WGA authorizes strike


What it means to ya
The Writers Guild of America voted Friday in LA to authorize a strike against studios, networks and producers if the two sides can’t agree on a new contract (the current one expires 10/31). More than 90% of members voted to authorize a walkout if WGA negotiators determine that a fair and reasonable contract cannot be negotiated with studios and networks. Members cast 5,507 votes, the highest turnout in Guild history, surpassing the previous Guild record of 4,128 votes cast in the 2001 MBA contract ratification. Talks are set to resume today.

TVBR observation: The real culprit of the potential strike is New Media, everyone wants a piece of the action, called Money. A Strike is not new news but what does it mean to the Fall season? Well not much yet even if the strike is a go as the programming influence would not hit until around December. But if there is a STRIKE look for – Scripted shows getting hit first and then the TV screen would get a heavy dose of unscripted programming with more reality and game shows for fill or like being saturated with tons of the American Idol.  The networks would pull out the reruns of the scripted programming which could be good and give the viewer a chance to catch up on the endings they missed this year of top rated shows. TVBR checked with a few in the biz for their observations and if there is a strike most said it would be good for newbie programs that struggle every season just to stay on the air as the networks would be slower to pull anything off that has original content. The impact on the big screen would be next to nothing compared to TV as we all know it takes forever to make even a crappy film.

So let’s see what today brings as the last strike by the WGA was in 1988 and it cost the industry around 500 million bucks. Now do the math today and see what that same 500 million will be as it is all about the money. Finally, nobody is stuck on stupid here so do not think for a second that producers, or networks and the studio’s are not prepared as you can bet they all have contingency plans and are ready for the October 31 deadline.