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Reviews, opinions and sometimes news about various forms of entertainment

READY FOR THE REPEATS…

Everybody by now knows that the WGA is on strike. The most immediate effect is being felt by television programs. They’re a little more locked into a production cycle so they couldn’t bank material the way the film industry has. (Which just means that 30% of the films will be total crap insteady of kinda crap.)

So the big question is: How long before somebody blinks? The writers are striking for their fair share of profits gained by alternate electronic delivery methods. When the ratings go down on television across the board because people don’t want to watch repeats, (Or, whatever “reality” programming the networks can throw up on the screen.) will the loss in profits be enough to make them throw the writers a bone?

There’s a lot of factors a play here. One thing’s for certain though: The networks have been losing their audience with all of the cable programming available. There’s also plenty of things like gaming and Internet based entertainment that are drawing folks. (And not just young people either. You’d be suprised at how many over-30’s have adapted to social networking and the Internet as an alternate entertainment provider. It’s the ultimate in finding niche-driven programming, and it’s not like the Internet is still some new tool now.) If ever there was a time to not give people another reason to abandon them, this is it.

From a strictly business perspective, this doesn’t seem to be uncommon, although it’s logic is so bad it’s laughable. Business are all about short term success. Literally to the point that they have no long-range goals. In many business when things are bad (Yes, I’m looking at you management and administration.) the stockholders scream bloody murder and so some CEO will order personnel cuts. (Because it’s effects are immediate and it placates the stockholders. They don’t care what you did as long as their stock holds up or excells. It keeps the CEO in a happy place with a bloated salary and ungodly large parachute to fall back on when he finally has to bail because it becomes apparent that he’s the reason things are so bad.)

Television (and to an ever increasing degree the Film industry) has no long-range goals. They have not come up with a way to combat the alternatives to home entertainment. I have a 62-inch screen with surround sound and Internet over a cable system. I don’t have to watch programs until I’m ready to thanks to the DVR (Digital Video Recorder) provided by my cable company, and I can fast forward through commercials when I do watch. If I decide to, I can bypass that entirely and watch episodes of almost anything on the Internet, or wait and get a pristine HD picture by purchasing DVDs. (That goes for television or films.) I can pause for bathroom breaks and eat or drink whatever I want without putting a second mortgage on the house to pay for it. How do you compete with that? Oh yeah, you drive everyone away by stopping original programming because you want ALL of the money.

Good luck with that. Let me know how it works out.

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4 Responses to “READY FOR THE REPEATS…”

  1. The WRITERS Strike?,those folks make good money allready ,I suppose greed creates need ? or money really is the root of all evil ?It seems they want payment for dvd’s ? yea well next they will want it split ,one royaltie check for blu ray format,another for HD and another for your standard DVD…oh well till it ends i guess we just all enjoy the late night repeats of Leno and Letterman !!

  2. I wouldn’t be too hard on the Writer’s Guild, guys! Just look at the NBA and how much their overpaid! I’m so sick of today’s society and it’s overindulgence in entertainment anyways, I would rather see writers compensated handsomely for their intellectual efforts rather than see more circus tricks with the name of sports attached to it. As a whole, deeper values are pushed aside in our society and it’s rather commonplace to accept the high salaries of sports figures rather than writers. Besides, the network stations and other companies are cashing in big time on these very popular shows that frankly are better than most films nowadays. I think its only fair that they get a larger piece of the pie.

  3. As a completely non-successful wannabe writer, I do of course empathize with the members of the guild…after all without them there would not be ANY movies, tv shows, etc. They do deserve a bigger piece of the pie, and quite frankly not giving them a piece of internet revenues and of sales of movies and tv shows on dvd (or bluray, HDDVD) is ridiculous. I’ll have to disagree with Bull Winkle on the amount of money they actually do make…only some writers make that much…most do not. They are hired and fired on whim much of the time and quite often work without credit, coming in at the last moment to touch up other fired witer’s scripts and what not. Not at all glorious in most cases. Although totally something I would love to do…

    ANd yes this a rather precarious time to have this strike…with so many other options readily available, a prolonged strike may drive even more people from the major networks into more niche programming found on the internet. They might be shooting themselves in the foot, as scriptless reality shows might again take over the airwaves, thereby limiting the amount of writing needed. They could be forcing themselves out of work…that would be a shame too. To me there have been a great number of shows rising out of the doldrums of the reality craze in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. There have been some shows with excellent writing that is daring and inventive. In some ways tv presently and in recent years has been better than it ever has in my lifetime.

    And Big Willie, I have mixed feelings on the whole sports figure thing…yes their salaries are out of whack, but they are still getting just a percentage of the larger pie that is the sports industry…and without them there would be no industry. Sports is big business….whether someone follows it or not, that has to be recognized. It really is no different than Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt getting their own outrageous salaries for the movies they are in. As a society, we are, and pretty much have always been, willing to place these celebrities on a pedestal…so willing to accept that what they do MUST be worth oh so much more than some average joe’s accomplishments. That is out of whack…never mind the writers guild. How about teachers…or policemen or firemen,, civil servants, environmentalists, medical researchers, scientists, and even doctors. Those should be the ones that are truly valued. Blame has to go to humans throughout time. But it is not enough to limit this to the sports industry. It is only fair to include the entertainment industry, the political machine, and the religious industry…now there is an industry all about making money…and with far less return than even sports. I can pay outrageous sums to go watch my beloved Red Sox play but I can enjoy what I see. Or I can go to church and give them money while they just tell me to be good…and give more money. Ah well…

  4. DMaximus, of course religion is making money… it’s only right. Hey, they try to give God His just due… They throw the money up in the air and whatever stays up in the air is God’s, whatever comes down is the ministers!

    8^(o)


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