Charlie Rubin: The Strike Will Accelerate The Demise of Network Television

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As the first strike by film and television writers in nearly 20 years snaked its way through the city, the late night talk shows went to immediate reruns. As a consequence, Sue Zeidler of Reuters writes an interesting piece about how sponsors are now renegotiating their ad buys in the wake of the lowered ratings because of reruns. As the strike lengthens, and the reruns move beyond the TV talk show universe, it could be bad for the already embattled network television. From The Wall Street Journal:

”In New York, Charlie Rubin, a writer-producer on ‘Law and Order: Criminal Intent,’ was picketing at Rockefeller Center yesterday morning, while scenes from an episode of the show he had co-written were being filmed on Rikers Island. He said the unions haven’t yet distributed firm guidelines for people who write and serve other roles on a show.

”…’Law and Order: Criminal Intent,’ as with most scripted dramas, has a few scripts ready for production, and it remains unclear whether they will shoot because, under normal circumstances, writers make changes to scripts immediately before and during shooting. Neither executive producer Warren Leight nor his fellow writers knew exactly what would happen to the production of the show in weeks to come. He had one prediction: ‘This will accelerate the demise of network television,’ he said.”

(image via nyu)