"End of TV" update

With no end in sight for the WGA strike, there’s been yet more news concerning the consequences. This is an update on the effects of the strike and other happenings that could change the nature of broadcast TV.1. The Golden Globes     Apparently, the NBC one-hour news show mess into which the strike has turned the Golden Globes has changed into an even bigger mess. And if this lasts into the Academy Awards, the financial losses will definitely hurt Hollywood, Los Angeles, and major advertisers (the Academy Awards are the second biggest advertising event in the year, exceeded only by the Super Bowl).2. Cable shows to rerun on broadcast     The networks are set to begin airing reruns of series from their cable affiliates, starting with CBS airing the first season of Showtime series “Dexter,” which will, with some cuts, be airing Sundays at 10 PM starting Feb. 17. NBC, in turn, may be reusing episodes of cable sister network USA’s series “Monk” and “Psych” starting March.3. Current shows running out     This page has a good list of when most major shows will run out of unaired episodes, though it is a little behind; several dates on the list have already passed. And, as noted here, last Thursday’s new episodes, the last for several shows (including “CSI” and “My Name is Earl”) rated their lowest for new episodes.4. Pilot season     We are also entering pilot season, when the television industry begins casting and filming the pilots for potential new shows for the fall season. As noted here and here, if the strike continues, it could wipe out pilot season, meaning no new shows this fall until midseason or later. As described in this Times Online article, the effects extend beyond the US, and may seriously hurt the film industry in the UK.5. Job losses     The strike is affecting all those who work in the film industry, as most of the technical workers have been hurting for employment during the strike. However, ABC Studios have become the first to use the force majeure clauses in contracts to terminate production deals with a number of producers (both writing and non-writing), as described here, with other TV studios expected to follow soon.6. The shift online     The shift to online entertainment continues. As noted here, experts are predicting that online advertising spending will pass that of television in the UK by 2009, and may do so in Sweden this year.     Add in to this the WGA fundraiser “Strike TV,” which is described by British writer Piers Beckley here, and which starts in February. Add in the news of writers looking into web ventures, including three built along the lines of United Artists when it was created. And Ed Driscoll notes that breitbart.tv has achieved a significant viewership, and that it’s inexpensively produced B-Cast news show may become noticeable competition for the cable news channels.All in all, a number of major shifts may be underway.


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