Monday, November 5, 2007

What the F@#*!?!? - The WGA Strike

In just a little under four hours, the Writer's Guild goes on strike in Hollywood. What does this mean? Well, in the event that the strike last for a few months (and the last time the WGA went on strike in the early 90s it lasted for about half a year) it would mean that all of your favorite television shows would run out of new episodes right around the time of the winter break. That means The Office, The Daily Show, 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, Heroes, Grey's Anatomy, Scrubs, Lost, CSI, and all the others that TV depends on to make any kind of ratings will go away for the new year.

What exactly is the dispute about? Mostly, it's over money from digital technologies. The writers want more residuals from DVD sales, as well as money from On Demand content such as NBC's system that lets viewers watch any episode of select shows streaming on their web site.

For movies, it's meant a huge rush to complete scripts for blockbusters on time. Go check out the news over at /Film with the link to your right, the news there about new movies rushing to meet the deadline has been massive in quantity. I don't know about you, but a lot of those films getting rushed into production don't look so good. Transformers 2, Justice League of America, and a bunch of others don't look to be very good. Also, people like Paul Haggis have frantically finished their scripts so that films like the new James Bond movie can start production. Who wants to rush a script with as much potential as that one? The studios are preparing to empy the vaults on delayed films should this strike delay production for more than a few weeks. I'm worried that after 2008 all we'll see are films that have been shelved for a couple years because of how horrible they were.

After watching The Office and Heroes the past two weeks, I'm really worried about what will happen to those shows if the writers strike for too long. Heroes is just starting to pick up in excitement for this new season, and The Office has a huge head of steam going for it right now; it's essentially the best written show on television right now.

2008 looks to be another good year, what with The Dark Knight and Indy 4 looming large, but this strike just makes me nervous. The NHL lockout ended terribly for all involved, and the MLB strike ended Tony Gwyn's chance at history and sent fans away for good. The industry has been building and building ever since Spider-Man, and I'd really hate to see the qulity dip that a strike would cause ruin the popularity and art of film for the next few years. I'll be reading anything I can about this, and hoping that somehow this gets solved really soon. Until then, enjoy your shows, these could be the last few new episodes for a good long time.

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