As the strike winds down, what's next?
Still, Finke does give a timeline of how she's been informed the next few days will go; tomorrow seems to be the crucial day, as the WGA membership on both coasts will have "informational meetings" before the governing board of each coast's guild decides whether to put the tentative deal up for a vote. If the informational meetings go well, the union bigwigs may call off the strike before the vote, anticipating the deal will win with the rank-and-file.
So, what will happen when the writers get back to work? According to multiple sources, the shows that are the biggest, most reliable hits for their networks will likely come back starting in late March (though more likely in mid-April), airing a limited number of episodes before the season officially ends in late May. Newer shows with full-season pickups, like Chuck and Pushing Daisies, will likely not resume until shooting for the fall season begins. Mike Ausiello at TVGuide.com has posted a list of what the networks' tentative plans for each show are. As he says, everything is subject to change, but it does look like the pattern mentioned above will hold.
Hey, an 18-episode season is better than an 11-episode season, right? I just hope these episodes don't look or sound like they're rushed into production. Either way, looks like there's good news all around.