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All Reality TV All The Time :(

November 8, 2007

Someone needs to fix this whole writer’s strike ASAP. I feel for the writers who believe they are entitled to a share of DVD and online sales of the shows they write. That is so commonsense, I initially didn’t even believe they weren’t already getting that money. I know next to nothing about the industry, so I can’t even guess as to how much they should get, but it should definitely be something.

Of course the unfortunate part of all this is that we the TV viewers are the ones who are going to lose out in the short term. I don’t watch that much TV, but two of my favorite shows are 24 and The Office. So of course, I was not too happy when I read this:

In an effort to calm TV advertisers and other concerned parties in regard to a long-term TV writers’ strike, Fox network became the first out of the box with its revised scheduling plans for 2008.

Fox’s major move is not to schedule “24,” which typically starts up in January. Fox made the decision even though about half of the highly regarded series episodes are in the can.

Fox said it wants to ensure that the seventh season of the show will have a continuous run to the series’ season finale.

and then this:

Production on NBC’s Emmy-winning sitcom has shut down, with star and sometime scribe Steve Carell has refusing to cross the increasingly actor-friendly picket line. The closure marks the first major network casualty of the Writers Guild of America’s work stoppage.

While other series have managed to stockpile several episodes in anticipation of the labor action, Office executive producer Greg Daniels said that his show had only one in the can—after next week’s outing, the show will default into reruns.

Carell, a card-carrying WGA member who has written a few Office episodes, stands in solidarity with several fellow Dunder Mifflin drones. Writer-actors B.J. Novak, Mindy Kaling and Paul Lieberstein have been on the picket lines since the strike’s start Monday. On that initial day, costar Rainn Wilson joined Carell on the sidelines by phoning in sick. Due to their absence, only two scenes managed to be shot.

So there goes two of my favorite shows.  Tina Fey is on strike, so 30 Rock may be next.  I can only imagine what is going on with Lost, also supposed to be coming back early 2008.  So what, you may ask, will the networks be showing us instead.  Well in place of 24, you will get Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.  But in general, it seems like this may be our fate:

With scripted shows suffering as a result of the strike, reality series could become even more prevalent on the airwaves.

CBS has reportedly begun casting for the upcoming season of Big Brother, which usually airs during the summer months, but may be back on the air as soon as February, Variety reports.

I bet there are at least two companies who are loving this strike though: Blockbuster and Netflix.  With only garbage on TV, I would bet they see a sharp spike in DVD rentals, both of movies and TV series.  I for one will likely be catching up on shows I meant to watch but never have.  Or maybe I’ll just watch less TV.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. marino permalink
    November 8, 2007 11:37 am

    ugh. I was unpleasantly surprised to learn that NBC only has one season of The Office in the can. I’ve never quite understood the need for shows to be made on the cuff as the season progresses. Some shows do need to stay current, so they can have “ripped from the headlines” shows.

    But The Office doesn’t. This damn strike has been looming for months. Piss on NBC for not getting more episodes of The Office in its hand before this went down. Having new eps. to run while other shows had to go to re-runs would have been a great way for the American public to be exposed to some of the great shows they have but no one seems to watch.

    Now, Tina Fey and Steve Carell are on the picket lines and more shitty reality TV looms on the horizon. Not cool.

    maybe NBC can just play hours of Bee Movie shorts instead.

  2. Adam permalink*
    November 8, 2007 12:33 pm

    I think the problem is that all the writers knew the strike was coming, and they didn’t want the networks to have an entire season of episodes. Having only one episode of the Office puts NBC in a much more precarious situation than having the rest of the season already written.

    Also, I think for a lot of shows, they write on the cuff to be able to change the script based on the viewers’ opinions. For example, (spoiler alert!) Lost killed off Nikki and Paulo when fans reacted negatively to them. Conversely, in the awesome 5th season of 24, the President and First Lady were given much greater roles than originally planned when people realized the awesomeness of Jean Smart and Greg Itzin together.

  3. andy permalink*
    November 9, 2007 11:31 am

    In other news, if you’re planning to commit suicide, chances are turning on the TV is not going to make you change your mind. I watched 5 minutes of “Tila Tequila” and it made me WANT to commit suicide.

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