How Does the Screen Writers Guild Strike Affect You? Depends How Trashy You Like Your TV!

Illustration for article titled How Does the Screen Writers Guild Strike Affect You? Depends How Trashy You Like Your TV!

Many of you may be aware that a Writers Guild of America strike is basically a forgone conclusion at this point, but you might not realize how the lack of working screenwriters might affect the average couch potato like yourself. To recap: the Writers Guild of America (WGA), which includes writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable, and new media industries, had a contract which expired yesterday, because they're still haggling ove digital rights, DVD profits, and something darling Nikki Finke calls "jurisdictional issues." Not every writer in Hollywood is union, of course; especially those writers who don't actually write because their shows are — wink, wink — "unscripted." But the bottom line is that if a strike lasts a long enough time, scripted series will go the way of the dodo for the 2007-2008 TV season and networks, says Finke, will "rely on programming more cheap reality-TV and game shows," which is probably what the world needs now anyway. So where does this leave you?

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I know many of you are lovers of scripted gems like 30 Rock, the Daily Show, the Colbert Report, The Office and many more would be saddened to see them go on indefinite hiatus. But what are the Jezebels really watching? A quick poll to find out:

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Do you really need more reality in your life? Would you explode because John Krasinski's face no longer visited you on Thursday nights? Do you agree with Nikki Finke, that this is just an ultimately meaningless fight between "the writers and producers who occupy the same pen known as Hollywood [and] act like monkeys flinging their feces against the walls. Both sides make menacing noises to indicate they're going to bite the hands that feed them"? We're curious, do tell.

Strike Happy [LA Weekly]

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DISCUSSION

probationer-old
probationer

"The Daily Show" is a comedy-variety show and might be—might be—governed by a different WGA contract from that of scripted-show writers. I'd research this fully, but I am lazy (as well as unpaid) and this is what editors do.

The humiliation-based realilty shows are too frightening for me to have watched more than 30 seconds of any. Interestingly, the "reality" shows are so real that the WGA regularly pickets producers over the issue of unauthorized scripting.

In anticipation of a strike, I am banking an assload of second-tier scripted shows on TiVo and will, if I must, adjust my minimum standard for watching TV lower. I'll up Netflix to 4-at-a-time. I'll TiVo more Turner Classic. I'll spend more time online. I'll listen to more recorded books. I might even take walks. I live where winters are mild. I'll be fine.