It may be an entire month before viewers begin to feel the impact. However, shows such as “Desperate Housewives,” “CSI” and “Grey’s Anatomy” have officially ceased production.
This means that their typical seasons will end long before May 2008, which may leave some viewers scratching their heads and wondering to themselves what has happened to TV? The reason behind the production halt is simple.
The screenwriters of television have walked out of their offices, traded in their laptops for picket signs and have gone on strike. The Writers Guild of America is an organization that enlists writers for television and movies.
These writers are responsible for crafting intriguing stories that are used for either episodes of a hit TV series (“Law and Order”)or scripts for blockbuster films (“Shrek the Third,” “Transformers”).
However, writers generally receive less than the actors, directors and producers. And as a result, usually take home less revenue for something they helped create. This is exactly what the strike is about – more revenue. And who could disagree?
Writers are responsible for the story itself. They craft the dialogue, create the scenes and compose the conflict. The way they see it is, without them, there is nothing to go off of. So is the strike justified?
Robyn Dean, 20, a junior nursing student from Tallahassee, said the strike was justified, she said it is necessary.
“I believe the writers strike is essential because they are right,” Dean said. “They should get the money they deserve. Without the writers, there is no show to begin with. If you think about it, they are just as important as the actors and actresses.”
One of the main reasons the writers are fighting their studios is because of the Internet. Some people say the believe that the future of television lies in the internet and with shows such as “The Office” and “Heroes” being streamed on their company websites, one could argue that it is.
The effects of the strike are already being felt late night. Late night talk shows like, “Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” and others have already gone into repeats and it won’t be long before other programs follow suit. With primetime dramas, soap operas and talk shows off the air, networks will have no choice but to flood their channels with reality programs and game shows.
Most speculators are anticipating the strike to last for a while and television networks are already making preparations.
With the possibility of no dramas, comedies, soaps or talk shows, students seem to agree that Spring ’08 should be a very interesting one. However, there is the possibility that by the time this article is printed the strike may have ended.
Either way, it may be safe to say the balance of power between screenwriters and production companies has undoubtedly shifted.
Jay Christie is a junior magazine production student from Tallahassee. He can be reached Jessie1.firstname.lastname@example.org.