Writer's Strike...Does anyone actually notice?

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by Jedimarine, Dec 29, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Jedimarine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2001
    star 5
    I'm just curious as my TV habits aren't really mainstream.

    Besides the news channels talking on and on about the misery of reruns...has it really been an issue? I haven't notice any mark discomfort by the public, nor backlash against programming...or even significant absence of programming.

    Sounds like late night TV (Letterman/Leno) are coming back with or without separate deals. Never watch that stuff myself.

    Just curious if anyone actually cares this strike is happening? Does it effect your tv time?
  2. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 8
    Here in the UK we are usually playing 'catch-up' with US shows, with some still on the previous season. However if it goes on too long we will probably notice as we get caught up to the current season. It hasn't really affected anything I watch so far.
  3. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    You're asking that question from a strange position, as you don't watch television. That's kind of like asking "Has anyone actually been affected by Hurricane Katrina? I'm in Ohio and I don't watch the news."

    Well, as someone who lives in Los Angeles AND who was THISCLOSE to selling a script right when the strike hit, I can tell you that I've definitely felt it, and so has the entire economy of California, which has lost close to half a billion dollars in production costs in just two months. The entertainment industry may seem fluff, but it's the biggest industry in Southern California, and the U.S. greatest export. No movies or TV shows being shot means fewer sets being built, which means the lumber industry suffers, which means they're buying less of other things and those industries suffer and it's a big ripple effect outwards in every direction.

    Anyone who's watching scripted television has started feeling it -- some shows just had to stop mid-season, and although people are used to a lot of re-runs come the holidays anyhow, after the holidays end people are going to be hammered with reality and re-runs, and I think they'll definitely notice then.

    The corporations refusing to negotiate with the writers are beginning to feel the pressure from advertisers, who paid a lot of money to advertise on first-run episodes of Heroes and not syndicated episodes of M*A*S*H and are demanding refunds.

    As you said, Letterman has been able to reach an agreement with the WGA on every one of the WGA's requests, only because Letterman is produced by Letterman's own company. The other late show hosts have contracts with the networks that they can be sued over if they don't return to work, so even though all of them want to remain in solidarity with their writers (as most of them are WGA members themselves), they have no choice.

    If this strike goes on much longer, where you as a consumer will really feel the effects is 6-18 months from now. Pilot season is a total wash, so there'll be no new shows coming next season, or at least none even halfway worth watching. Movies take enough time to produce that many studios are covered, as far as their tentpoles go, into 2009, but on a week-by-week new release basis, one of three things will happen.

    One, there will be no new movies to release for long stretches.

    Two, scripts they've bought over the years but never seemed good enough to produce will suddenly become good enough to produce, and we'll get a glut of movies even more poorly-written than usual.

    Three, when the strike ends they'll buy scripts and hire writers like mad to try and make up for it, and rush them through production, and we'll get a glut of movies not only more poorly-written, but more poorly-made, than usual.

    You may not notice if you're removed from L.A. and don't watch television, but this is going to have far-reaching effects on both the immediate and the far future of entertainment.
  4. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    Outside the immediate loss of the late night shows (and the potential political effects of not having The Daily Show & The Colbert Report on the air to call people on their BS), I don't think the general audience has noticed much since, as Scott said, there usually are reruns at this time of year.

    The spring sweeps period will make things more noticable, since you won't have much of anything on network TV except reality shows, reruns & Lost. Next season will definitely make things obvious.

    Also, with Conan (and I think Leno as well) returning to the air without writers, the issue might be broached somewhat often as to why certain segments are no longer included due to being written.

    The more avid TV watchers have probably noticed the abbreviated season, with Office, 30 Rock, Heroes and other notables going dark early- or they're probably at least wondering why their Tivos are suddenly so empty.

    Since SGA is exempt from the strike, I've at least had one of my main programs remain on the air, so it's helped lessen the sense of loss of programming to a degree, and I'll still have Lost and BSG to look forward to.
  5. Yodas-evil-twin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 5
    I've been stockpiling DVDs.
  6. Gobi-1 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2002
    star 5
    There's only a handful of shows I watch on a regular basis so while I'm fully aware of the strike my tv viewing, excluding late night, hasn't really been affected. It will give me more time to watch DVDs. I've spent the last week tearing through Young Indiana Jones Vol. 2 and Frasier: Season 10. Once I start back to college I won't have much time for TV anyway, save for LOST.

    I agree that people are really going to notice after the holidays are over and their favorite shows don't come back with new episodes.
  7. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    geez, if the writers already suck why are we giving them more money to suck.

    why not get the creme of the crop from britain and australia and stick on the television.

    that way the funniest episodes stay on the telly and it will be new to the american audience.

    screw the writeres. if they cant make good stuff give it to another country who already has.

    they do it us. they purchase our best work and use it overseas. We should do the same so that its funny.

    I would love to see a full epsisode of the Chasers war on everything.

    or how about can a fat teen hunt. thats a british show.
  8. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    Just because there's always a lot of crap on TV doesn't mean it's all crap. A lot of good shows are out there. There'll always be filler, no matter what country it's made in.
  9. ThrawnRocks Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2004
    star 6
    But both those have been forced to halt production mid-season, right?
  10. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    Correct- I only mention it in terms of having original content, at least for a little while.
  11. Darth_Hydra Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2001
    star 4
    Yeah, but I for one don't fill like sorting through all the crap just to find the one or two rare shows that might be worth watching. Especially with how quick network are to cancel the newer ones. Plus, I've never been real fond of any of the legal dramas or reality shows that's been cluttering up the air waves in recent years. If Star Wars fans were able wait 16 years for Lucas to get around to the PT then all the couch potatoes of the world can go a year or two without new episodes of their favorite shows until the strike is over. Who knows, maybe this strike will even cause some of those said couch potatoes to actually pick a book for once or develop other hobbies.
  12. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    There's only so much TV the average person will watch in a week, so it's not too hard to track down and catch the good shows, especially with the advent of the Tivo/DVR age.
  13. ThrawnRocks Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2004
    star 6
    Not to mention the internet. Shows like BSG, Doctor Who, and Life on Mars I would never of heard of, much less watched, if I hadn't run into a lot of good reviews of them online.
  14. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    I have to agree with several points:

    1: screw the hollywood writers. Instead of the streams of mindless crap from the stodgy tenured, get a bunch of fresh new writers with new ideas. Maybe if they're freed up from having to writed tired formulaic crap, we'll get some interesting shows again.

    2: if the audience doesn't like it, let them get off the couch and get some exercise

    3: harvest non-US tv shows. NOT remakes. The original programs as aired in Australia, Britain, and Ireland. Scotland too (I'd like to be able to see Taggart).
  15. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    I watch Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert every night.

    I haven't been able to lately because of the strike.

    Yeah, I've noticed.
  16. JediMasterGuff Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2002
    star 5
    Fixed, since Scotland is part of Britain, saying "Britain and Scotland" is wrong.

    But if you're interested in Scottish TV, try and find yourself some Chewin' the Fat or Still Game.
    And for other British shows, try Doctor Who, Torchwood, Robin Hood and Life on Mars. Robin Hood is aimed for all the family so don't expect to see lots of blood, but it's good for some light-hearted adventure.
  17. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    if I had that Iplayer download I could watch them brand new.

    but the iplayer can only be downloaded by people in britain.


  18. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Well, there is that limited self-rule set-up.[face_good_luck] Guess it doesn't include separate TV.
  19. Darth_Maul_Sith_Lord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2004
    star 4
    NOTICED ANYTHING??? NOPE, SAME OLD CRAP, AS USUAL. ALL THE GOOD SHOWS HAVE ALREADY BEEN CANCELED OR ARE JUST NOW COMING OFF OF HIATUS.

    OH AND THE ******** AMOUNT OF CONVENIENT NEW GAME SHOWS AND AMERICAN IDOL-ESQUE REALITY CRAP... TALK ABOUT WHAT NEEDS TO BE CANCELED.


  20. odj_310388 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 5
    Eww @ Robin Hood, one of the worst shows on UK tv.
  21. JediPriestess Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 4
    Ive noticed and Im tired of it. I want me some fresh tv!
  22. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Guys, the writers have to get paid whether they're the "old" writers or the "fresh" writers. The problem is that if the writers give up on their demands, within five years none but the highest paid writers will be able to afford BEING writers. Regardless of the quality of their work.
  23. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Exactly. It's about the writers getting paid better than they are now. The writers are seen as the redheaded stepchild of the film and television industry. Some of these people are lucky enough to get work and those who do, might not have a job the next month. Let alone the next year. All they are asking is the same fair treatment that the studios have and many in Hollywood, save for those who are fighting it, agree with the writers and support them.
  24. anakinandpadmedoomed Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2007
    star 4
    They should just fire all the writers who are being difficult and get new ones. Tv has become boring because of some of them writers.
  25. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Not exactly. Although they were angling for a raise on DVD residuals early on (from 1/3 of a penny on the dollar, to 2/3 of a penny on the dollar), the issue is that the studios want to pay them less than they're being paid now. They want to avoid paying residuals on Internet content -- which anyone with half a brain knows is the future of content, period. If the writers don't get a good deal now, they might as well quit, because they'll lose their income entirely.

    The problem is twofold:

    1) They will still have to pay the new writers. If they don't want to pay the OLD writers, why pay the NEW ones? And if they're not paying, what person with any talent is going to work for them? So not only are you going to get people who aren't particularly talented, they also will have no EXPERIENCE. This "option" has the potential only to REDUCE the quality of television programming and theatrical film releases.
    2) They would have to fire writers that included Emmy winners, Oscar winners, etc. No reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    People are approaching this like the air-traffic controller strike. The problem is that, unlike air-traffic controllers, writers can't be replaced with a computer program, and new writers can't be quickly trained as replacements. Writing is HARD. If you don't think it is, go ahead and try to write a 30-minute sitcom that's actually funny. Weekly. Let me know how that works out for you.

    Writers are skilled labor that can't be automated or outsourced. To claim that the solution is to fire "all" the writers shows not only complete ignorance of the issues at stake, it shows incredible disrespect to those writers who have brought you endless hours of joy and entertainment, because ALL of them are on strike, the talented ones and the hacks alike.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.