Writers' strike reality is viewers' loss

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No matter what is at stake, strikes are always ugly. However, strikes in the entertainment industry don't just affect the families of those involved; they also change the day-to-day lives of the industry's audience (albeit to a much lesser degree).

Last night, the Writers Guild of America's negotiating committee announced its recommendation to strike, which all but sealed the deal for a work stoppage. The strike could start as soon as Monday.

Film studios will be hurt, but not in the same way the television industry will be. Movie scripts have been stockpiled for the last several months, which means that production on films can go on as planned.

On the other hand, television has a much smaller production window. For example, scripted shows taping right now could be seen next month or sooner.

Although the immediate effects won't be crushing, they will be evident. The first thing to be affected will be the late-night crew: Leno, Letterman, Conan, Stewart, and other shows produced daily will have to look for ways to fill their time in the absence of writers.

Most prime-time scripted shows have a bit of a buffer, given that they tend to have advanced episodes "in the can." Zachary Levi, star of NBC's Chuck, told TV.com yesterday that his show is currently shooting its 11th episode, which puts it five episodes ahead (episode six aired last Monday) of what's currently airing. Most primetime shows have about a month or two's worth of television set to go, but after that, networks may have to turn to their last resort...reality television.

The strike will also have a major impact on projects in the works. Excited for the new Joss Whedon show Dollhouse that was announced yesterday? Better hope the two sides can come to an agreement.

"There's a hiccup in [the production] process because of the writers' strike," Whedon told TVWeek a few days ago. "I will be good to go the moment we are in agreement with the studios. But I won't pick up a pencil while we're not."

Unscripted shows such as The Biggest Loser, Rock of Love, and Dancing With the Stars will serve as life preservers for the networks while writers keep their pens dry and laptops sealed shut. Several networks have been preparing for this, with "gems" such as the CW's Farmer Wants a Wife and Fox's Lie Detector ready in the wings. American Idol six days a week? Let's hope not, but it is a possibility.

The blackout may also see some cable shows fill in holes. For example, NBC may actually air programs from its slate of cable channels, such as Sci-Fi Channel or USA Network. Battlestar Galactica on NBC could happen, but it will be repeats.

Midseason shows may also get bumped up, particularly comedies like New Adventures of Old Christine or Miss/Guided. Midseason serialized shows, such Lost (rumored to be in production of its seventh episode) and 24, will likely stay put so the ongoing storylines aren't broken up. Of course, if they don't finish shooting their season because of the work stoppage, there's no telling how long things could be delayed.

But it isn't all bad for scripted TV. The second coming of Jericho, which has finished production on its entire seven-episode second season, could actually benefit with less competition.

Animated shows won't be hurt too badly, either, because they are often produced almost a year in advance. That means The Simpsons, Family Guy, and American Dad will go largely uninterrupted.

The last major writers' strike occurred in 1988 and lasted for 22 weeks.

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

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Dec 23, 2007
Okay, think of it this way...the TV writers are complaining about not getting paid for all the different uses of their materials...such as shows that are uploaded to the Internet sites (like YouTube), or are readily downloaded from TV networks, etc. Well, how about the people that write books? Do THEY get kickbacks from the second-hand stores and places like Amazon.com or Half.com that resell all those USED books? Should the writers of books stage a strike just because the books they write are sold, resold and then sold again and again through various different outlets? What's next, auto manufacturing compaines expecting to get a cut from used car sales? C'mon TV writers...GET REAL! You cannot expect to get paid for EVERYTHING that hits the airwaves or Internet. How greedy of them! Wouldn't it be better to just HAVE a paying job right now? As for me...I LOVE reality shows!! Bring back FEAR FACTOR!!
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Nov 18, 2007
i watch almost no reality tv at all so that might suck lol but hey, if it's gonna help Jericho out then i say heck yaaaaa!!! lol =D
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Nov 16, 2007
I don't really watch Reality tv shows, there's about 3 I do watch and none are airing now. I much rather watch something originally created and skillfully acted by talented actors. I understand the WGA's point of view, but that doesn't stop me from being really pissed. Every show that I have grown to really enjoy is in jeopardy. Makes me not want to even bother watching TV at all. Once my shows are off, I'm going back to my books, screw tv and cheap lowlife producers. D.N. Simmons's new novel is coming out soon, I'll be just fine!
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Nov 09, 2007
Has ER, Criminal Minds and,big shots been affected?
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Nov 08, 2007
If they start broadcasting reality shows, I'm going to actually have to get my fat ass off the couch and find a new evening past time. This may wind up for the best if they drop some of the not so good writers. A lot of great shows have been going downhill due to poor writing, like Supernatural and Smallville. Two of my favorites, but lately they have been hard to watch on account of stupid story lines. The writers of Lost are the best. That show has been consistently awesome, and full of unforeseeable twists. They should get rid of the union altogether and let the writers go independant. That will let the good ones negotiate higher salaries, and keep the not so good ones from ruining our favorite shows.
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Nov 07, 2007
I would rather have quality over quantity. I would pay more to get the good stuff. The talent that writers, actors, etc. have needs to be recognized. We would not have our favorite shows without them. The industry is changing, and they shouldn't be left out do to greedy production companies. Yes, I hope it ends soon, because reality TV is trash.
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Nov 06, 2007
Writers deserve so much more then what they are getting. I know I'll be upset when my shows start lagging but I really don't care. I want my shows to continue and I want the writers to have their all into the shows. Without them this business would be a very sad and repetitive one. When the reality TV sinks in I am sure the people will tune out, as they should. Reality TV is the worst and I hope I never see another show like that again! GO WRITERS!!!! I am praying for a quick and fair outcome!
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Nov 06, 2007
i hope this gets resolved soon. reality tv is the bane of my existance lol i was kind of wondering why they don't just hire non-union workers.. but then it won't have the same flow i guess.. so hopefully this works out fast
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Nov 06, 2007
Youtube will benefit from this. That's a chain reaction indeed. Less time with TV -> More User Videos -> Less TV + More Videos -> More Video Watching.



The last strike favored reality TV. This one can do the same to online videos.
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Nov 05, 2007
this sucks. i hope this ends very soon.
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Nov 05, 2007
No more reality television. We need old fashion script TV. I like laughing at actors not dump people that are crying for help.
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Nov 05, 2007
is NCIS affected does anyone know
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Nov 05, 2007
What a bunch of babies. It's not like they don't spend what I make in a year in a month or less. I hope they all die in a nuclear attack.
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Nov 05, 2007
Anyone else think this article is very studio-biased? The title alone tries to blame the writers when its obvious that the studios are being p*ssies.

"It's too new...all this internets media stuffs..."

Shut up. That's the kind of excuse I expect from the Bush Administration, not the studios.

The funniest part is that the strike itself will increase demand for online content, proving the writers correct anyway.
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Nov 05, 2007
come on put jericho back in my tv NOW! :)
great show
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Nov 05, 2007
Many lives are affected by strikes, which includes all the people that work on the set. From actors down to the caterers. But without writers, there are no good or bad shows to watch on tv.... and why the studios ( read here large corporations with pleny of money ) feel that the writers do not deserve to be paid residuals when a work that they have written is resold/marketed in a new format ( and making money for the studios that hold the copyrights/trademarks) is an answer that only they can give. The WGA website states - as of 11/04/07- that when they backed down a what the other side said was a sticking point, the response was to then try to make them back down even further. Somebody doesn't want to play fair... and I don't think it's the WGA.



If you enjoy a show, do you really feel good about the thought that the folks who wrote it are being refused residual payments, even though everyone else is getting money out of the deal? And we are only talking pennies on the dollar for the writers. The corporations are still making a bundle.
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Nov 05, 2007
i don't understand why all writers HAVE to stop working because of this. the article should clear that up. it's a good article, but what is up with that title?!
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Nov 05, 2007
Put JERICHO back on - NOW !!! Not January 2008.
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Nov 05, 2007
I don't really blame the writers, their demands seem more then resonable and they have a right to have them but this is going to seriously bite the big one. I realize it is only television but without new epsiodes of some shows audiences might like else where for entertainment and whenever new episodes return audiences might not. This could put some shows is serious jeopardy, not good.
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Nov 05, 2007
Why is it that reality shows seem to be the only answer. What about showing shows that got cancelled very quickly, which meant that all the episodes were not shown. More sports? Buy in more programmes from other countries like the UK.

On the reality Cop shows, maybes show car chases in their entirety instead of chopping them up and cutting backwards and forwards to give you such a big headache like they normally do. It would also help extend the show from 30mins to 1 hour.
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Nov 05, 2007
I say we as the fans strike against reality TV. When the sponsers see the ratings drastically fall, they will pull out and the networks WILL be hurting badly. Maybe then they'll be more reasonable.
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Nov 05, 2007
lets hope nothing gets cancelled because of the strike. dagnabit just give the writers what they want i want my tv season normal
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Nov 05, 2007
let's do the same thing! dont support reality tv shows! lets go on strike! omg i really really love CHUCK! 5 episodes only left? THEY'RE SICK!!!!!!!!!
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Nov 05, 2007
Give the writers whatever they want... they're worth just as much as the actors! Without writers our shows don't exist! And everyone should say NO to to reality TV! If the networks push reality crap on the viewers because they were not prepared to negotiate with the writers then I for one will not be watching those networks. Thankfully I have a stockpile of TV on DVD which might get me through this crisis. Here's hoping that a compromise can be reached soon.
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Nov 05, 2007
Reality shows just ain't happening. I stopped watching "live" tv sometime ago. I now only watch tv from the dvr or ipod. Occasionally I will watch LOST on about a fifteen minute delay, but never "live." (I just can't handle the commercials. I refuse to watch anything the the world of reality. If I wanted to see reality I would sit outside.
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Nov 05, 2007
If stargate Atlantis continues they could put it on a decent time on NBC
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Nov 05, 2007
I have an idea, why don't they make a Big Brother show with, say, 20 of our favourite actors? It'd be great to watch Wentworth Miller, both McSteamy and McDreamy, Josh holloway and other such hunkies on TV everynight :) Who would you like to see?
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Nov 05, 2007
I hope this get resolved soon. Reality TV puts me to sleep. American Idol six days a week? God save us all.
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Nov 05, 2007
"Strike makes Biggest Loser a big winner. The new biggest loser? You and me." You couldn't find more truth in a signed confession.
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Nov 05, 2007
I'm happy that Jericho will have less competition becuz i love that show but the bad thing is that Lost might be delayed which is a bad thing cuz i cant wait for it!
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Nov 04, 2007
Like any strike, there is a reason for it... thOse who run the studios and networks are NOT sharing enough with those people who make their jobs possible.

Don't blame the writers! They are only asking for their fare share!! And with the vast amounts of money the networks and studios make (and don't claim declining sales or box office - IT'S ALL RELATIVE... good entertainment always pulls in lots of profit)- they SHOULD share more with the writers - ultimately they are at the bottom of the totem pole and for their place at the base of entertainment, they do not make nearly as much as the rest of their counterparts in the industry.
Say what you will about the strike, without writer's creativity, producers and actors would never make their massive amounts of money - which is FAR more than ANY writer ever makes! I mean, they`re not all J.K. Rowlings - but they work just as hard and some of them write pretty amazing stuff (insert your favorite show here)... alas their work only earns everyone else lots of money!

Have you ever heard of a producer's strike? A network or studio going on strike?.. Of course not, Bosses don't strike - they already get the biggest share of earnings - so we only ever hear of employees striking - or those people working jobs which are paid less than they are worth, relative to industry earnings. COME ON PRODUCERS... MAKE A DEAL WITH THE WRITERS - YOUR BEING SELFISH!!
More+
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Nov 04, 2007
There are many shows available that are not seen here. Dozens of series from Great Britain and Australia could easily be placed into prime time here in the USA and give a try out. British original episodes of the Office, for example could take over for the American version. And there are several English language dramas and sitcoms from other countries that could be given a chance to be seen here. Canada has a few shows that might appeal to their neighbors to the south!



And maybe CBS could add foreign versions of Survivor to the schedule. At the very least they might do better than the reruns shown on Saturdays!
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Nov 04, 2007
To sum it all up in two words, THIS FREAKING SUCKS! Oh wait, that was three words. Well then, lets abridge it to simply, THIS SUCKS!
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Nov 04, 2007
Great so we get even more crap on the TV, guess I can catch up with some missed shows then.
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Nov 04, 2007
I'm wondering if filling in the gaps in the schedule with more (or extra episodes of) reality shows might actually backfire on the networks? Reality shows are complete dreck most of the time and saturating the schedule with them might finally convince more viewers that they are indeed a useless genre.
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Nov 04, 2007
I'm wondering if filling in the gaps in the schedule with more (or extra episodes of) reality shows might actually backfire on the networks? Reality shows are complete dreck most of the time and saturating the schedule with them might finally convince more viewers that they are indeed a useless genre.
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Nov 04, 2007
But what will it mean for the shows that aren't picked up for a whole season yet? I mean, for those who have a full season order the only threat is delay, right? But a lot of new shows don't have the full season yet, so could this mean for them that they get canceled? Who knows more?
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Nov 04, 2007
Oh yippie American Dad will continue. (sarcasm)
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Nov 04, 2007
why would they go on strike? i mean what do they have to complain about? "i have a great job in Hollywood and i write for a hit TV show and i'm richer than most people in America and my wad of money is too big for my wallet"
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Nov 04, 2007
This sucks. A lot.


I can't handle more reality television.
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Nov 04, 2007
This doesn't sound too good.
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Nov 04, 2007
Hooray for the strike! for the first time in recent memory, the networks aren't racing to cancel every new show they put on the air. This is the first season in years where I can actually enjoy all the new shows without worrying about them getting canned while they still have episodes on the shelf. I'm not concerned about "more reality shows" because I simply won't watch them, so what's the big deal? it's not like they will be replacing canceled scripted shows. They'll just be filling in for shows not in production.

I also look forward to cable shows getting a proper airing on the networks. Overall, I short (2-3 month) strike actually works for the viewers. Our shows don't get canceled indiscriminately and cable shows will get a wider audience. What's not to like?
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Nov 04, 2007
I'm not too much into reality tv and this is just bad news for me, new reality shows shouldn't effect the other shows....Hopefully they don't i would be very Mad.....
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Nov 04, 2007
If it gets Jericho on the air now I'm all for a small strike (say seven weeks, just enough for Jericho).
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Nov 04, 2007
Well, it's not like the shows will be cancelled, but I would love to have them keep coming.
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Nov 04, 2007
Thank goodness for blockbuster and netflix.
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Nov 04, 2007
They used to show the new Kyle XY shows on ABC after they aired on ABC Family. I'm almost sure they're going to do that now. NBC is in the best position to take shows from cable networks and Fox is also in a pretty good position with shows from FX. NBC can get shows from USA, TBS, TNT, and SciFi so they'll be in a great position. It would be bad for CW but they have a crapload of reality shows already so they have something to fall back on. CBS is probably the most screwed network out of all of them, however with barely any reality shows and I'm pretty sure they don't own any other networks other than maybe Nickelodeon which really wouldn't help them unless they decide they want to show Avatar or Spongebob on Primetime (doubtful).
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Nov 04, 2007
Tribalchic: So, you thought you would continue to get streaming video for free for the rest of your life? Hint: Hollywood never does ANYTHING for FREE. They're getting you used to turning to the internet as a distributions source, while ironing out bugs in the delivery system. Then they'll start charging. Just like they do with the downloadable movies. As it is, they're getting paid by advertisers who run banners on their sites. That is what actually pays for most tv shows, btw. ADVERTISING. So the writers are just asking for the same % payments they're already getting for product that appears on tv.
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Nov 03, 2007
this is messed up

i HATE reality shows
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Nov 03, 2007
if the execs give the writers what they want it will be us(the audience)who will suffer either way!



option1-they give the writers what they want.but now we have to pay for every streaming episode they put online(yes no more free episode watches for anyone overseas) itunes episode downloads will go up in price (from $1.99 to $3.99-5.99)and anyone who is enjoying network shows for free on cable indemand will also have to pay!

but atleast we get our shows back!



option2-the execs dont give in,and we say goodbye to our shows for a couple of months!
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