Television/Movies Writers Strike: Could This Be Happening Again

Have you wondered why we haven’t heard about some renewals or expectations for next year?  Well, I was alerted yesterday by a friend who has a relative in show business as the possible reason.  Her relative writes for television that ANOTHER Writers’ Strike looks threatening.  Not only does it threaten the television industry as a whole but also what we viewers watched.  If you want to read more about the potential of what this strike might mean, visit the New York Times article entitled With a Hollywood Writers’ Strike Looming, Here’s What to Know..

Let me just remind people of what happened in 2007-2008.  This is not in any particular order but I what I recall.

  • When the strike happened, all production on the shows ceased.  Since it was at a time when production was going on, shows either stopped in the middle of a production or had to ask other unions to cross the picket line.  Some actors refused because they wanted to show solidarity for their fellow industry workers.
  • The networks scrambled for programming.  Reality took over.  Big Brother fans remember the winter of 2008 as the year we want to forget.  They came out with a special “couples” edition of Big Brother and no fan was happy.  Coming off the Evel Dick season 8, season 9 was annoying and too soon.
  • Shows like Heroes, LOST, Desperate Housewives, and 24 were caught in the middle of complicated story lines.  Seasons were cut to whatever was already filmed leaving people want more.  To me, this was beginning of both Heroes and LOST good season and the ending of the series.
  • Late night shows returned in January but either had to have a special permit, go without writers, or  have the celebrity as owners.  Of course, this saw a rise in ratings for both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
  • Many shows went into repeats immediately saving the filmed shows for “sweeps months.”
  • Daytime drama suffered the worse.  Many attribute the writer’s strike to the end of most daytime dramas (and I won’t say it didn’t help the shows to end).  While trying to keep their viewers with repeats, the shows often seemed in a time warp that hurt instead of helped.

Now don’t get me wrong, some good did come out of this.  I’m not sure if we would have either Agents of SHIELD or Once Upon a Time if the writers hadn’t had a break.  Plus Whedon became his most creative with Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog.  If you haven’t seen that Harris/Fillon piece, I’d suggest this Writers’ Strike (if it does happen) as a good viewing option.

Will the writers’ strike.  I’m hearing that 51% wants it to happen.  If they do go out on picket lines, it will begin on May 1st.  The 2007-2008 version lasted 100 days.  In 1988, the Writers’ Strike lasted 155 days.  One of the big issues this time is health insurance.  Let’s hope the networks and writers come to an agreement or the 2017-2018 television season may not happen until January or February 2018.

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