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StrikeWatch: Day Four

Perhaps it's just me but I cannot believe that the strike has only been going for four days so far. Maybe it's because it's been discussed endlessly for the past few months that it feels like it's been going on for an eternity already. I'm still hopeful that a fair solution can be found to this dispute sooner rather than later but that hope is dwindling by the day as it seems that both sides are willing to dig their heels in for the long stretch.

Today's StrikeWatch brief, on the back of yesterday's fairly inclusive roundup of series going dark that I posted, focuses on a few updates since yesterday.

United Hollywood confirmed yesterday that production on The Office has in fact shut down. (You, gentle readers, knew this already when I broke the news of the Office shutting down on Tuesday.) The series only has two episodes in the can that have yet to air, including tonight's "Survivorman" episode written by Steve Carell (who had told NBC he couldn't report for work because of “enlarged balls"), and next week's episode, "The Deposition." When The Office stopped production it was shooting a script that series star Jenna Fischer said involved "Pam and Jim being in Michael's home" and was "the funniest script of the year." Said script had been written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky.

WGA members could find themselves in even more of a bind if they turn in unproduced materials that have been shopped or sold to studios to the guild under Strike Rule 8. The Guild is requesting that members turn in these scripts by Friday but the indication is that writers will instead follow the warnings handed down from studios and networks that they will be in breach of contract if they turn over studio-owned materials to their guild. It's another twist in an already difficult time for writers as the material is question is owned by the studios.

Says Variety: "Many scribes are angry about the program, alleging the WGA has resorted to Orwellian measures to police its membership with the implication that the union doesn’t trust its members. Others are upset at being put in the unenviable position of either disobeying their union or jeopardizing studio step payments that will be sorely needed after the strike ends."

In either case, the studios don't want to see their wholly-owned property in third-party hands. "These are our properties, and for competitive reasons we don't want them circulated, especially if they say unfinished scripts," AMPTP spokeswoman Barbara Brogliatti told The Hollywood Reporter. "You don't want unfinished scripts in third-party hands -- I don't care how trustworthy you think those people are."

Elsewhere, FOX and ABC have decided the fates of serialized dramas 24 and Lost this season. ABC has announced that, as of right now anyway, it was going ahead with launching Season Four of Lost this season (as my gut had told me they would) with an eight-episode arc that concludes with the "mini-cliffhanger" written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse mentioned in yesterday's update. To those of you bemoaning this twist, just be thankful for any new installments Lost, even if they only number eight.

As discussed yesterday, FOX has decided to hold Day Seven of 24, which has shot eight episodes to date, indefinitely. Reports were conflicting as to whether they will keep the series in a holding pattern until the strike ends or whether the network had in fact shelved the season until 2008-09.

The network also unveiled its new primetime schedule, filled with more than a few changes, including knocking 24 off of its Monday night berth, shifting Bones to Fridays, and launching schedule-saving American Idol with a two-night, four-hour event. The network also announced launch dates for new scripted series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Unhitched, The Return of Jezebel James, New Amsterdam, and Canterbury's Law as well as new unscripted series When Women Rule the World and Moment of Truth (formerly known as Nothing But the Truth).

From the press release FOX put out to announce the shift in lineup, in light of the WGA Strike:

RECAP – FOX JANUARY THROUGH MAY
(All times ET/PT except as noted)

MONDAY
Monday, Jan. 7:
7:30 PM-CC ET ALLSTATE BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (LIVE)

Mondays, beginning Jan. 14:
8:00-9:00 PM PRISON BREAK
9:00-10:00 PM TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES (Time Period Premiere)

Monday, March 3:
8:00-9:00 PM WHEN WOMEN RULE THE WORLD (wt) (Series Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES

Mondays, beginning March 10:
8:00-9:00 PM WHEN WOMEN RULE THE WORLD (wt)
9:00-10:00 PM HOUSE (Time Period Premiere)

TUESDAY
Tuesday, Jan. 1:
8:00 PM-CC ET ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL (LIVE)

Tuesday, Jan. 15:
8:00-10:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL (Season Premiere, Part 1)

Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 22:
8:00-9:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL (Time Period Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM HOUSE

Tuesdays, beginning April 1:
8:00-9:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL
9:00-10:00 PM HELL’S KITCHEN (Season Premiere)

WEDNESDAY
Wednesday, Jan. 2:
7:30 PM-CC ET TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL (LIVE)

Wednesday, Jan. 16:
8:00-10:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL (Season Premiere, Part 2)

Wednesdays, beginning Jan. 23:
8:00-9:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL
9:00-10:00 PM THE MOMENT OF TRUTH (Series Premiere)

Wednesdays, beginning March 12:
8:00-9:00 PM THE MOMENT OF TRUTH (Time Period Premiere)
9:00-9:30 PM AMERICAN IDOL
9:30-10:00 PM BACK TO YOU (Time Period Premiere)

THURSDAY
Thursday, Jan. 3:
7:30 PM-CC ET FEDEX ORANGE BOWL (LIVE)

Thursdays, beginning Jan. 10 (No changes to lineup):
8:00-9:00 PM ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5th GRADER?
9:00-10:00 PM DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS!

FRIDAY
Fridays, beginning Jan. 4:
8:00-9:00 PM BONES (Time Period Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM HOUSE (Time Period Premiere)

Friday, Feb. 22:
8:00-9:00 PM BONES
9:00-10:00 PM NEW AMSTERDAM (Series Premiere)

Fridays, beginning March 7:
8:00-8:30 PM ‘TIL DEATH (Time Period Premiere)
8:30-9:00 PM THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES (Series Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM NEW AMSTERDAM

Fridays, beginning April 11:
8:00-8:30 PM ‘TIL DEATH
8:30-9:00 PM THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES
9:00-10:00 PM CANTERBURY’S LAW (Series Premiere)

SATURDAY
Saturdays, beginning Jan. 5: (No changes to lineup)
8:00-8:30 PM COPS
8:30-9:00 PM COPS
9:00-10:00 PM AMERICA’S MOST WANTED: AMERICA FIGHTS BACK
11:00 PM-Midnight MADtv
Midnight-12:30 AM TALKSHOW WITH SPIKE FERESTEN

SUNDAY
Sundays, beginning Jan. 6: (No changes to lineup)
7:00-7:30 PM VARIOUS COMEDY ENCORES
7:30-8:00 PM VARIOUS COMEDY ENCORES
8:00-9:00 PM THE SIMPSONS
8:30-9:00 PM KING OF THE HILL
9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 PM AMERICAN DAD

Sunday, Jan. 13:
7:00-7:30 PM VARIOUS COMEDY ENCORES (West Coast only)
7:30-8:00 PM VARIOUS COMEDY ENCORES (West Coast only)
8:00-9:00 PM TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES (Series Premiere)
9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 PM AMERICAN DAD

Sunday, Feb. 3 (Super Bowl Sunday):
6:00 PM ET SUPER BOWL XLII (Approx. 4 hours, LIVE)
Approx. 10:00 PM ET HOUSE (Original episode; guest star Mira Sorvino)

Sundays, beginning March 2:
7:00-7:30 PM COMEDY ENCORES
(West Coast only on 3/2 due to NASCAR)
7:30-8:00 PM COMEDY ENCORES
(West Coast only on 3/2 due to NASCAR)
8:00-8:30 PM THE SIMPSONS
8:30-9:00 PM KING OF THE HILL
9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 PM UNHITCHED (Series Premiere)

Sundays, beginning April 13:
7:00-7:30 PM COMEDY ENCORES
7:30-8:00 PM COMEDY ENCORES
8:00-8:30 PM THE SIMPSONS
8:30-9:00 PM KING OF THE HILL
9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 PM AMERICAN DAD

Stay tuned.

Comments

Unknown said…
I'm confused by the "House" schedule.

It is separately listed as being on
Monday (starting in March)
Tuesday (Jan/Feb/Mar) and
Friday (Jan/Feb).

What's the deal?
Anonymous said…
This is thoroughly depressing.
Brittanie said…
Oh Fox, thou art a heartless bitch.
Bobby said…
What also has not been released is Fox's early-season NASCAR schedule.

The Daytona 500, Auto Club 500 (Fontana), and UAW-Dodge 400 (Las Vegas) are already established as races that will end in primetime (EST).

The Kobalt 500 (Atlanta) and Food City 500 (Bristol) are set for 2 PM starts but each could be pushed back to 3:30 PM to allow the races to end at 7 PM, meaning the first five NASCAR Sprint Cup races could end in primetime to alleviate Fox's pain of the strike.

The Samsung 500 (Texas) three weeks afterwards could also be altered to end in primetime as to allow Fox to push NASCAR races into the night.

The Subway Fresh Fit 500 (Phoenix), Crown Royal 400 (Richmond), and Dodge Challenger 500 (Florence, SC) are slated as Saturday night races.
Anonymous said…
This whole thing is so depressing. And it seems like there is no end in sight.

I work in the industry and, therefore, am submerged in the strike but it seems like most of the public don't even know what's going on right now or what the strike means and I appreciate you taking the time to discuss it on your blog.

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