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Writers Strike Close at Hand

Let's hope viewers enjoy reality shows, and lots of them, because that's what most networks may eventually be showing if a writers strike occurs next week.

The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have been trying to negotiate a new writers union contract for months, but have very little to show for it. The current contract just expired on Halloween, yet neither side has agreed to the other's terms.

While the issues may seem pretty complicated, here's what it all boils down to: the writers want increased profits from DVD sales, plus a portion of profits from shows watched online or on mobile devices. The producers, on the other hand, want to wait and see if there's any profit to be made from shows viewed online.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Variety and The Futon Critic here's how the dominoes will most likely fall if the writers do strike on Monday:

-Jay Leno, David Letterman and other late-night talk show hosts can take those long vacations they've always dreamed about. That's because their monologues and skits are written by union writers, and without them they can't fill the time. Many shows may immediately go into reruns, or hosts could choose to extend the interview segments.

-NBC could start showing classic episodes of "Saturday Night Live" because without the writers, the show would only be two minutes long.

-Soap operas are up next. With only a month of episodes already filmed, the shows would probably go on hiatus, because soap-lovers will not stand for repeats.

-Once January rolls around, viewers will have few choices: either watch some DVDs or get hooked on reality and reruns. That's because most networks will run out of new scripted episodes starting early in the year. (Most network programs film their shows months in advance.)

There's even talk that newsmagazines may make a resurgence. Hey, you never know, NBC may bring Stone Phillips back to host extra episodes of Dateline NBC. And you just know there's probably fifteen more gigs for Ryan Seacrest somewhere in this mess. --Chris Sardelli

Posted by Chris on November 2, 2007 6:27 PM
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Got something to say? Post a comment:

Have they considered re-runs for prime time? Seinfeld, friends etc. Not that it would be great, but it's better than reality.

-- Posted by: Ozzy at November 2, 2007 7:47 PM

The productions are stockpiling scripts so some will continue to shoot. It'll be re-runs and reality shows. I agree, Ozzy, anything is better than reality shows...

-- Posted by: Connie at November 3, 2007 12:09 AM

That's not what happened last time to the late night shows... Letterman did quite a few shows without writers... remember Hal Gurnee's Network Time Killers? That was during the last writers strike..

-- Posted by: Blake at November 4, 2007 11:08 PM

All I remember of the last writer's strike was that my favorite show, V, got cancelled because of it.

-- Posted by: Connie at November 5, 2007 1:32 PM

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