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November 14, 2007


For those of you who are not familiar with the current Writer's Guild of America strike, I highly recommend you read this article, written by Damon Lindelof, the head writer of ABC's Lost. Essentially, the writers are demanding royalties on internet viewings of their television shows. When websites like ABC or NBC air episodes of their popular TV shows, the studios receive all of the profits and ad revenue, and the writers don't see a penny. With the future of television looking more and more like the internet (with increasingly technological mediums), writers are acting proactively by seeking a cut of their deserved earnings before it is too late.

As an avid television viewer, the strike is looking extremely bleak. As soon as the already completed episodes of our favorite television shows air, we probably won't see new material until at least next September. Tomorrow's episode of The Office is the last of the series, and other popular shows like Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy won't continue for much longer either. We're looking at a winter filled with reruns and endless amounts of reality TV. Already CBS has accelerated production on Big Brother, ordinarily a staple of its summer schedule. It could now begin as soon as February. High profile writers like Lindelof and Tina Fey have even gone on the record stating that they don't see an end for this strike anytime in the near future. Hopefully when ratings for all shows other than American Idol inevitably plummet during the winter, studios will come to their senses and give the writers a cut of what they deserve, and we can see new episodes or our favorite shows as soon as possible.

Another strike that is receiving less publicity but is still affecting the entertainment industry as a whole is that of the Broadway stagehands. The holiday season is undoubtedly the most profitable for these shows, and the bright lights of many theaters have gone dark indefinitely. The workers have not yet gone on the record detailing their demands, but they claim that they are fighting for a fair contract that is representative of the work that they do day in and day out. Popular shows like Rent, Wicked, Mamma Mia, and The Phantom of the Opera have shut down, and only 8 productions are currently continuing on. All of the play-goers are receiving refunds for their tickets, but that doesn't necessarily make up for the disappointment of coming all the way to New York City and being turned away at the door of a Broadway theater. Although negotiations are occurring, it is looking more and more like the show will not go on for December tourists visiting the city.

Posted by lallida at November 14, 2007 03:47 PM