Watch TV? Like it? You're probably boned.

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DackAttac
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Watch TV? Like it? You're probably boned.

Post by DackAttac »

Writers on the verge of strike

This may be old news for you who go outside, but for those who don't like to read, here's the long and short of it: Hollywood's writers want a policy changed so they can get money that they deserve but doesn't exist. Let the slap-fighting begin.

Or end, rather. They pulled out of negotiations faster than a Catholic high school boy would out of his (very convincing, in retrospect) girlfriend.

The movie industry has heard early rumblings of this and have been stockpiling scripts like nuts in the mouth of an overzealous and possibly slightly bicurious squirrel (yes, every paragraph needs a sex metaphor). The TV industry isn't in such a pretty position, having to pay for all the employees while they're under contract (as all shows are until they're canned).

Here's the real bitch: to save themselves from financial ruin, the stations will most likely not pick up any new shows that debuted this fall, since those contracts will expire early in the (potential, still, mind you) strike. (But prognosis, not so good.)

So, enjoy (somewhat-)tastefully blended action/comedy "Chuck"? That's prolly gonna get chucked. How about Ray-Wise-as-the-Devil (no, really) series "Reaper", with its solidly-decent Kevin Smith-directed pilot? Consider it gone. The quirky "Pushing Daisies"? The pun practically makes itself. And anyone watching the new Bionic Woman will be sorely disappointed.

Mainly, over the fact that they, themselves don't exist. But then because their favorite train wreck got scrapped.

You'll probably get past Thanksgiving, (maybe to Christmas if you're lucky) with the stockpiled completed episodes, but probably not much longer. (And reduce that drastically for South Park, where "stock" and "pile" are just two words that simply don't belong together.)

I have no doubt in my mind that such a group of strapping young men and ladies on this forum have broken free from the bonds of television (this is a prestigious video game message board, after all) and American cinema. But for the rest of us, this blows. :(

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Zeta
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Post by Zeta »

South Park is written by the creators, partially. I don't think there's any risk of it going on hold. The only thing I'm worried about is Heroes.

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Post by Black Rook »

It's not that I don't watch television, it's just that I'm usually not home during weekday primetime. I rarely see an ad for a show and say "Wow! I need to watch that on DVD or something!" so I tend not to get hooked on anything until it makes it to syndication (and even then, I may not even bother following it if there's a schedule change). For example, I very briefly followed Everybody Loves Raymond simply because the local Fox affiliate aired it at 5:30 and I had nothing better to watch. They recently replaced it with George Lopez, but even "it's 5:30 and there's nothing else to watch" isn't enough to make me watch that. Curiously, I can't be bothered to watch Raymond anymore, even though TBS is playing it in the same timeslot. Before that, I watched King of the Hill, even though I initially despised it. Turns out it IS an acquired taste, because even now I may watch an episode if it's on.

...So I'm a slave to TV without even watching primetime. Wow.

Anyway, I'm not terribly bothered if one of these shows doesn't become the next Lost, My Name is Earl, or Heroes, since I haven't watched any of those and probably won't for a good while.

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DackAttac
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Post by DackAttac »

Zeta wrote:South Park is written by the creators, partially. I don't think there's any risk of it going on hold. The only thing I'm worried about is Heroes.
I had a whole post explaining how SP might still be in trouble because of unions, but the whole situation made my head spin, so I speculated a lot of what I "know" is likely bullshit, so I deleted it and replaced it with this one.

And I wouldn't sweat Heroes. Everyone involved is getting paid to sit on their ass, (or whatever people do when they're on strike,) so you don't have to worry about the people involved wandering off for better gigs. The contract won't expire until the end of the season, and if they don't get things ironed out by then, then a whole ton of successful series are going to be laid to waste and the networks will be starting from scratch. They won't want that. They'll probably buckle before that happens.

That spin-off is probably toast, though.

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Zeta
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Post by Zeta »

Just as well, it sounded like it was going to be a cheap cash-in that was gonna blow.

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Post by Pepperidge »

The rammifications of this is not limited to television either. Even the Futurama DTVs are likely to be effected, especially considering that one of the writers is actually head of WGA and is apparently heading this whole damned thing. I'm also worried about the upcoming Spectacular Spider-Man animated series... I seriously doubt that they actually have all 26 episodes penned at this point.

I want to say that this is an excellent chance for Canadian producers and broadcasters to start pushing their own content not only within Canada, but outside of our borders. But int he same sense that our prices aren't dropping in accordance to the recent surge of the Canadian dollar, I seriously don't see anything of the sort happening.

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Post by Delphine »

The obvious solution is to go indie.

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Zeta
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Post by Zeta »

Or adapt fanfics.

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Post by G.Silver »

I fail to see why this is going to not resolve itself in a hurry. Why does the money not exist? (Aside from the fact that it's currently being passed out to other people) I don't see it on the linked site now, but I thought this was over royalties? That doesn't have to effect currently contracted work, and the obvious benefit to demanding it in a strike form is that writers are changing what is a standard writing contract, as opposed to an exception for just a couple really pushy guys.

But y'know who really, really likes TV? It's people who make their living from it. I bet this blows over quickly. But then, I hardly watch any TV, so :D

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Post by Delphine »

Zeta wrote:Or adapt fanfics.
Does this mean I finally get to make <i>Tomb Raider: Diving the Muff</i>?

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Post by DackAttac »

G.Silver wrote:I fail to see why this is going to not resolve itself in a hurry. Why does the money not exist? (Aside from the fact that it's currently being passed out to other people)
The issue is DVD royalties. The writers want royalties for each and every set sold. However, these DVDs are how the studios make up for any losses posted. So, the writers get royalties on the profits.

As in, "I get mine first, then you get yours."

So yeah, it exists, but it's kind of Hollywood's hidden crutch.

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Post by Neo Yi »

Zeta wrote:South Park is written by the creators, partially. I don't think there's any risk of it going on hold. The only thing I'm worried about is Heroes.
Same. Other then that, I haven't really watched TV outside of (recently) Avatar, Scrubs, and Danny Phantom (the last finished, so that's nothing I'm worried about), so I'm really not worrying. As for the rest of the TV watchers...umm...good luck with that? Probably will blow over shortly, I don't see it lasting that long either.

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Post by Isuka »

Pepperidge wrote:I want to say that this is an excellent chance for Canadian producers and broadcasters to start pushing their own content not only within Canada, but outside of our borders.
Then I'll look forward to the next Tom Green's Show... and the next Eminem who'll steal his "Lonely Swedish"/ Bum-Bum song and build a career out of it.

Now seriously, I haven't made time for myself to watch any TV either, only news. Not even that apparently funny cartoon with black kids, what was it's name... Boondocks, yeah.

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Post by G.Silver »

However, these DVDs are how the studios make up for any losses posted.
This actually makes sense in a way because--correct me if I'm wrong--it was not long ago that DVD (or home video of any kind) sales of complete TV shows of the sort that we're treated to now were rather rare and limited, <i>my impression</i> is that it's only recently that TV reruns on DVD have flooded the market in the way that they have. It's interesting that shows now go direct to DVD with alarming speed, so I wonder if that hurts their syndication value, though many shows don't even get that far. So what I mean is, it makes sense that writers weren't getting royalties off those older shows, since there wasn't really all that much to be had.

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Post by Light Speed »

I'm not terribly interested in TV since the majority of it sucks like all things, but more importantly because it takes way more time to get into a TV series than it does to get into a movie or even video game. I used to watch a few series back in highschool, mainly old Simpsons. Since then it's just been Futurama avi's and my roommate sort of got me into The Shield. We don't even pay for TV though, we have an antenna plugged into the TV for OTA HD channels, but the only thing anyone ever watches is Heroes assuming they can find NBC (it disappears from time to time for whatever reason, probably our shitty antenna), but I never really got into that show and don't really feel like making a huge attempt at the back catalog at the moment. I'd rather work on my giant game back catalog that is ever growing.

As far as this strike goes I think I have to agree with G.Silver. TV is way too big of an industry for the writers to be on strike for any real length of time. Though I am impressed that enough people actually got together to scare the industry. Didn't think that could happen much anymore.

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Post by Yami CJMErl »

I'm loathe to admit that, having only broadcast channels, the most television I usually actively watch in one sitting are Saturday morning cartoons.

Well, that and House.

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Post by FlashTHD »

I wouldn't say the quality of TV's been going downhill; I don't think there's ever been a period (to my recollection) where almost everything on is either worthless trash or Must See. But seems to me like the major networks have a problem with picking up shows I want to watch. Fortunately, this household is equipped with DirecTV, and the cable networks tend to run better stuff more often, plus plenty of serviceable reruns inbetween. Meanwhile...

I'll watch CBS for the original CSI, provided my mom has it on and I feel like it. For personal reasons*, all i'll agree to sit down in front of on NBC is any incarnation of Law & Order, and Leno. ABC I haven't given two shits about since...since...well, moving on, i'm about as blissfully ignorant to Fox, but half of it has to do with the Imperial Murdoc Empire being what is, and the other half's me not being a big fan of the tone of their shows.

As for this strike, whatever. As long as they don't find a way to make it drag for months and months and put the squeeze on the shows I do follow, let 'em vent. Once it fizzles we'll all fast forget it happened.

(* It has to do with the show my avatar's from. I'll sit on that rant for a while unless you ask)

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Zeta
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Post by Zeta »

What the fuck IS your avatar from? I always thought it was a kaiju or something.

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Post by Yami CJMErl »

I thought it was some wierd incarnation of the Loch Ness monster...

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Post by aso »

Generally agree with the tone of folk here - most TV isn't all that hot to begin with, though I do strongly recommend Showtime's Dexter to anyone who has yet to see it - one of the best shows I've ever seen.

South Park's still pretty good, too.

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Post by G.Silver »

Surface! :D

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Grant
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Post by Grant »

Well, of course you wouldn't like scripted television if all you're watching is House, South Park and Leno, for goodness sake.

I'd suggest programming your DVRs a little more lest you miss out on a blossoming golden age in TV.

Of course, you can just keep complaining about how things aren't as good as "they used to be" - it's safe because you can never be wrong, but maybe you could try liking now a little, too!

Definitely start recording these or pick up the DVDs or something. Right now I'm a big advocate of:

-30 Rock (NBC)
-Human Giant (MTV)
-The Sarah Silverman Program (Comedy Central)
-The Office (NBC)
-It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX)

I haven't gotten into these really yet, but all I hear are positive things from trusted peeps:
-Friday Night Lights (NBC)
-Heroes (NBC)
-Pushing Daisies (ABC)
-Lost (ABC)
-Weeds (Showtime)
-Dexter (Showtime)
-Extras (HBO)
-Entourage (HBO)
-Aliens in America (CW)

Not to mention, SNL is entering a really good period and - if you skip the monologue - Conan is usually worth checking out too.

And they're all on the air right now - so it's not even counting shows that ended recently, like Arrested Development, Stella and Deadwood.

So, c'mon already and give credit where it's due, hoosers.

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Post by Radrappy »

I loved the first season of Lost. I wish it would have ended there. I watched the second season and now I don't want to watch anymore. They're just bullshitting it and making it up as they go, feeding the audience cliff hanger after cliffhanger of meaningless tripe coated in what seems like intention and conviction. I refuse to put my emotions on the line for something like that. Derrrrrrrrrrrr

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Grant
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Post by Grant »

Most Lost fans tend to agree that the second season was a bit of a let down, but if you liked the first season that much, I'd suggest checking out season three. It's absolutely, positively worth it.

Plus, I don't know if you know, but the producers and writers announced there will be a definite end to Lost, which is a wise choice. If I recall correctly, it will have three more seasons and then that's it.

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Post by DackAttac »

Grant wrote: -It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX)
You are the fucking man.

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