Saturday, January 12, 2008
You know, I am looking at what's been going down with these late night shows, and with these prime time shows, and with all the rest of it and all I will say is that the people at home in middle America who are watching television shows right now are not helping the cause of the Writers Guild of America. Not one bit.
In fact they are hurting the cause by supporting all these nonscripted reality shows, nonscripted game shows, and nonscripted late night shows! So now the networks are crowing about how they don't even need the writers now. So good luck ever seeing these writers back at work. Good luck seeing these writers ever getting a good deal from these networks.
The ratings are in for the late night shows and it seems that Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien are beating the heck out of Dave Letterman and Craig Ferguson over on CBS. Both Letterman and Ferguson have full writing staffs, and also have the benefit of these Hollywood actors and actresses who are willing to appear on their shows to vent at the producers and studios. No luck: NBC and their writerless shows are kicking Dave and Craig's rear ends. You know, this is really bad news for the union. This might encourage people at the network level to get rid of writing staffs for these late night shows altogether. They might figure the idiots watching at home won't miss the staff at all, and they can keep on charging for advertising if they get rid of them! This is just brutal news for all fans of decent TV.
There are even critics who are saying that Dave and Craig's shows aren't even noticeably better with their writing crews back in session. When you have that talk going on with critics saying your fully-staffed shows are junk --- believe me, that's a defeat in itself for the writers.
It doesn't help that Jimmy Kimmel goes on Jay's show to rant about the strike. Because that just means people will watch Jay to hear what Jimmy will say. It just sets back the union's cause if that happens.
As well, we are seeing more reality shows and game shows go on the air on the networks now. Here's a story about the good ratings for these crappy shows. NBC has been crowing about the big numbers for its new piece of junk American Gladiators, and for the embarrassing piece of junk Celebrity Apprentice, and for The Biggest Loser and these other shows. ABC was also crowing about Supernanny doing so well.
And this week American Idol comes back to save the entire television industry.
Basically, I think these writers are screwed. Network TV is just going to go reality in a big way, and the folks running TV will hope no one cares. They also are rolling out what is left of their new scripted shows, like The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Cashmere Mafia, hoping the idiots at home won't notice there a strike is going on. Well, they're succeeding in that regard, believe me. TV these days looks surprisingly normal right now, because some new shows are still being shown. It's just a month from now when things will turn south in a big hurry.
By the way, the Golden Globes go Sunday, but the whole event has turned into a complete debacle with the writers strike going on. The writers are on strike, so there is no show and no actors willing to show up. Then NBC was going to have their news department do an exclusive news special on the awards, using their news staff. And NBC News was mad as heck at being told to do something connected to entertainment, so they apparently balked at this plan and this idea went up in smoke. So now I really don't know what will happen. I will try and find out what the coverage plans are for this event -- if any. I think there's supposed to be some press conference or something going on. But fat chance any big stars will be there. I guess all the red carpet coverage goes up in smoke.
All I have to say is these are bizarre times -- sad times -- in Hollywood.