I care! I'm going to miss new Colbert and Stewart, but the strike is something that I think is necessary at this point.
As long as Battlestar Galactica doesn't get cut off at the knees, I'm ok with it.
I'm excited for television to go down in flames. The networks never recovered from the flood of reality television that went into production last time the writers threatened to strike, which might be evidence that people just don't care about writing.
The most well written network shows in the last ten years have been extremely short lived. If Arrested Development and Freaks and Geeks can't get ratings, then I'm guessing network execs probably realize that Americans are just as happy to watch obese people go on diets (as entertainment!) as anything and are willing to drag this out a long time.
The L.A. Times is, and is not, blowing this out of proportion. This is between the writers and studio heads. They care because we're being inched out, once again, from the $$$. Writers already have to deal with % loss from a number of steps in the CC process that they never fucking asked for (ex. SD's, et. al.).
Now that the download dilemma is growing in Hollywood, $$$ cuts on budget has been accelerated, and writers are somehow, once again, at the bottom of the money-chain. They like the work, they ask us to change the work, they change it without asking us, and cut %'s of our pay for those they've hired to fuck with it. Then we get angry, because we're basically littering with our name on it, since it's no longer the story we created because some fuckhead was hired to make it 'more appealing for a larger audience' etc, etc...we go through enough as it is. Then our fucked-with screenplay is made into a total box office bomb, and they turn their heads and say, "Well gee Wally, I thought the test-screeners liked it durrrrr."
It's total FOX shit running Hollywood right now. We've sick of it. Audiences are sick of it. And poor teenagers who have to download rated R movies, only to waste that precious time downloading to conclude with a 1-1/2-2 hour session of cud, well...they have to deal with it, too.
Excuse typos, please. Kind of angry, and busy.
RE: late night TV
These guys are supposed to be comedians..SHOCKER, WRITE YOUR OWN JOKES!
Then let a celeb push their new project, annnd the end
Meh. I've got enough books to wait it out.
Of course. The WGA strike will have a direct impact on members of the union I represent (AFTRA) at a national level, since a significant number of both network and cable dramatic series are under our contracts.
Locally, it won't have much impact, since there are very few, if any, shows here using WGA represented writers. But what people have to be made aware of is the fact that this is only the opening salvo in what might become a protracted war between performers unions and the media conglomerates; both the Screen Actors' Guild (SAG) and AFTRA have a Network contract up for renegotiation next spring, and I believe IATSE (the stagehands' union representing both TV/film technical production crews and legit theatre stage crews) are already in the midst of negotiating with Broadway producers for a new contract. So, what happens vis-a-vis the WGA action now could have much wider implications to the entire industry in the next several months.
In the meantime, if this goes more than a few weeks, expect to see a lot of absolute drek appear on your TV's as shows run out of useable scripts, and the nets are forced to run out unscripted "reality TV" series to fill the scheduling holes.
The question is whether there is a strike in Canada, where they film a lot of series.
Is there? Or does the WGA have work going on there and just not in the US?
Will the strike affect reality TV? Reality shows have even more writing work done on them than scripted shows, since they have to come up with the story line from pre-filmed bits.
Yes Will, the WGA strike affects any U.S. produced broadcast or cable series or motion picture filmed in Canada, since all the writers for those are WGA members.
Fnarf, the WGA gave up on pulling "story editors" from reality shows into their fold. Read http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117974582.html?categoryid=18&cs=1 for details.
And for the record, I care -- not only as a big fan of scripted television (a sucky hour of HEROES is far better than a spectacular episode of THE HILLS), but as a writer/director myself with a stake in how this whole brawl shakes down.
Plus, one upside: studios went on a buying spree at the end of the last strike, gobbling up spec scripts like cocaine off hookers' tits. Get writing, kids... you could be the next Shane Black!
But what if it is something like Battlestar Galactica which has Canadian directors and producers and a Canadian shell company?
In other words, will this kill the shows I love (partially because I play Spot The Place I've Been) like BSG and Bionic Woman?
a sucky hour of HEROES is far better than a spectacular episode of THE HILLS
Give it time...
Again Fnarf, the answer is "yes". However, during the '88 strike the Networks used "reality programming", primarily of the "COPS" variety, to get around the strikers, and that's pretty much going to be the tactic this time around as well.
Most so-called "reality series" aren't currently covered under WGA contracts, so they're not going to be adversely affected by the walk-out. Plus, they have very quick production turn-arounds, and can literally go from concept to production in a matter of months, if not weeks, and they're incredibly cheap to produce, which means studios and nets have a chance to recoup at least some of the revenue they'll lose if the strike drags on more than a few weeks.
The risk of course is that, as opposed to the 1988 strike, viewers today have far more choices in terms of available product to watch. So the question this time is, will they just switch to other forms of entertainment, like DVD's, downloads, et al, instead of watching whatever quick-and-dirty or dumbed-down programming gets tossed on-air to fill the schedules?
And this doesn't even take into consideration the inevitable backlash from viewers if hit series' season story arcs get interupted for a prolonged period.
With the writers on strike, does that mean the Fox News Channel will be showing "news" reruns?
Sorry Will, but those series are all produced by American media companies, and aired on American broadcast and cable networks. They're American shows, and all under WGA jurisdiction.
If it's not originally produced for and aired on a Canadian net such as CBC, CTV, TVA or TVOntario, it's not a "Canadian series", irrespective of whether it's actually shot in Canada.
#2. Absolutely not. RDM promised to finish BSG after the strike. Check the scifi.com forums.
#13. NBC's hanging on to BW and it will continue after the strike is resolved.
(I have a vested interest in both as a fan of Mark Sheppard).
Ah! The perfect opportunity to watch more UK shows! Pretty much all of which can be found online... personally, I'd like to recommend Torchwood, Doctor Who, and QI.
Honestly, at this point, I don't even watch TV - on TV. I pull down shows that I like and watch them on my own time. It's excellent for ones like Doctor Who, that keep doing 2- and 3-part episodes.
I wonder if the shorter seasons over there have something to do with what seems to be an overall higher quality of show - doing 12-13 shows a season seems like it would encourage more attention than the 20+ monsters we get over here.
I had a couple aspiring screenwriter friends in college. They were under the impression that, while writers are at the bottom of the food chain, they don't get blamed when something they write flops at the box office. So, despite the lack of creative control, I'm not weeping for screenwriters.
Everyone should absolutely watch Torchwood!
I just finished series one (as they say in the UK), and it totally rulz. Aside from some gore, it's almost too beautiful and poetic for television today. It follows the same path as the X-Files, Buffy TVS, and Ultraviolet, but has more depth, romance and self-aware, sardonic wit.
My fave eps: "They Keep Killing Suzie" and "Out of Time."
It's showing on CBC (Ch. 99 in Seattle) on Friday nights.
@17 - ok, so Little Mosque on the Prairie and Torchwood and Couples for me then.
I do so love Torchwood.
Little Mosque on the Prairie! Yay!
The strike is almost perfectly about shows like Arrested Development and Freaks and Geeks--television shows, even when they perform poorly in first-run, oftentimes find an audience when sold in other platforms. Writers got the short end on DVD residuals, and part of this strike is to correct the imbalance and deal with compensation on downloaded content over the net.
#24. As a big fan of watching series when they come as DVD sets, but not a big fan of actually watching television, then I say GODSPEED to the writers.
If this ruins my beloved 30 Rock, I'm crackin' skulls.
According to a story on this evening's All Things Considered, if the strike goes on for more than a month the average writer will lose more income than they would gain if the Guild gets all it asks for.
So assuming this is true (and it wouldn't surprise me, the cost-benefit analysis in many strikes is beyond screwy), which section of the guild is really pushing it?
I'm not privvy to the actual strike-vote count, but it does appear than an overwhelming majority of WGA members approved to authorize.
As for the cost-benefit analysis, it's generally the case that overall wages lost during a work stoppage will exceed the aggregate of the additional revenue that's being struck for. But, this is also a long-term issue for writers. If they can pressure producers to agree to the revised revenue structure for off-broadcast sales (DVD's, internet & personal media platforms, etc.) then they've set a precedent that will be followed in future contracts. That's a lot of what the current negotiations have revolved around.
As I believe a previous poster pointed out, writers got totally screwed over DVD sales formulas, and they want to ensure that doesn't happen again with the advent of new media platforms.
@18: I've heard that the BSG team wrote an additional draft of the 12th and 13th episodes as a series finale, in case the strike goes on too long and SciFi cancels the show. They were already planning on splitting the season about 6-7 months apart, and if the first half doesn't air until April or May, that puts part two practically into 2009. SciFi execs are not known for their patience or foresight, and this strike could be the justification they need to cancel the show early, especially if the initial ratings aren't promising.
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