While wildfires filled Hollywood skies with smoke and obvious metaphor, entertainment labor strikes were authorized on both coasts over the weekend with the Writers Guild of America and the Broadway stagehands union voting to stop work should they be unable to reach an agreement with their employers.
Since their contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers expires at the end of this month, writers could strike as early as next Thursday, and as Nikki Finke reports, no one is more excited than the heads of network television! Apparently they, too, have already given up on the poorly rated fall TV season and welcome the opportunity to blame it on something apart from their own bad judgment. "If we were having a great year, it might be different. But we're not, and this is like an automatic do-over," says one mogul. Will this really work, though?
If the networks just stick with the shows they've got now until summer 2008, people may just stop watching TV altogether. The bad ratings for the fall season likely have just as much to do with Halo 3 and iPhones as they do with the low quality of , say, Viva Laughlin, and if they don't cancel crappy shows (like Viva Laughlin) and order new ones, audiences are just going to buy XBox 360s and tune out. And this TV season reeks of desperation already — they're making shows out of car-insurance commercials and forcing children to live alone in the desert! If this is failing to capture people's attention, then what will next year's fall season look like?! TV is doomed!
Hollywood Moguls Sounding Strike Happy And See New TV Season As Dead Already [Deadline Hollywood Daily]
Hollywood Union Authorized to Strike [AP]
Stagehands’ Union Authorizes a Strike [NYT]