Thursday = Strike

Only two more days to go before the Writers’ Guild of America goes out on strike creating havoc in the film and television industry.

As previous reports have noted, the strike with producers and studios is over “out-dated” agreements that do not reflect new technology and writers angry they are missing out on due reimbursement. Webisodes, mobile and reality television remain a sticking point (yes reality still has writers, who concoct situations, events and dramatic arcs). Producers argue that anything streamed online is promotional only and not up for residual payments.

The last strike stretched on for 22 weeks.

Most studios have been stockpiling scripts in readiness for The Big S and have contingency plans, many of which ironically involve padding out their schedules with more Reality TV.

But if this strike lingers what are the real-term effects for viewers?

  • Late night talk shows will be the first to feel the pinch. All those introductory gags from Letterman, Leno and Conan that are penned on a daily basis? Gone. Or at least changed. This should become obvious in Australia on TEN and the Comedy Channel within the week.
  • American soaps. Within a month these would run out of fresh scripts. Aussie networks have an advantage of being further behind the US before this would be noticeable.
  • The American Awards season would be hit next. The Golden Globes due on Jan 13 would have crap Host patter (as opposed to….?).
  • ‘Mid-season’ season shows like 24 and Lost may need to delay their return, due in the new year.
  • Series drama would be next after their stock of completed eps and new scripts starts to trickle out in the new year. In Australia ‘fasttracked shows’ such as Heroes, Supernatural, Without a Trace and House would be the first to falter. Shows that are currently on air in the US but not in Oz (Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy) would have a longer buffer zone.


  1. I’d guess, when it comes to “Lost”, that they’ve got it covered already. The show’s producers write almost every episode themselves anyway, and with the upcoming season being a short one with a nice long lead time for production – as well as the fact that they have the story arc of the show pre-planned – I’d not be at all surprised if they’re already sitting on 16 shiny new scripts ready to be produced.

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