No flipping stations in this writers' strike drama
For Hollywood’s writers, their strike is about getting fairly paid when the work they do ends up on new media, like the Internet.
In an open letter released Dec. 19, Rockford native Shawn Ryan, creator of “The Shield” on FX and CBS’ “The Unit,” included this statement of support for the Writers Guild of America’s decision:
“I watched as the company’s representatives treated us horrendously, disrespectfully, and then walked out on us ... claiming we had broken off negotiations.”
For the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, this is about the writers guild’s “irresponsible action” and “unwillingness” to compromise, as they said when the strike began Nov. 4.
For we TV viewers caught in the middle, this is a real-life drama we want to see canceled.
James Madera, an aspiring screenwriter in Rockford, said the writers deserve a cut of Internet profits and DVD sales. But in an e-mail sent to the Register Star on Wednesday, he predicts a negative effect from the strike.
“Many films were rushed into production just before the writers strike. As networks run out of new material, they turn to mind-numbing reality programming,” he wrote.
“Writers get a bum rap from Hollywood. Everything starts with the writer. Unless you are a director or producer, you are viewed as little more than hired help.”
As the strike drags into its ninth week, we offer this guide to upcoming episodes of “TV Survivor: Hollywood.”
Episode IV: ‘What’s New? Not Much’
ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Ugly Betty,” and Fox’s “House” are among the popular series with three or fewer shows already taped and ready to air, The Associated Press reports.
NBC’s “Heroes” and CBS’ “CSI,” “Without a Trace” and “Two And A Half Men” have no new episodes available. Fox has some “24” episodes ready to go but doesn’t want to air them if there’s a risk the rest cannot be shot, according to the AP.
Episode XV: ‘Getting the Last (and Only) Laughs’
Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report” return with new shows, beginning Monday, Jan. 7. Jay Leno’s and Conan O’Brien’s late-night shows, both on NBC, come back Wednesday, without writers.
Episode XVII: ‘Don’t Have a Cow, Man’
Fox’s “The Simpsons” and NBC’s “Law & Order” are ready for midseason premieres in January. ABC’s “Lost” is due back Thursday, Jan. 31, but with only half of the planned 16 shows completed, the season may be cut short.
Episode XIX: ‘No Script Writers, No Scripts’
Conventional wisdom says the networks will rely heavily on unscripted dramas — that’s reality TV, to you and me — each looking for the next “I Love New York.”
Episode XXIII: ‘And the Winner is ... ’
The writers guild denies permission for writers to work the Oscars and Golden Globe award shows. Will it mean even lamer banter between presenters? Will the writers picket the red carpet, and if so, will celebrities cross the lines on Hollywood’s biggest night?
Episode XL: ‘And the Loser Is ... ’
In a series finale broadcast live on network news, the winner of the strike is announced. The losers, of course, are viewers.