It looks like we’re going to be treated with reruns and ‘unscripted’ reality shows here in the US as the Writers Guild of America goes on strike. One of the main sticking points in the negotiations is what you see right here online, Internet broadcasts. Another is in DVD TV Show box set royalties. Both are areas where networks and producers hope to see considerable profit but are also high risk. They probably don’t want to share revenue because of this, being afraid of getting locked into unprofitable contracts if things go badly.
Daily shows ranging from soap operas to many talk shows will have to go into reruns immediately since they depend on writers every day. Weekly shows may have some episodes “in the can” but will soon have to go into rerun mode too.
If you hate reality shows you’re really going to hate the next few months if this strike doesn’t get settled quickly. A reality show doesn’t require the talents of writers. All it requires is a bunch of people who’re willing to debase themselves for a little cash and a few sadistic producers. Expect to see plenty of these shows in the next few months.
The Birth of Internet TV?
Yes, we’ve had YouTube and a few others around for a little while but I’m talking the big time here. Professionally written and acted shows exclusively on the Internet. Writers are creative people and will seek an outlet for their talents and to make money doing it. The only thing really holding it back are stodgy 20th century union rules that prohibit Writer’s Guild members from writing for any production anywhere. If the strike runs long, expect member’s empty wallets to demand a change to these rules.
What do you think? Are you ready for a plethora of lame reality shows? Do you think it will shake up TV as we know it? Drop me a comment and let me know.