immediate aftermath of a strike.

“Boom — our show just shuts down,” said “SNL” vet Amy Poehler. “It’s just done. There is no backlog of scripts.” (For more on latenight and the strike, click here.)

The new shoes, like Pushing Daisies that I kinda dig, will be hit the hardest. And we are looking at lots and lots of reality television, as if there weren’t enough already. For Lost-o-philes, the producers say they will air what they’ve got.

The thing is, if you look at some of the grumbling behind the thing, is that no one wants a strike, but the question is does it financially benefit the producers to a degree. Here’s the gotcha phrase from the Variety article:

From a financial standpoint, network execs are at least in a better position than their studio counterparts. The nets may see their ratings and revenue go south as they replace scripted fare with repeats and reality shows, but their costs will decline, too. Sliding in a reality show that costs $900,000 per episode in place of a $3 million-per-seg drama will help soothe the sting of a strike.

So, for those of us who watch some reality television, we will see what happens. The Writer’s Guild contract ran out at midnight.

It might be a long winter, campers, if you dig TV.

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8 responses

1 11 2007
Joe P.

sometimes, i think Writers walked away from TV shows in protest a loooooong time ago.

1 11 2007
Michael

In the good news column, the writers strike has cancelled the Heroes spin-off!

Hoo-ray!

1 11 2007
Slartibartfast

This is going to kill me, both as a fan, and an entertainment writer. It’s a trainwreck that everyone can see coming, bt no one can stop.

1 11 2007
Katherine Coble

😛

I wrote about this for MCB….as usual, the time delay posting gets me scooped once again!

1 11 2007
Music City Bloggers » Blog Archive » TV On Strike?

[…] Our own Newscoma also shares her thoughts Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

1 11 2007
LeBlanc

Well, like you say, we always have the BBC and I have too many books on the shelf that need reading. I’ll be okay.

1 11 2007
Tommy

I was actually thinking of doing a post, but these three thoughts will suffice, I think:

1.) I echo LeBlanc…I got shelves of books I haven’t read yet…
2.) This would be a KILLER time for the NHL to actually try to force themselves back into the public eye…any way for them to shoehorn themselves a deal for a night on a network?
3.) This’ll help pro wrestling, too…NBC’s reportedly already been in contact with Vince McMahon….there may be an upswing for that sort of thing coming….

6 11 2007
2nd*man

Listen all, it’s the death of Hollywood.
For ages these guys have been rehashing old scripts, plots and films.
Well not anymore.
Goodbye OTO, burn with EL!

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