Nov 5, 2007

[TV] Hollywood Writers' Strike Begins

Flickr: fudj - static 1
static 1
by fudj.

As 11th hour negotiations have failed, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) is officially going on strike starting today, November 5, 2007. Most of your typical shows will survive until the end of the year since that content was settled long ago, but the bigger impact to the average viewer is going to be felt in shows that require fresh content daily.

Unless a new agreement can be met, expect things to go down the drain for talk shows like The Tonight Show and The Late Show and even everyone's favorite The Daily Show with John Stewart.

Speculations abound that more than likely, we'll see a sudden increase in reality TV and news programs - some of the few forms of TV content that might survive the WGA strike. The last strike of this kind happened about 20 years ago and that's when new programs became the bread and butter of TV.

Movies will be okay until next year since scripts and screenplays are decided well before but if the strike isn't resolved, things will hiccup towards 2009. Just thinking about the possibility of all my favorite shows like Heroes not being able to complete their storylines next year is just killer.

What exactly is the issue here? Well, the main dispute in the negotiations revolves around getting writers better shares of the profits from new media like DVDs and internet videos, which is already a complicated and muddy mess in just trying to battle video piracy as a whole. Given their issue is pretty complex, I don't see an immediate resolution anytime soon unless the companies negotiating on the other side of the bargaining table take some pretty big risks in order to satisfy the writers.

Oy vei.

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