How Will TV Strike Affect Viewers?

TV Strike

TV Strike?
The Writers Guild of America contract expired Halloween night, and the thought of a strike by its 12,000 members spooked a lot of television viewers. The writers did go on strike Monday morning, November 5, seeking more money from the sale of DVDs and the distribution of shows via the Internet, cell phones and other outlets. Producers are resisting, arguing profits from DVDs just offset the increased cost of production.

How will the strike affect viewers? It depends on the kind of show.

Talk Shows

Talk shows are especially affected. The absence of monologues and skits is forcing such shows as "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report"on the Comedy Central channel, "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on NBC, and "The Late Show with David Letterman'' on CBS to run repeats.

(Photo: AP)

Soap Operas

Soap operas will start disappearing in several weeks, since that is how much in advance they work, and because they rarely run repeats; advertisers don't like soap reruns.

(Photo: CBS)

Television Series

Scripted television series will run out of new episodes sometime around the beginning of 2008, since they are put together some six weeks in advance. After that, the networks will probably run repeats, or replace these series with reality shows or news programs. Rumor has it that in place of new episodes of "The Office," NBC might run old episodes from the British version of the series.

(Photo: AP Photo/NBC, Justin Lubin)

Reality Shows

Reality shows such as "Survivor" will not be affected by the strike -- and indeed may replace some of the scripted series.
(Photo: CBS)

"American Idol" has finished the season, but if there is a strike, will there be a season eight? The answer is yes. The Fox Network, with its heavy proportion of unscripted shows is reportedly the least vulnerable to feeling the effects of a writers' strike.

(Photo: AP)


News and "magazine" shows such as "60 Minutes" and "Primetime Live" are not affected by the strike by the members of the Writers Guild of America, since news writers, though represented by the same union, have a different contract.

(Photo: CBS)

Game Shows

Drew Carey is the new host of the old game show "The Price is Right," and also of a new game show "The Power of 10." Since game shows are largely unscripted, they will not be much affected by the writers' strike.

(Photo: AP)

Animated Series

The Simpsons will continue for fellow couch potatoes. Since animated series take a long time to produce, the scripts for "The Simpsons" are ready as much as a year in advance. Even if the writers strike for a year, Homer will not disappear. The longest-running animated TV series began a year after the last Hollywood writers' strike, in 1988, which lasted for 22 weeks. Viewers were treated to repeats and a delayed season; ten percent of them stopped watching television for good.

(Photo: AP)