Today I’m going to discuss the reason behind the Writer’s strike and the fates of a couple more popular shows as well as how the major motion picture industry will be affected. Remember, this is all assuming the strike lasts for a long time, which is a popular topic for debate, with good reasons on both sides.
Tensions have been steadily rising within the Writer’s Guild for some time now, threats of strike have been made many times, but tensions almost broke with the success of putting television shows on DVD. Writer’s did not make money off the sales of shows put into DVD format and threatened to strike. Now, with the addition of “New Media,” these threats of strike have become reality. With media expanding at such a rapid rate, conflicts have arisen to solve some of the problems with these new forms. “New Media” includes all sales on the internet, including the sales of television shows and movies on iTunes and similar sites.
The official press release from The Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) concerning what the Companies are suggesting is as follows. This is directly from their website and can be found at: http://www.wga.org/subpage_newsevents.aspx?id=2539
“Early today, the WGA completely withdrew its DVD proposal, which the Companies said was a stumbling block. Yet, the Companies still insisted on the following:
• No jurisdiction for most of new media writing.
• No economic proposal for the part of new media writing where they do propose to give coverage.
• Internet downloads at the DVD rate.
• No residual for streaming video of theatrical product.
• A "promotional" proposal that allows them to reuse even complete movies or TV shows on any platform with no residual. This proposal alone destroys residuals.
• A "window” of free reuse on the Internet that makes a mockery of any residual.”
Currently, the WGA is asking for a few things. They are requesting a doubling of the residual rate for DVD’s, at high point of tension in the past years. Also, a 2.5% of distributor’s gross for all profit made on the “New Media.”
Now for the continuing coverage of shows and movies:
High profile movie sequels are going to suffer the most in the movie industry. Blockbuster movies like Transformers 2 and Spider-Man 4 are big money-making propositions that were given the green light to make, but are still in the script-writing stage. These movies make considerable amounts of money, and therefore could be a big hit to the movie industry in a couple years time when they should have been released. As for the other movies not dependent on former movies, scripts are in abundance and so they will not be affected as much. This is one of those situations that will only be affected by an extended strike.
More Television Shows:
Actors from the hit hospital drama joined the picket line on their lunch break but are still making the show. Actor Patrick Dempsey has been quoted as saying, “that we're not that far ahead script-wise. I think we'll have enough shows that take us through Christmas, and after that we'll see if that's the (end of the) season or not."
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (and its Spin-Offs)
I cannot find any information on these shows in particular, but it is probably safe to assume that they share a similar fate to other shows. They have some scripts in storage, but after those are produced, the show will have to end for the season.
Smallville creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar have stated their support for the writers, but that fifteen scripts are prepared for the show and are planning to be produced. The last script is said to end on a cliffhanger and no plans for changing that have been announced.
Desperate Housewives will finish filming the tenth episode of the season this week and will likely run out of new episodes before Christmas. Producers say they have already run out of scripts which is leading to the early end of production.
24’s premiere has been delayed until all the shows can be shown continuously without delay. Eight episodes have been completed.
The current stand-off with the strike has led to many high-profile visits to the picket line by celebrities. Unfortunately, many actors and producers are contractually obligated to continue working despite the strike. These situations may cause a reaction from both sides to help negotiate some terms, but an estimation of how long the strike will last is impossible.