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WGA Strike Report: Week 2 Recap

As the writers strike extended through its second week, picketers were still going strong and talks had not yet resumed between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. And even though both sides have agreed to return to the negotiation table on November 26, many shows have already been affected. Here's a recap of happenings through week two of the strike:

-Variety reports Seth MacFarlane, the writer/creator/producer of Fox's "Family Guy," has decided not to continue producing the animated comedy or provide voices for several of the characters as long as he's on strike. Fox, in turn, has decided to complete several episodes without him, which he says will damage his relationship with the network.

-NBC canceled its plans to attend the annual Television Critics Association, according to Entertainment Weekly. The press tour is where networks unveil midseason shows, but many actors and writers will probably not show up because of the ongoing strike. Several other networks are still considering attending the tour, but may announce otherwise in the next few days.

-Starships and cyborgs have no power over the writers strike. The Hollywood Reporter announced that both Sci Fi's "Battlestar Galactica" and NBC's "Bionic Woman" had to shut down their productions because both ran out of scripts. "Battlestar" was supposed to shoot episodes through next year, and "Bionic" had scheduled to film through part of December. These developments could hurt both shows: "Battlestar" may be forced to push off its newest season, and "Bionic" could be in danger of cancellation if too many viewers forget about the show.

-Variety reports that several late-night talk shows are trying to come back to television, but many hosts are worried they'll get the same treatment Ellen DeGeneres did when she returned to the airwaves. Apparently, one of the ideas includes having two shows on different networks premiere on the same day. Hosts have acknowledged, though, that it will be hard without the writers, since good portions of their shows are scripted.

-Entertainment Weekly compiled a pretty comprehensive list of the number of shows left for many programs. Check it out here. (Note that while only NBC's "The Office" has run out of episodes, several other shows are pretty darn close.)

-Over 50 production staffers have lost their jobs at "Saturday Night Live," according to EW. NBC fired most of these people on November 16, saying they couldn't keep them on the payroll because of the strike. According to Variety, the actors for the show have been placed on unpaid hiatus.

-The former director of CBS' comedy "Green Acres" is taking advantage of the strike by trying to get networks interested in his remake of the old show. EW says he already has a written pilot that could go into production without infringing on strike rules.

-TV Week reported several interesting occurrences, including: Presidential candidate John Edwards joining picketers last week; "SNL" and "30 Rock" actors performing old episodes at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater; writers for FX's "The Riches" storming the set of their show and yelling during filming.

We'll see what happens this week as both sides enter Week 3 of the strike. --Chris Sardelli

Posted by Chris on November 19, 2007 8:47 PM
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