22 November 2007

Writers' Strike : Avoiding the shark jump

The Hollywood writers are on strike.

Last time they went on strike, it was for five months, and producers got around it by inventing reality shows and, as I said in my last post, writing their own really awful TV episodes, which were as bad as shows where the characters have to jump over a shark to get attention.

When the strike ended, the studios went on producing reality shows, which is why we're sick of them now. We don't care how cheap they are to produce, we don't want to watch them. (All right, maybe there is the occasional guilty peek, but only very occasionally) There is even a producer threatening to produce a reality show about producers who want to produce a reality show. Yeah. It's a laugh.

This time TV showrunners are striking with the writers. The showrunners, Nikki Finke explained on Radio National's Media Report in Australia this morning, are the people who keep the shows running smoothly behind the scenes. They are, apparently, a rare and valuable breed. Without them, the corporate producers can't even fake some episodes. Thank heavens. Think of the terrible episodes we won't have to watch. Even news shows are shutting down. Apparently they can't read what reporters have written, they need Writers Guild of America writers to write their words for them.

Nikki also said that fans of TV shows are sending pencils to producers to show their support for the writers. The reason for the pencils has to do with the phrase 'penciled out', which happens when a show is crossed off the schedule.

Studio officials claim that the writers are lying and misrepresenting them, but that they are not going to explain themselves until the proper time. I suppose the 'proper time' will come when the strike is over and a writer will write the speech for them.

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