WGA strike update-reality show production accelerates



With new talks between the WGA and AMPTP scheduled for 11/26, there is hope that programming production will get back on schedule soon. If not, there is a  strong likelihood that actors will soon go out on strike for the very same reason-to get a share revenue that’s generated when shows are streamed on the web free to consumers. Carat Programming notes that as most Late Night talk shows were forced immediately into repeats, daytime drama series will remain largely unaffected through most of first quarter.

Should the strike continue after the new year, the situation for primetime scripted series could become dire in mid Q1 2008 as the stockpile of original episodes is quickly becoming depleted. Production on NBC’s The Office, for example, has been shut down and there are no more original episodes left to air. Many other popular primetime series won’t have enough unaired episodes to get them through the February sweeps, and that’s provided the networks air all repeats through December and January.

The networks continue to develop backup plans by accelerating the production of reality programming. CBS, for example, has just begun casting for an emergency cycle of Big Brother, reported Carat Programming. Extra editions of primetime newsmagazines will also be pressed into duty to fill programming vacancies. Midseason series are also available, although original episodes may be in limited supply. CBS’s Old Christine has eight unaired episodes. And Fox has thirteen episodes of new drama, Sara Connor Chronicles ready to go.