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StrikeWatch: Day 10

Good morning. It's Day 10 of the WGA strike and, with Thanksgiving nearly upon us, there are no signs of a resolution any time soon. Yesterday's SAG-themed strike brought out approximately 2500 strikers to the gates of Universal, including many A-list actors who turned out to support their scribe brethren.

Televisionary yesterday participated in a sign of solidarity with the writers by not posting any new material on what was termed Dark Tuesday and offering the general public some options in terms of supporting the creators and writers of their favorite series. Reaction to the symbolic strike was mixed, thanks to a link on The Drudge Report, which soon flooded many media sites covering the blog blackout with largely negative comments.

I think many people are against this strike simply based on their misguided perception that the writers striking are (A) rich and (B) liberals.

The fact is that the writers who are being the most abused by the studios are in fact those making the least amount of money. Political views shouldn't play any role in determining fair pay for people, whether they are auto workers, sandwich makers, or microchip assembly line workers (you get my point). They all work enormously hard to create a product and should be paid fairly for their work, especially when writers often work insane hours (we're talking 100+ hrs a week at times).

Do some writers get paid a fortune? Sure. Those same people typically make their respective studios billions of dollars. Shouldn't they be compensated fairly, especially given the nascent Internet business which will, in the long run, reinvent the television landscape and prove to be a vast money-maker for studios?

In a sign that not all is well at the networks, NBC has pulled out of the upcoming TCA Winter Press Tour.

A network spokesperon called the withdrawal from the midseason press tour a "difficult decision," going on to say, "These are challenging times due to the strike. We felt it was not prudent to move forward with a TCA session."

There had been no decision made by other broadcast networks whether to participate in the tour; if they do go ahead with the plan to make presentations, these would likely revolve around unscripted series.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the networks and Television Critics Association have been discussing how best to proceed with the annual press gathering.

"NBC's out, but other broadcast networks are keeping their options open while expressing varying levels of uncertainty about staging effective tour presentations if the WGA strike isn't settled by January," TCA president Dave Walker wrote in an e-mail to TCA members. "The TCA is working on two possible footprints for the January tour -- one for a strike tour organized around presentation days and nights by cable and PBS, who are the only firm commitments at this point, the other to quickly execute in case the strike ends before January."

Also at NBC, a sub-site devoted to 30 Rock fictional scribe Frank ("Frank Talk") is showcasing a low-key sign of solidarity with the striking writers as his trademark trucker hat is noticeably blank of any text. The simple caption reads, "On Strike."

In other news, UK writers have pledged their support; the Writers' Guild of Great Britain plans to "highlight the importance of writers at its awards ceremony Sunday, the first time the kudos has been held in 10 years." There is currently no strike in the United Kingdom as the WGA has no authority over writers within Great Britain, but there has been much debate among British writers about their involvement in the strike and whether they should avoid working with the US studios until the strike has ended.

"That raises the question of when is a U.K. company a U.K. company," WGA member Jeremy Brock told Variety . "The best support you can give is just to hold the line and not work with the studios while this is going on... I sincerely hope the studios go back to the table to negotiate, because that's the only way this is going to be resolved."

Over at United Hollywood, writer Laeta Kalogridis speaks out about fear, intimidation, and the dreaded blacklist, following the AMPTP's accusations. It's a chilling read.

Stay tuned.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Kid Nation (CBS); Phenomenon (NBC); America's Next Top Model (CW); Pushing Daisies (ABC); Back to You/'Til Death (FOX)

9 pm: Criminal Minds (CBS); Bionic Woman (NBC);
Gossip Girl (CW); Private Practice (ABC); Kitchen Nightmares

10 pm: CSI: New York (CBS); Life
(NBC); Dirty Sexy Money (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: Pushing Daisies.

Finally a new episode of Televisionary obsession Pushing Daisies. On tonight's installment ("Bitches"), Ned and the Pie Hole crew investigate the death of a dog breeder who happens to be a polygamist and whether one of his four widows played a role in his demise. Plus, Chuck learns about Ned and Olive's kiss, which puts him in a rather uncomfortable position. And was that a shot of Ned and Olive in bed together? I can't wait!

8 pm: America's Next Top Model.

On tonight's episode
("The Girl Who Starts to Lose Her Cool"), the girls become muses for student designers and then must discuss their custom-created dresses on the runway, Heather lashes back at Bianca, and the girls model in a photo shoot with a burning car.

9 pm: Bionic Woman.

On tonight's episode ("Trust Issues"), Jaime and Antonio (Isaiah Washington) are tasked with foiling an attempted assassination but Jaime isn't sure if she can trust her partner after overhearing something she shouldn't. Hmmm, Washington saying something inappropriate? Well, that would never happen...

10 pm: Dirty Sexy Money.

On tonight's episode ("The Wedding"), Karen suddenly has cold feet as her nuptials to Freddie approach and Karen blames her hesitance on her feelings for Nick, Brian Jr.'s mom returns from Brazil, and Natalie Kimpton tries to mend her relationship with Juliet.

10 pm: Project Runway on Bravo.

It's finally here! The launch of Season Four of Bravo's addictive Project Runway. On tonight's episode ("Sew Me What You Got"), the new batch of contestants are unveiled and then must face a challenge and appear before guest judge Monique Lhuiller.


Anonymous said…
I thought the blog blackout was great (even though I missed reading your posts!) and am frustrated that some people responded so negatively. I think there are a lot of people out there who don't really understand what the strike is about and what's at stake. They should spend time educating themselves on the subject rather than attacking bloggers.
Anonymous said…
Since when do you watch Bionic Woman?

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