We’ve all come a long way since November 5th, 2007. On that morning, the Writer’s Guild of America officially went on strike after contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers suffered a horrible demise. In a previous article published days after the strike started, we suggested you pick up reading or something else. Well, have you? If you haven’t, you still have some time, because now is when the affects are really starting to show up.
At this point, the majority of television watchers are simply taking what they have. The incredibly successful American Idol has returned, LOST is making its way back today (January 31st), and other new series are finally being aired. Of course, there are the extremist groups. One group has been frantic and unable to function properly. “Oh my God, what is going to happen to Carlos on ‘Desperate Housewives’!? Oh crap, who’s getting fired next on ‘House’?! Give me ‘The Office’ or give me death!” You get the picture. The opposing group have never touched a television (or rarely do) and could give a damn less.
Quite possibly the biggest effect was the cancellation of the Golden Globe Awards, incited mostly through the Screen Actors Guild refusing to cross intended picket lines. While not as prestigious as the Academy Awards, it certainly isn’t at the level of the Grammys (the butt-end of countless award jokes), so its cancellation has caused a decent ripple through the industry.
The ceremony was replaced by a news conference and cost NBC millions of dollars. The writers seem to not care about the Grammys (insert “Who really cares?” comment here), but are they ballsy enough to take down the Oscars?
The Oscar nominations are out, and as most actors dream of one day earning an Oscar, nominations may be too hard to pass up an entire show for. Director Jason Reitman is surely surprised as most (unfortunately, Tim Burton is probably saying “Figures…” again). Is the WGA going to let “Juno” be this year’s “Little Miss Sunshine”? Is the AMPTP going to send Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men”) to kill some writers? Feb. 24 is a ways off, but it will come sooner than one would think. Look for our Oscar coverage later in the semester, as the Academy is stressing that the show will go on.
So for now, the only new shows that were going on pre-strike are late night programs, and those have shown a definite lack of quality. David Letterman and Craig Ferguson (whose show isn’t that funny anyway) have made a deal with the WGA, but folks like Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno are scathing by, sans writers. Same goes for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Stewart hasn’t been bad, mostly due to his experience as a stand up comedian, but it is clear he needs his writers. Colbert would be having the same problems, but he is so into his super-right wing alter ego that he seems to coast by without writers (though from time to time, he shows hints of respect to them).
As of print, Lionsgate Studios and Marvel Studios have signed independent, interim deals with the WGA – a sign of progress, perhaps? At the very least, it is a sign you will be getting another Marvel superhero movie (please, not Spider-Man 4; 3 already killed the series!). But as you find other things to do during this strike, please, we beg you, don’t spend money on movies like “Meet the Spartans.” You will be much better suited catching up on the Oscar nominees.