Monday, November 05, 2007

THE WRITERS STRIKE BACK

The terrorists have won. I concede. They finally did it. America is about to become a crippled shadow of its former self.

Somehow Al-Qaeda managed to infiltrate Hollywood, persuading the Writer's Guild of America to go on strike, a move expected to force much of American television entertainment programming into repeats! YES, REPEATS! Just when it's about to get cold outside they hit us with re-reruns. This is simply unthinkable.

They really know how to hit us where it hurts, don't they?

In all seriousness, the WGA did go on strike, and that could mean lights out for some of your favorite shows this year. Here's a select breakdown of shows I have actually heard of for your files:

Late Night TV

"Colbert Report" and "The Daily Show"
Status: Will go into repeats immediately.

"The Tonight Show" and "The Conan O'Brien Show"
Status: Will go into repeats immediately.

"Jimmy Kimmel Live"
Status: Staffed with WGA writers, so it would probably go to repeats. But Kimmel may decide to wing it.

"Nightline"
Status: Will remain live and in originals. Sadly, I more Americans will likely prefer to watch Conan reruns than learn something new and interesting about the world around them.

ABC
"Lost"
Status: Expected to have eight out of 16 episodes ready.

"Cavemen"
Status: Expected to have 12 out of 13 episodes completed; has not received an order for a full season.

"The View"
Status: Will continue uninterrupted, according to a spokesman. Thank heavens.

"Dirty Sexy Money"
Status: Expected have between 11 and 13 episodes completed.

"Brothers & Sisters"
Status: Expected to have either 11 or 12 episodes completed.

CBS

"Jericho"
Status: Will have seven of seven episodes.

NBC

"Friday Night Lights"
Status: Expected to complete 15 of 22 episodes.

"Scrubs"
Status: Expected to complete 12 of 18 episodes.

Fox

"24"
Status: Will have eight or nine out of 24 episodes completed. Midseason, none have aired yet.


FX

"Nip/Tuck"
Status: 22 episodes planned for two cycles: 14 to run from now to February and eight next year. All 14 in the first cycle have been written.

"The Shield"
Status: The final season is written, no date set for airing.

"Rescue Me"
Status: 5th season, just announced, would be affected since production is expected to start in early '08.

HBO

"Entourage" and "Big Love"
Status: Are currently in the writing stages and were scheduled to air in the summer of 2008.

"The Wire"
Status: Completed and will air as scheduled.



******


Soaps are also screwed, as they rely on day-to-day writing staff. But Survivor and other reality programming like Big Brother and the Amazing Race will likely survive the WGA strike.

So WHY are the writers on strike? Did someone replace the regular coffee with decaffeinated? Not exactly. It's all about the internet and how more original content is being broadcast, syndicated, and made available online. The networks are claiming ownership of their online content without affording the writers an opportunity to benefit from residuals - an industry term for additional income earned when content is rebroadcast, or in the case of the internet, re-accessed by an audience. The writers see their residuals being affected by the internet and would like to negotiate a revenue sharing deal with the networks execs, who apparently seem to think modern television programming writes itself.

All I know is, this is my big shot! Time to get a writing sample in front of the Conan folks!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

What about Law and Order?

AYNtK said...

You must not be paying attention - law and order went out the window when the Patriot Act was renewed. America is a police state - we just haven't figured it out yet.

I SEE YOU!