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Television Media

Writers Strike Officially Over 499

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the sick-of-reality-tv dept.
CNN is reporting that the 100-day Hollywood writers walkout is now officially over. The new contract managed to snag two of the three major points the Writers Guild was looking for. The writers will now have "jurisdiction" for content created especially for new media (Internet, cell phones, etc) and will get paid for the reuse of content on new media when the studios get paid. "Leslie Moonves, chief executive officer of CBS Corp., told The Associated Press, 'At the end of the day, everybody won. It was a fair deal and one that the companies can live with, and it recognizes the large contribution that writers have made to the industry. [...] It's unclear how soon new episodes of scripted programs will start appearing, because production won't begin until scripts are completed, the AP reported. It will take at least four weeks for producers to get the first post-strike episodes of comedies back on the air; dramas will take six to eight weeks, the AP said.'"
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Writers Strike Officially Over

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  • First post (Score:2, Funny)

    by shentino (1139071)
    And I'm just hoping that my favorite shows like Numb3rs and NCIS weren't affected.

    I really don't care what happens as long as my shows keep coming and nobody gets hurt.

    Thanks to scuttlemonkey for posting my submission.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Yay Numb3rs. It's cool to see that other geeks like it -- I'm a college freshman in CS, and I'm so tired of hearing that my classmates either haven't heard of it or think it's crap and not worth watching. Personally, I'm willing to suspend enough disbelief to enjoy the show despite the far-fetched uses of math.

      • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Scrameustache (459504) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @02:14PM (#22409742) Homepage Journal

        Yay Numb3rs.
        I just skip the middleman and rewatch Pi by Darren Aronofsky [imdb.com] instead of watching its TV rip-off when I'm the mood for a math story, personally :)
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by wattrlz (1162603)
          While quite entertaiing that movie has almost nothing to do with math. If those are the kind of writers we're expecting to see back in business geeks can go back to not caring.
      • Re:First post (Score:5, Insightful)

        by edwdig (47888) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @02:41PM (#22410144)
        I've only watched (part of) one episode of Numb3rs, but that was enough for me to totally write off the show.

        The scenario was a guy robs a gas station. He holds a gun over his head and fires up into the sky. There is no video of it, just stories from the witnesses. The math guy rambles off a bunch of math terms, says algorithm a lot, then draws on a map, marking off a couple of places that the bullet was most likely to land.

        The explanation of what he was doing was just random words strung together that didn't make any sense. "A guy fired a bullet into the sky" is no where near enough info to find a bullet.

        After that, he went off into another "derivative algorithm sine cosine algorithm mean median algorithm integral algorithm" rant, so I changed the channel and never looked back.
    • I can understand why people want to see fiction they like. Everyone knows it's fiction, and sometimes fiction can explore issues in a way that would be difficult for a documentary.

      However, I got tired of seeing fiction that tried to make me believe things that could not be true due to the laws of physics, or due to other aspects of reality. So, now I only watch or read non-fiction. Defending myself from the deceptions and errors of fiction takes brain processing time, and I'd rather use my brainpower to work on something else besides the ideas of a writer who had little interest in reality when he was in school.

      It bothers me that comedians can't operate without writers, that they present their jokes as their own, but the jokes are actually written by someone else.

      Far worse, however, is the media writing that George W. Bush said something when he was obviously only reading something someone else wrote. In class you get disciplined if you present someone else's work as your own. If you are president of the United States, that is considered acceptable.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        However, I got tired of seeing fiction that tried to make me believe things that could not be true due to the laws of physics, or due to other aspects of reality. So, now I only watch or read non-fiction. Defending myself from the deceptions and errors of fiction takes brain processing time, and I'd rather use my brainpower to work on something else besides the ideas of a writer who had little interest in reality when he was in school.

        There's quite a lot of space between Documentary and fiction that break

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by AJWM (19027)
          Then there are shows like Star Trek that use fictional technology but clearly define the laws and limitations of their world.

          Riiight. At least until the plot requires otherwise.
  • Crisis Averted! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mickyfin613 (1192879) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:13PM (#22408704)
    Future generations will look back at this strike as "the year we almost lost Hollywood and no one really gave a crap."
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      And here's the link [uncyclopedia.org]
    • Re:Crisis Averted! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Amorymeltzer (1213818) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:26PM (#22408934)
      Honestly, I cared. I really cared. Why?

      It sent a goddamned message to the public. The fact that this was such a big deal for so many people was absurd; less of life needs to be focused around what happens on TV. My only regret is that it's over in time for the Academy Awards. I think not having that ceremony would've sent a strong message to people about silly and over-hyped this whole culture is.
      • Re:Crisis Averted! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by monoqlith (610041) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:37PM (#22409134)
        While I agree that American culture revolves too much around television and other distractions, I think what this deal represents is much more than that. Organized labor has managed to mount an effective protest against executive management and work out a deal that favors both parties. That's the first time that's happened in awhile.

        This should give organized labor across the country a little bit of confidence.

        So it represents something big even if it is just the television and film writers.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Amorymeltzer (1213818)
          I see it as much less than the triumph of organized labor. The masses can always take over the executives if need be, and that's not necessarily a good thing. Living in NYC, I think of the times when the garbage men and subway operators basically held the city for ransom while striking.

          Rather, it's an admission of the changing environment the arts operate in. It's indicative of a realization of executives that the current technological climate is radically different than it was even a decade ago, and the
          • Living in NYC, I think of the times when the garbage men and subway operators basically held the city for ransom while striking.

            You may see it as ransom, but didn't the downtime during the strike make you think twice (or once) about what they're paid (or whatever else they were asking for before striking...)?
            • Re:Crisis Averted! (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Amorymeltzer (1213818) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @02:00PM (#22409506)
              Absolutely, and those people deserved to be paid more than they were (although, in fairness, both groups get amazing benefits from the city) but that doesn't make it "good." There's a reason why it's illegal for them, or teachers, to strike - they're so integral to the functioning of the society (and in the case of the WFC, the global economy) that we simply cannot function without them. That power has thankfully not been used to extremes yet, but there's no reason it wouldn't. Especially in the case of those in Hollywood, I simply do not trust SWG/SAG/DGA to always be so beneficent with their choke-hold over American interests and thinking. If the writers demanded double what they were, and one if not both of the other guilds decided they wanted the same, there'd be nothing produced here. There'd be such pressure from corporations and the public to get it over with that the guilds could probably get their demands met.
        • Not all forms of organised labour get to air their grievances on screen via the conduit of Letterman or endless news reports. Hardly a surprise that the TV writers' strike was all over the TV news.
        • Re:Crisis Averted! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by cayenne8 (626475) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @02:12PM (#22409708) Homepage Journal
          "This should give organized labor across the country a little bit of confidence."

          Oh God, I hope not. While I'll admit in this case, it was a good thing....in general, I think unions are killing us in the US while trying to compete with business on a global scale.

          Look at the recent postings of losses by GM. The outrageous fees they have to pay for retirements and other union perks, is killing them. They cannot sell a car at a decent price with a decent profit any longer....and they're more shoddily made, due to unions having people in there that cannot be fired without an act of God. It is almost like a govt. job.

          Seriously....while I know the unions at their start helped make things right that were wrong, they have proved to go far beyond their useful place in labor relations, and have now been strangling US businesses. I'm sorry, but, a manual laborer should not expect $30/hour, and lifetime benefits...it isn't a special job, anyone could do it without formal education, but, due to job lock-ins, there isn't competition for that job.

          • Re:Crisis Averted! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by The FNP (1177715) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @02:54PM (#22410296)
            Actually the problem is that the Third World is _NOT_ Unionized. If Chinese workers or Malaysian workers were unionized, the costs of making the goods and shipping them halfway around the world, tariffs, duties, customs, shipping them to the warehouse, the trouble, the cost of translators, Quality Control, etc, etc, ad nauseam, would make it not worth the trouble to outsource your manufacturing.

            It's only when you can treat your serfs as the disposable Kleenex they are that the cost savings of the manufacturing offsets the increased costs of logistics.
      • by Otter (3800)
        It sent a goddamned message to the public. The fact that this was such a big deal for so many people was absurd; less of life needs to be focused around what happens on TV.

        Your goddamned message was completely lost on me -- I watched just as much television during the strike as I did before, and had completely forgotten the strike was happening. Just last night, I happily watched the last period of the Bruins-Hurricanes game and the new episode of Anthony Bourdain Crawls Back To The Food Network. That ther

      • by khallow (566160)
        Sorry, I didn't get the memo. Still I'd have to disagree with you. It wasn't that many people and it wasn't that big a deal.
      • by timster (32400)
        The fact that this was such a big deal for so many people was absurd

        Agreed! In fact, to make sure the message gets across, we should close down musical writing next. Society would be better off if there wasn't any new music being made, since we all know it's not important. And then we could get authors to stop writing, video game makers to stop making video games, sculptors to stop sculpting. Before long we'd DEFINITELY have a clear idea of what's really important.

        OK, maybe you don't like this particula
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Amorymeltzer (1213818)
          Honestly, not having any new music for a while wouldn't be such a bad thing. People wouldn't be able to just latch on to the next cookie-cutter artist out of the box, and would instead have to explore their tastes and find something that they can actually listen to for more than three months worth of binge drinking.
          • Re:Crisis Averted! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by timster (32400) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @02:16PM (#22409774)
            I couldn't disagree more. It's tempting to look upon this huge landscape of art that's already been made and conclude that the old stuff is better, that so much of the new stuff is uncreative, and that there's no reason to make it anymore. That thinking would make this a pretty poor society. We need music, and even TV, that reflects what it's like to live in OUR time. We'll certainly make mistakes and there will be plenty of terrible art, but in a way making bad art is part of the process of making good art. It's like R&D for culture: you can't just make something good out of whole cloth, you need an understanding of what is good and what isn't.

            That isn't to say we should worship the new, but to denigrate it as you have done isn't useful, in my opinion.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Very true.

      To quote my good friend, "I've been bored lately, so I started law school, built my own first computer and learned how to use Ubuntu. The writer's strike is the best thing that's ever happened to me!"

      Really, didn't this strike seem kind of like a bad move. This is how I see it.

      Writers want revenue from "new media" sources (the internet, namely). The writers strike, forcing "old media" sources to stagnate - but "new media" sources continue to flourish. Individuals find more entertainment online tha
      • by Otter (3800)
        To quote my good friend, "I've been bored lately, so I started law school, built my own first computer and learned how to use Ubuntu. The writer's strike is the best thing that's ever happened to me!"

        That must be quite a selective law school your friend attends, where you can walk into the admissions office and say "There's nothing new on TV tonight. Can I enroll as an L1 in the middle of the year?"

        Is he going to stay enrolled, or drop out when the new episodes start airing?

    • by ccguy (1116865) *
      Well, maybe you didn't give a crap, but some of us still enjoy TV (and have no problem admitting it) and are glad that the strike is over.

      It would have been interesting if some writers had started a joint venture with actors and produce something without studios, though.
    • by morari (1080535)
      Really. I never noticed a difference anytime I happened to flip on the television. *shrugs*
  • YAY! (Score:5, Funny)

    by sm62704 (957197) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:14PM (#22408714) Journal
    Now I'll get to see the new episodes of Star Trek!

    What? What do you mean "cancelled?"

    OK Battlestar Galactica. No? How about Babylon...

    Oh hell. Somebody please point to a nerd show I can watch tonight?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Xentor (600436)
      Tonight? Can't help ya there...

      Just wait for Heroes to come back. Only major show I still watch.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Heroes - The dumbed down show full of pretty people that tries to appeal to every market.

        Coming in season 3...

        The pensioner heroes like Reginald has the power to kill just by talking. He starts about the war then mentions how things aren't how they used to be back in the day.
        Eastern European minority hero Svetlana who has the ability to setup a soft-porn website in just 22 seconds and can scam your credit card details by knowing your name.
        CGI heroes like Jar-Jar Binks who has the ability to make all viewer
      • Re:YAY! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Blakey Rat (99501) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @02:10PM (#22409660)
        I could tolerate the first 5-6 instances of terrible writing on Heroes, but then it just started to get on my damned nerves. Screw the brain-eating and telekinesis, Sylar's only real superpower is that nobody ever kills him when they have the chance. I especially enjoyed how half of Hiro's story was filler for half the first season... they might as well have just flashed "FILLER" on the screen instead of giving us pointless subplots that went nowhere. Also make sure you never explain how Mohinder got back to New York, because that wasn't confusing or anything.

        Anyway, I don't think a writer's strike could hurt Heroes... I'm kind of surprised to learn it was written at all.
    • by SQLGuru (980662)
      The Big Bang Theory (CBS), not sure what day and when because my DVR records it for me.

      While it is sitcom level tripe, the geek facts in this show are pretty accurate.....my non-geek wife enjoys it and so do I.

      You can catch all of the prior episodes on CBS.com, too.

      Layne
      • The Big Bang Theory (CBS), not sure what day and when because my DVR records it for me.


        It was on Monday night at 8:30, right after 'How I Met Your Mother' but a recent rerun was on a Wednesday night at 8:30.

        That said, new episodes will be coming out March 17 according to this article [msn.com].

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      It's on tomorrow night and is called Lost. And while it may look like a Survivor-themed soap opera on the surface, make no mistake: it's a sci-fi show. While I'm on the topic, the creators have mostly committed to making five more episodes this season (of an original eight that were held back by the strike). Expect about month's hiatus in between the eighth finished episode and the five new ones.
      • by sm62704 (957197)
        And while it may look like a Survivor-themed soap opera on the surface

        Few TV shows have anything BUT surface; no depth at all.
    • Re:YAY! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Captain Splendid (673276) * <capsplendid.gmail@com> on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:24PM (#22408888) Homepage Journal
      Well, seeing as its Wednesday, there's a fresh ep of Mythbusters on tonight. Does that help?

      Oh, and you all should be watching Lost. It's one of the closest things we've got to Sci-Fi on a mainstream channel right now.

      Bonus: The end of the series has been plotted out and sealed with the studio, so no inconclusive endings a la X-Files, no cancellations before the show ends a la Serenity. Just an interesting story, from beginning to end. When was the last time you had a guarantee like that from a network show?
      • by gallwapa (909389)
        You mean Firefly, correct?
      • by tompaulco (629533)
        ...Mythbusters...
        Or Mythbusters 2 even. Better known as Smash Labs. It appears that a lot of people hate it because it copies the idea of Mythbusters, but it has been okay so far. I certainly would want to see some credentials on their people. Just what sort of credential is "idea guy"? Can I put that on my resume? But then, the credentials of the Mythbusters aren't so hot either. They are hollywood special effects artists. What makes us think they have any clue on science?
        • Re:YAY! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Captain Splendid (673276) * <capsplendid.gmail@com> on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @02:11PM (#22409682) Homepage Journal
          It appears that a lot of people hate it because it copies the idea of Mythbusters

          I don't. I hate it because it ditches the interesting parts of Mythbusters (quirky, real people; lots of tinkering and failure, a ridiculously wide variety of subjects and techniques) and keeps the boring parts (unnecessary time dilation to pad out the 44 minute format; forced expositional banter).

          What really bugs me about the show is that they appear to be actually looking for alternative solutions to big problems with the aim of saving more lives/making it cheaper and easier to save more lives, but you never get a sense of that beyond the voiceover intro. Whether they succeed or not, no mention is made of the current methods they're trying to supplant or whether any of the potential insight they've gained will be used/passed on to relevant people who might then use it to save lives.

          Also, the presentation of the show is still very rough around the edges. In Mythbusters, they'll happily divulge details step-by-step. In Smash Lab, there's a lot of "and thens" that can be quite jarring.
    • I'm surprised no-one's mentioned Journeyman. It's got time-travel and babes, and time-traveling babes.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by tripmine (1160123)
        Sorry bro, I think it's Canceled [hollywoodreporter.com]
        Too bad. I really liked that show too.
        • by Cerberus7 (66071)
          Yeah, it was one of the few gems on TV these days. It kept getting better every week, too, which is rare. It ended extremely well, too, considering they didn't get to finish the over-arcing story. Ah, well.
      • by kellyb9 (954229)

        I'm surprised no-one's mentioned Journeyman. It's got time-travel and babes, and time-traveling babes.
        That's not geeky enough... try Quantum Leap.
    • Not necessarily hardcore "Nerd" shows but the only three shows I really watch are "24", "the office" and "30 rock". I like the believeable action and format of "24" (although some suspense of disbelief is needed), and the comedy styles of the latter two, particularly 30 Rock. Different types of "geeks", more office and production humor, but still good stuff IMO.

      If I'm feeling geeky, I pull out the computer, pull out some hardware, my Fischertechnik set, etc. I use my 2-5 hours a week of TV (more during fo
    • Re:YAY! (Score:5, Informative)

      by click2005 (921437) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:38PM (#22409170)
      OK Battlestar Galactica. No? How about Babylon...

      I know you're trying to be funny but BSG returns April 4 with first half of 20-episode final season. Production on second half could start as early as March. Airdate for those TBD.

      B5 The Lost Tales (DVD #2) - no idea.
    • Now maybe they'll get started on Season 3, of course I still think they should bring Firefly back.... even though it won't be the same without Wash and Shepard...
    • Tonight? It's been a long while since there's been one show on a night that I consider watching, let alone in the nerd genre.

      Impressively enough the networks have gotten about 3 shows that I'll watch regularly (24, Heroes, Terminator), and I know of a few others I'm missing (BSG, The Office, some other cable shows) I'd probably watch more, but without a DVR I generally forget to watch most of them. At some point I'll probably pony up the money for a few DVD box sets, preferably in a year or two when HD is t
  • writers read... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by techpawn (969834) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:14PM (#22408726) Journal

    It was a fair deal and one that the companies can live with...
    Meaning that before it WASN'T a fair deal that the writers couldn't live with.

    I'm still not going to rush back to my television set over this.
  • No summer reruns? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ilan Volow (539597) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:14PM (#22408728) Homepage
    If the TV shows I watch were several months behind due to the strike, does this mean that the season will be shifted several months ahead and this summer won't be a graveyard of reruns like it usually is?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Mickyfin613 (1192879)
      You may see a few new episodes in the Spring, but the writers won't be able to churn out scripts over night. Not under the *new* collective agreement, anyhoo. From what I understand new episodes are written over the summer, so I would imagine you'll have reruns (for the most part) until next fall.
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      If the TV shows I watch were several months behind due to the strike, does this mean that the season will be shifted several months ahead and this summer won't be a graveyard of reruns like it usually is?

      It could mean between and and fall (or later) it's nothing but reruns. Apparently 24 (not that it affects me) will be delayed until next January so they don't have to split it up.

      I'm sure there will be multiple shows that don't get new episodes until the fall/winter season.

      Expect the summer to be re-run gr

    • To some extent yeah you will see a better summer, but some shows are forgoing summer. Advertisers don't like summer advertising, so networks just have less reason to keep the audience.

      24, namely, could probably show some stuff this summer, but has been pushed all to way to 2009.
  • by themushroom (197365) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:16PM (#22408768) Homepage
    Good that we have writers so we don't have to deal with reruns anymore.
    Now we can get back to rehashed stories with slapdash writing as usual.
  • Finally... (Score:5, Funny)

    by abaddononion (1004472) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:19PM (#22408804)
    I can get back to enjoying "The Daily Show" and the "Colbert Report", instead of those generic knock-offs, "A Daily Show" and the "Colbert Report".
  • TV? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PhreakOfTime (588141) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:24PM (#22408896) Homepage

    Im sorry, but its too late.

    I took the plunge and got rid of 'pay-tv' once and for all right before this strike, and its amazing how little I actually miss it. And amazing how I was spending over $70/month for just regular ad-laced channels. Yes, paying to watch advertisements is not how I want to spend my money anymore. That INCLUDES the 'ads' that get thrown right into the shows, soap opera style(thats how they got their name after all).

    The internet is now my primary tool of information sourcing and entertainment. The TV industry missed the boat, the same way the music industry did. The only thing that made it take as long as it did was the bandwidth difference between audio and video.

    The TV is dead, long live TV!

    • You're single, aren't you?

      Love to do that myself, but I'm not the only one in the house.
    • I took the plunge and got rid of 'pay-tv' once and for all right before this strike,

      Once you have your first child, suddenly, UNCLE TELEVISION will become your best friend.
      • by PhreakOfTime (588141) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @02:12PM (#22409706) Homepage

        Amazing how many people share that same assumption. You may want to spend some time and take a hard look at the lifestyle you are providing to your children.

        Maybe you missed what I said in stating the importance of the INTERNET over the importance of TV in providing the same services. Perhaps you should be more concerned that the rest of the kids in your childs age group are comfortably using the internet as a replacement for TV, while your children are starting blankly at a screen.

        Im sorry to hear about the parenting your children received, but that was your choice.

  • by Robotech_Master (14247) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:25PM (#22408912) Homepage Journal
    Everyone talking about the strike is talking about the terms for Internet streaming/new media.

    I'm curious as to why nobody's mentioning the writers' other big demand, for an increased royalty on DVD sales. Did they drop that demand as part of a compromise?
    • It was dropped early on. That was a battle that was lost many contracts ago. WGA management (IMHO wisely) chose to focus there energies instead on the future (Internet/new media residuals).

      The other "major" demand that was dropped was jurisdiction over "reality TV" and animation.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dghcasp (459766)

      From The Economist [economist.com]'s coverage:

      The writers made other concessions too: they for instance dropped their demand for a higher share of money from DVDs. They also gave up trying to get reality television and animation covered by union terms.

      HTH. HAND.

  • the battle is over (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:26PM (#22408918)
    So, who got screwed the most in this one? I'm assuming the writers since the studios have deeper pocketses.
    • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:36PM (#22409114) Homepage

      So, who got screwed the most in this one? I'm assuming the writers since the studios have deeper pocketses.

      The audiences. The studios will try to gouge us to recoup any concessions they made, and the pipeline for new stuff has run dry.

      We'll have a drought of work over the next little while. Eventually, they'll go back to writing the same old tired sitcoms. The content won't magically get any better, in fact, the studio system will fall back more on formulas to try to get greater return on investment.

      On the plus side, the studios will have resurrected the Oscars before their entire awards season is a bust.

      Cheers
  • by alexgieg (948359)

    Writers Strike Officially Over
    Sad.
  • No more of this intellectually-insulting, amateurish garbage!

    I for one welcome our intellectually-insulting, professional garbage producing overlords.
  • by bigredradio (631970) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:29PM (#22408994) Homepage Journal

    Unrelated to the writers strike, I got rid of my television and cable. I use the internet for news and watch movies with a digital projector. After a couple of months, I not only didn't miss it, but realized a big quality of life increase. More time with the kids, actually eating at the dinner table, etc.

    I wonder how many people turned to other entertainment venues due to the strike. If there is NOTHING good on, I am sure some people cut back on their tv watching. Now that viewers have so many options (ie netflix, internet downloads, itunes tv, youtube, dvd kiosks, etc) this could not have come at a worse time. I am curious if this writers strike was the tipping point for a lot of people to ween themselves from their tvs. Not from shows all together, but the old standard of scheduling your life around when your show comes on and sitting through commercials.

    • by Grishnakh (216268)
      Unrelated to the writers strike, I got rid of my television and cable. I use the internet for news and watch movies with a digital projector. After a couple of months, I not only didn't miss it, but realized a big quality of life increase. More time with the kids, actually eating at the dinner table, etc.

      We don't have cable, either, but we certainly use our TV a fair amount. Projectors require a very dark room, usually a dedicated room, which we don't have the luxury of owning, so a large LCD TV works much
    • by morari (1080535) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:52PM (#22409380) Journal
      I can relate, though oppositely. I hadn't had any television service for a few years (not even PBS!), but just recently obtained a cable connection to the world. It doesn't cost me anything, so I didn't see the harm. Now, however, I find myself and my loved ones watching television far too often. Most of the time is spent just idly looking for something to watch, or watching something that no one really cares about but isn't as mediocre as whatever else may be on. Before we used to watch a lot of films together, which felt a lot more gratifying and only happened two to fours hours a day. Now however, my Netflix subscription doesn't seem to matter as much since we don't watch a daily film or two.

      Television is awful, and it continually spirals farther downward. And honestly, I never saw much of a difference between having writers and not having writers around.

      • by Aladrin (926209) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @02:12PM (#22409696)
        For years I have only watched shows that I want to watch. I have not flipped channels, searching for something to watch, in all that time.

        What is my secret?

        I have hobbies. Too many of them. TV shows are each a hobby and I am drawn to the interesting ones like a moth to a flame. But the boring ones interest me not at all, and channel flipping less so. I've always got something else I've rather do.

        The problem is not that 'television is awful', the problem is that you have nothing else you'd rather be doing. Games, playing guitar, making model planes... Anything is better for you than mindlessly channel-flipping.

        I seem like I'm preaching, but I'm not. It's simply the answer to your problem.
    • by Enigma2175 (179646) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @02:26PM (#22409894) Homepage Journal

      Unrelated to the writers strike, I got rid of my television and cable.
      Why is it that every time there is a television thread, area man [theonion.com] has to show up? Isn't there some sculpting you need to do or some Proust you need to re-read?
  • Now I can ignore the new shows, rather than just ignoring the reruns.
  • wow. I didn't notice. It seemed to be the same old crap as the crap I used to watch. The Daily Show and Colbert had more interviews, and I liked that. And Bill Maher took questions from the internets, so I guess I did notice some changes, but over all, next to the RIAA, entertainment TV is the one industry I truly don't give a shit about.

    RS

  • by readgs (550819) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:36PM (#22409102)

    Why should the writers get any of the profits? They get paid for a job...done. They're not taking the risk on a show that will flop like the networks do. It's just like owning a business. You take a high risk because you're responsible for your company succeeding, but you could also make more as the owner. The employees get paid for doing there work...and can go home to their families.

    The writers and the networks get a big fat FAIL!

    http://wwwfail.com/?url=slashdot.org%2Farticle.pl%3Fsid%3D08%2F02%2F13%2F1724211 [wwwfail.com]
  • I'm really disappointed that this strike is over. I was hoping it would continue indefinitely, until the major TV networks were all out of business.
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:45PM (#22409276)
    To the people who think that the American People (TM) have used the writers strike to go forth and do without television, leading to a new utopia, I'd like to remind you all of the 1994 baseball player's strike and how nobody ever bought a stadium ticket again after that, causing the death of major league baseball.
  • I was really hoping that the strike would last long enough and the networks would get desperate enough for reality TV to devolve into full on bloodsport. Shows like "The Moment of Truth" and the return of "American Gladiators" were a step in the right direction, but I was getting psyched up for chainsaw duels and auto racing with machine guns. Now that the writers are back it'll probably take another 20 years to sink that low.
  • If only.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by owlnation (858981) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @01:51PM (#22409376)
    ...anyone involved in Reality TV would go on strike. Permanently, and forever. It's hard to imagine anything more anti-geek than Reality TV.

    Welcome back writers. Congrats on your win. We need you, more than ever.
  • I really didn't miss it, only two or three shows that I used to regularly watch were affected, and really it was just fictional television. There wasn't much besides news, educational tv, and daily show / colbert report before the strike. And during the strike there was just about the same. I was looking forward to see the industry die and possibly something new and good take its place. The rest of the television watching population is mostly into their reality tv anyways, so I'm guessing they adapted as we
  • The Fallout (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Evets (629327) * on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @02:11PM (#22409676) Homepage Journal
    One thing I don't see mentioned in the comments is the fact that during the strike many writers were fired, and many shows were cancelled. 24 has decided not to air this season and will continue next season.

    It may be a win for some people, but for others they are now out of a job. I don't have a pony in this race, but the strength of the writer's guild is in serious question. One Presidential candidate after another crossed the picket line in favor of publicity. They did not protect the jobs of those who they sought to protect. Actor/Writers crossed the picket line for fear of losing their jobs. And most importantly - many high value shows seemed to be airing new episodes in the middle of the strike.

    I'm all for TV coming back, but make no mistake - this strike did not end well for the union. It seems that every labor union in the last several years that has gone on strike (save the port workers who affect the global economy when on strike) has yielded either poor results (eventual acceptance of offers barely different than what was available pre-strike) and in a loss of jobs for unionized workers.

    I hate to turn this into a political thing, but the strength of unionized labor vs. corporate dollars has shifted dramatically in favor of corporate dollars.
    • the dirty truth (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AKAJack (31058) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @04:28PM (#22411630)
      Your first paragraph pretty much sums up what this was all about. The writers guild was coerced into striking by the studios. They didn't want to and worked without contract for months, but the studios refused to negotiate. So they felt a need to flex their muscles and went out on strike.

      The studios felt they were saddled with dead weight in the form of long-term development deals that were going no where. Sure you get a good show or two out of them, but there were too many for the product that was being produced. There were some that were three years into their deals and had no product yet. All of those deals have "act of god" or "force majeur" clauses in them and most were 90-days (from what i was told by the Universal Studios folks).

      After 90-days those deals were killed, the people had all been laid off earlier and now, amazingly, 10-days later the strike is settled. The WGA was a puppet used to smack down the small production companies.

      The tiny concessions given to the writers have been estimated to amount to about $3,000 per year for a constantly working writer of average pay. And even in those concessions there are loopholes for the studios - like they get to wait a month after releasing a show for the web before they have to pay anything to the writer. Look for lots of "pay for it on iTunes or get it free after a month" deals from now on. So basically the writers sold out tens of thousands of actual hard-working people (grips, food workers, etc.) for hollow concession to feed their damaged egos.

"It's when they say 2 + 2 = 5 that I begin to argue." -- Eric Pepke

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