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October 7, 2015

Here's an update on the writers strike

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 23rd 2007 3:03PM

Conan O'BrienThis is getting serious.

Both sides are still far from agreement on a new deal, and a strike by the Writers Guild of America could start in a couple of weeks (the last offer was rejected by writers). That means that scripted shows (Lost and House, for example) and late night talk shows would suffer the most. Some shows have a schedule that means they won't be affected that much, like The Simpsons, but most other scripted shows will be hurt in some way. As for daytime, Martha Stewart wouldn't be affected at all, but The View uses union writers so that should could be hit. (The View uses writers? So that means a writer actually puts those words into Elisabeth Hasselbeck's mouth?)

But there's a bright side: more reality TV! Since reality shows don't need a writing staff (though as we've found out, many of them do indeed have writers), several shows are waiting in the wings, and if ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX absolutely have to, they'll put more reality shows on the air. The CW, for instance, has five completed reality series just waiting to air, including a new season of Pussycat Dolls Present and the new shows Farmer Wants A Wife (ugh) and Crowned. I've been hoping for more reality television, so maybe this whole story has a happy ending.

Movies won't be affected that much since they film so far in advance.

We have a plan here at TV Squad. If for some reason we can't review shows, the web site will change to a knitting blog for the duration of the strike.

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Brent McKee

Mark Evanier has written some good stuff on the Writers' Guild strike but you'll have to search his site to find most of it. (www.newsfromme.com)

There's also an op-ed piece on the LA Times site by Howard A. Rodman (the url is too big for here) that sets out the three major reasons for the strike:
1. The writers want increased residuals on DVD sales. At present the producers pay more (50 cents/disk) on each individual DVD than they pay the wirters, and actors and directors combined (20 cents/disk). "The theatrical release of a motion picture has become, in many ways, mere marketing for the DVD, and DVDs have in effect supplanted the traditional syndication of TV programming."
2. The writers (and actors and directors) want increase payment for material downloaded online, for example sales through iTunes. The producers refuse saying that "there is no 'business model,' that this all needs to be 'studied.'" although each studio currently makes about $500 million in online revenue.
3. The writers want to include reality show writers (aka "story producers") - the ones who determine story lines and select the clips to fit those story lines - so they will be compensated at standard guild rates and will receive "the pension, healthcare and wages that are the industry standard."

And that my friends is why there's likely to be a long and bitter writers' strike.

October 24 2007 at 3:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

@ 6 - Will you marry me?

October 23 2007 at 9:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Awesome. No matter how many books and websites I check out, I have NOT been able to teach myself to knit! Can't wait. Seriously!

October 23 2007 at 9:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

To lucyfan62,

Unfortunately with Lost that is not the case. And even if they did have all the scripts done they likely couldn't film much. Many of the on-site production crew are also in the SWG. I suggest checking out this link:


It is a specific blog about the strike and how it affects Lost.

October 23 2007 at 8:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Funny thing. Editors of reality television were accepted into the WGA (West). Since they are responsible for shaping the stories they are essentially "writing" the reality shows. The writers were willing to strike for them so I'd imagine the editors would return the favor. This strike may have a farther reach than anyone could imagine.

October 23 2007 at 7:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

But, but... why are they striking? Don't the television writers realize we need them? :(

What'll happen to the scriped shows? Will they have premature season ends? Will they just go on super-long hiatus'? (Hiati?)

I REALLY hope that this gets resolved. I can't stand reality shows. Unless Sci-Fi wants to put out some more Who Wants To Be A Superhero? Then I'm okay.

October 23 2007 at 6:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow, JW...

First of all, all the writers working in Hollywood are part of the writers' guild, so unless you think the shows want to revolutionize Hollywood by hiring hundreds of thousands of scab writers (which would be a hard feat in and of itself, and likely less than 1% of them would be halfway decent) and then never allow unions into the system again, well that's never gonna happen.

And do you really think a single host could write an hour's worth of material every single day of the week? Do you know how much work goes into preparing material? Hours of watching and reading the news to scan for joke premises, research up the ying yang for all the guests, not to mention any sketches, which go through a longer process. Clearly you either have NO idea what kind of work goes into writing what you see on TV, or you don't care if what you see is quality or not.

Oreo: no need to start throwing around terms like "bullshit Bible". As far as I'm aware, bashing another's religion isn't tolerated under this site's TOS.

October 23 2007 at 6:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Elisabeth Hasselback is a god damn dumbass bitch.

She spreads your "view" about bullshit based on the bullshit Bible, yet she's admited she has never read the bible.

And you can't just hire new writers, are you that dumb?

October 23 2007 at 6:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree, ShadowGod.

Honestly, is Elisabeth Hasselback really the only one you're choosing to single out for comments on The View? Rosie, Barbara, and now the the two new ones (whoever they are, Whoopi and whats-her-face-from-30 Rock) haven't provided enough evidence of how the American Education system is failing?

October 23 2007 at 5:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why is there a strike anyways? If the Networks are smart enough they can just hire new people and fire their old writers. As for Conan and Leno and Letterman, they should have been coming up with their own stuff to begin with...after all it's not The Tonight Show with Joe Dirt.

October 23 2007 at 5:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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