Latest Strike News: November 8

Categories: TV Business,WGA Strike

Written By

November 8th, 2007

The Office's Last New Episode is Nov 15

WGA Strike

UPDATE: Most Soap Operas are fine through at least January, if not beyond.

Showrunners [writer-producers] vow to not perform production duties to help shorten the strike.

Ed Martin thinks that cable networks could benefit from the strike. I agree, if they move quickly.

NBC's The Office will stop broadcasting new shows and enter repeats after Nov 15, and Law & Order:SVU has finished production of available scripts. ABC's Desperate Housewives is expected to stop filming tomorrow. CBS's Two and a Half Men and The New Adventures of Old Christine have stopped production, but have "several weeks or months of episodes" waiting to be shown, reports the New York Times.

Fox's American Idol will return as scheduled on Tuesdays and Wednesdays on January 15, followed by the game show The Moment of Truth on Wednesday. Another reality show When Women Rule the World will join the schedule in March. The New York Times also reports:

Several scripted midseason shows will debut in the winter, beginning with “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” in January. It will be previewed on Sunday, Jan. 13 and will normally air on Mondays beginning Jan. 14. Other previously announced programs — “New Amsterdam,” “Unhitched,” “The Return of Jezebel James,” and “Canterbury’s Law” — will premiere in late February and early March.

Fox expects to broadcast a mix of originals and repeats of “House,” “Bones,” “‘Til Death,” and “Back to You” in the spring. The latter two shows have already postponed production.

The low-rated cop drama “K-Ville” is not shown on the winter/spring schedule.

Grey's Anatomy is effectively done shooting for the duration of the strike.

The networks have much better alternatives and resources than during the last WGA strike in 1988. I completely agree. I think the writers that think this strike will end early will be disappointed.

 
  • David

    I agree that the writers have overestimated their importance and value in the current television environment.

    In addition, I've got a theory that at least a couple of the networks, like FOX and CBS, may want this strike to go on for quite a while because it could result in some serious financial damage to other networks, like NBC, that they would never be able to recover from.

    FOX is in an excellent position to ride out this strike. American Idol pretty much carries them every midseason. They can also rerun procedurals like House and Bones endlessly and still get decent ratings with them. Similarly, CBS has a large inventory of procedural reruns. I've seen them rerun episodes from CSI from the previous season that beat the ratings of original programming on other networks.

    NBC, however, will start hurting very soon. Their new shows are doing poorly and shows like Heroes and Friday Night Lights don't rerun well.

    If CBS and FOX can prolong this strike for a good six to nine months, they might not have to worry about NBC in the future.

  • David

    I agree that the writers have overestimated their importance and value in the current television environment.

    In addition, I’ve got a theory that at least a couple of the networks, like FOX and CBS, may want this strike to go on for quite a while because it could result in some serious financial damage to other networks, like NBC, that they would never be able to recover from.

    FOX is in an excellent position to ride out this strike. American Idol pretty much carries them every midseason. They can also rerun procedurals like House and Bones endlessly and still get decent ratings with them. Similarly, CBS has a large inventory of procedural reruns. I’ve seen them rerun episodes from CSI from the previous season that beat the ratings of original programming on other networks.

    NBC, however, will start hurting very soon. Their new shows are doing poorly and shows like Heroes and Friday Night Lights don’t rerun well.

    If CBS and FOX can prolong this strike for a good six to nine months, they might not have to worry about NBC in the future.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Dave, I agree.

    Add ABC into that mix. I'm sure CBS is uncomfortable with the relative success ABC's new shows have had this fall vs. CBS's.

    Conventional wisdom is that an extended strike is most damaging to new shows without a long term viewing trend.

    I don't think it's too far fetched to think that CBS might want to see ABC's new shows extinguished by a long strike, even at the price of its own new shows.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Dave, I agree.

    Add ABC into that mix. I’m sure CBS is uncomfortable with the relative success ABC’s new shows have had this fall vs. CBS’s.

    Conventional wisdom is that an extended strike is most damaging to new shows without a long term viewing trend.

    I don’t think it’s too far fetched to think that CBS might want to see ABC’s new shows extinguished by a long strike, even at the price of its own new shows.

  • ImTheBunny

    I agree with you about it being in the network's best interest to have the strike last a while. Reality is cheaper anyway. My concern is if the networks find that they like the numbers reality brings, when the strike is resolved, how many of the writers will have jobs?

    I am also frustrated. I agree the writers need a deal on the new media, yes. But, if one more person says “writers are the heart and soul of very show. Without us they would be nothing” I am going to scream. Yes, writers write the shows. They write the shows the NETWORKS AIR! I doubt vey many writers have the financial means to support a production of a tv show, or the ability to raise enough money to do so.

    The writers and the studios need each other. Without each other, neither of them is much of anywhere!

  • ImTheBunny

    I agree with you about it being in the network’s best interest to have the strike last a while. Reality is cheaper anyway. My concern is if the networks find that they like the numbers reality brings, when the strike is resolved, how many of the writers will have jobs?

    I am also frustrated. I agree the writers need a deal on the new media, yes. But, if one more person says “writers are the heart and soul of very show. Without us they would be nothing” I am going to scream. Yes, writers write the shows. They write the shows the NETWORKS AIR! I doubt vey many writers have the financial means to support a production of a tv show, or the ability to raise enough money to do so.

    The writers and the studios need each other. Without each other, neither of them is much of anywhere!

  • Below the Line

    The strike won't be settled soon because the Writers & Producers can't play nice in the sandbox? Because they don't trust each other?

    The crew are suffering as well – we can't meet our payments, our mortgages and in some cases we won't get the hours to keep our medical insurance. Local businesses are suffering, cutting hours of staff and in some cases laying off staff.

    This isn't just about writers and new media (for the record I agree they deserve the income) again, however, is it worth destroying this entire “town” for their goal?

    By the way, who elected the Writers to the position of God to announce this is a “union town.” My ballot must have gotten lost in the mail.

  • Below the Line

    The strike won’t be settled soon because the Writers & Producers can’t play nice in the sandbox? Because they don’t trust each other?

    The crew are suffering as well – we can’t meet our payments, our mortgages and in some cases we won’t get the hours to keep our medical insurance. Local businesses are suffering, cutting hours of staff and in some cases laying off staff.

    This isn’t just about writers and new media (for the record I agree they deserve the income) again, however, is it worth destroying this entire “town” for their goal?

    By the way, who elected the Writers to the position of God to announce this is a “union town.” My ballot must have gotten lost in the mail.

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