Baseball Toaster Screen Jam
2007-10-09 09:36
by Jon Weisman

For those who haven't paid attention, here's a Variety update on a possible Writers Guild strike and how it is already affecting the film and television industries. I'll excerpt some of the TV portion for you:

By Nov. 1, nets will have enough episodes of current shows in the can to get them through mid-January. But the February sweeps would be decimated, and new shows would halt production well before they'd filled their initial 13 episode orders.

As a result, an early strike could spell doom for some newer shows struggling in the ratings.

"If Fox has to shut down a show like 'K-Ville' in the middle of filming the seventh episode, they might just decide it makes more sense to simply cancel it," one agent said.

That's because keeping the "K-Ville" sets in place and its cast together would be costly. If the show were a hit, keeping the skein in a holding pattern would make sense, but given its weak early numbers, Fox might simply decide it makes sense to cut and run.

That decision would have a cost, too. TV shows generally need to produce 13 episodes to earn international coin. If shows such as "K-Ville" -- or CBS' ratings-challenged "Cane" or NBC's "Bionic Woman" -- wrap before they get to 13 segs, they'll likely end up a total loss for both the network and the studio that produces the show.

A writers' walkout before Thanksgiving could also cripple pilot season if scribes stay out for several months. While nets have purchased the bulk of their pilot scripts by now, they've seen only a few completed drafts. Most pilot scripts don't come in until late November or early December. An early strike would put pilot season on hold.

There are some observers, however, who think a January strike might make more strategic sense. The TV season would still be hurt, with original episodes of shows running out by late February. Pilot season would still be affected, since nets might be reluctant to lense $4 million pilot segs without scribes available to do rewrites -- especially for comedies. ...

2007-10-09 10:39:01
1.   Ken Arneson
Oh no! What would happen to Frank TV if there's a strike?
2007-10-09 11:00:01
2.   Mark T.R. Donohue
Dear television industry: Perfectly willing scab right here, and I can say with some confidence that I am less incompetent than the idiots who came up with "Chuck."
2007-10-09 14:18:20
3.   Kevin Lewis

It's cool. He does amazing improv, so no writers are necessary. Okay, that was dripping with sarcasm. I can't take any more of those commercials. Please, TBS, make it stop!!!

2007-10-09 14:25:56
4.   Bob Timmermann
I did not know "lense" was spelled that way.

I would not miss "Bionic Woman". I have already started to not even know when it's on.

That show's hype really was out of proportion to its quality.

2007-10-09 21:46:52
5.   underdog
I'm curious how this will affect the film industry. right now a ton of projects are being rushed into production as studios go into panic mode, just to cover their tracks next year if there's a prolonged strike.

Won't help my own script, which is stuck in indie studio limbo anyway, but might affect other writers out there with projects being moved from "hold" to "go" in the rush. I have some more on this on my own blog if anyone cares and linked back to Jon's post.

I better get cracking on my Justice League script that...


2007-10-10 19:50:25
6.   Voxter


If you hire me, I will turn "Reaper" into the good show it should be, instead of the kinda-okay "Buffy" knockoff it currently is.

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