Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Prepare For Non Stop Reality TV As Writers Strike Continues

Before much longer, prime-time television will look like 'rerun city' as all the major broadcast networks run out of new material. The Hollywood writers strike is dragging out, just like predicted and it could last months. The first negative sign that this strike is hitting close to home will be felt over the next couple of weeks as the major broadcast networks start to run out of new episodes of your favorite show and start showing reruns of them around Christmas time. Then early next year, reality programming will begin filling the broadcast airwaves in what should be an interesting transition from normal prime-time viewing. Of course, all of us have grown use to prime-time reality shows like 'American Idol' and 'Dancing With The Stars', but usually these reality shows are cleverly intermixed with regular comedy and drama in a way as to not burn the audience out on one type of programming.

I can only image how bad prime-time television will become if nothing is broadcast nightly except reality based shows. It will be terrible and also some of the worst ideas will be put into production just to fill time slots with new programming. For every winning reality show there are dozens of duds that either didn't make the cut at the network level or were broadcast one or two times before being canceled. If the writers strike continues, many of these terrible reality shows will actually stay on-the-air because there will be nothing to take their place. I have heard several friends comment that they don't care if the writers ever go back to work because they blame them for the poor quality of television programming these days. My view of this issue is different. I believe there are good shows being written, but the powers that be in Hollywood and New York make the wrong choices when selecting what shows to add to their schedule. Almost all prime-time sitcoms are based around 'bathroom humor' which is better written by 'red neck Joe' on a mens room wall than by professional writers in Hollywood.

Sources are saying that the major Hollywood studios are out to break the writers union and if that is the case then the rest of this season is probably toast for people that enjoy evening programming on ABC, Fox, CBS and NBC. The good news is that much has changed in the entertainment world since I grew up in the 1960's and 1970's. Back then there was little nightly entertainment available if the major broadcast networks didn't have new shows. However, in modern America there are dozens of entertainment alternatives like mega movie theaters, DVD rentals and even movie downloads on our own personal computer. When I was young, I remember reading about the ratings of prime-time hits like 'Happy Days' where their weekly audience always exceed 50 million viewers. Today, only huge events like the 'Superbowl' can draw an audience that large to one broadcast network. What that means is that the major broadcast networks have lost their clout over the years and if this writers strike continues for an extended length of time, the Hollywood studios might just be committing suicide in their attempt to break the will of their own writers.

Read more about Hollywood Issues:

Hollywood Writers Strike - Will Anyone Really Care?
Ellen DeGeneres - Non Profit Animal Shelters
Lindsay Lohan Out Of Rehab For Good?
Kiefer Sutherland - 24 Star - Arrested DUI
Britney Spears Prosecuted For Hit And Run

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