Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Threat of a Writers' Strike boon to new programming

Well, I have some good news for those of you who started watching a new series this season.

I think we've all been burned by the quick cancellations of new shows by overzealous network executives, and we probably all have stories recounting how a certain network has done you wrong time and time again. However, things may be a little different this year. I don't remember hearing about anything getting canceled this season. I haven't even heard rumors that a show is on the ropes and is on the verge of being axed, and I thought it was odd at first, but then I found out why.

You see, there is a looming writers' strike, so it looks like if a network filmed episodes of a series or even ordered additional scripts, we will likely see them, because they need that content and if they cancel a show, they are going to have to scramble to find something else to fill that slot. So, no matter how bad a show it doing, it will likely stick around for some time.

Of course, because the networks are trying to get as many scripts done and ready for filming before the strike, there could be some quality issues for older and more established series, as the rush will likely result in fewer drafts of material and some story lines not getting the attention they likely would under normal circumstances, and depending on how long the strike lasts, some finales may also be affected, as I've heard that if the strike goes on into next year, that is the theoretical limit to how many scripts can be produced for any scripted series, after which, reruns and reality shows will likely rule the roast.

And seeing as January is also the premiere month for both Lost and 24, those shows would be particularly hard hit by a strike (especially 24, whose star has to go to jail both before and after this current season, so time is very tight indeed for the exploits of Jack Bauer).

So, while the prospect of some of these new series getting a better chance to find an audience sounds good, well, the long-term consequences of strike could be disastrous for every fan of scripted programming, especially when you look at what followed the 1988 strike.


Mel said...

you know you would think the writers would consider the TV junkies out there (like me!) But I can live without it. As long as I have internet :)

MC said...

Well, there are some promising signs that maybe, just maybe, a deal can be worked out.