To bring some clarity to the situation in America regarding the Writer’s Guild strike, I am putting together a report on what’s going on. First and foremost, I will talk about some of the states of television’s most popular shows so you watchers know what to expect. I will bring updates as I find them and will write an article about the why of the strike later this week. For now, lets stick to what is most relevant: What going to happen to (insert television show here)!
The Colbert Report/ The Daily Show/ David Letterman and other shows of this format:
Sorry guys, immediate shut down. These shows are written daily in order to incorporate the latest news and events. All production of these shows has been immediately shut down. An article on IGN.com states that there is a possibility of these shows coming back but with severe changes in format, with the removal of monologues and a focus instead of discussion between people.
Savour what is left of this series, NBC has officially announced that episode 11 of season two will act as the season finale. That means four episodes left. On the bright side, this episode was always intended as the end of the current story arc and so only minor changes are needed to be made to the script. The spin-off show Heroes: Origins has been cancelled, but this was done before the strike, possibly due to the ratings drop for season two and also because of the impending (and now current) strike.
Lost is in no immediate danger, as the show has scripts stockpiled. Unless this strike is extended, viewers can expect new episodes for quite a few months. But the season is only half done, so a mid-season end may happen, with episode twelve or fourteen being the end of the season four.
Family Guy, The Simpsons, other animated shows
Thanks to the long process of animating, scripts for cartoons are made very far in advance, so these shows may be stopping the writing process, but older scripts continue to be animated.
The Office is a separate case. With a few of the actors being writers, the production of The Office is officially down. With Steve Carell also being a member of the Writer’s Guild, he won’t be jumping to work any time soon. Strangely enough, rumour has it that NBC may be airing episodes of the british version of The Office, the inspiration for the American edition.
Chuck, Bionic Woman, Back to You and other shows in their first season
These shows are in the most danger for their continued success. A new show has significantly less pre-prepared material and therefore may shut down earlier than expected. This also then leads to networks making very difficult decisions on whether or not to bring these shows back later. Typically, about one in three new shows survive to season two. With the strike, the numbers will almost for certain be worse.
I love this show and it's in its last season. The verdict seems to be that 12 of the 18 episodes for Scrubs last season will be able to be produced. I will post more news on more shows as I come across it and as quickly as possible.
For specific shows, their fates are being widely discussed in the news, so with a little research, you should be able to figure out all the bad news.