The Irony of Strikes
Saturday, March 28, 2009

I was just thinking the other day how utterly stupid some of the WGA writers might be feeling lately. There were several good shows that premiered last season. Some were critically acclaimed and had fantastic ratings. The ones that pop into my mind are Chuck and Pushing Daisies. Then the Writer's Strike happened.

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the plight of the writers and I kind of understand why they went on strike. The way I understood it, they weren't getting paid properly for their work that was released on DVD . . . or some such. But I strongly feel there SHOULD have been a better way to handle it. What that way may have been is beyond me. That's for smarter people than myself to ponder

But look at what happened. Journeyman, a show that aired on Monday nights was just gaining ground when the strike happened. But the ratings were still questionable, so the network decided not to renew it for another season. Pushing Daisies (a personal favorite) was very well received. It was different and imaginative and had great ratings. But the strike, for whatever reason, helped viewers forget about it and when it DID return the ratings were way down and never recovered - canceled. And now there is news that Chuck might get renewed for the same reason Daisies was. Viewership is down. I personally don't think the quality of the show has suffered when it came back this season. It's still a great show. But the length of time between last season and this, because of the writer's strike, caused people to lose interest and that's a shame.

I feel the irony of all this is in the fact that the writers of those shows who striked to get better wages in one area, lost there jobs because of it. Now I know that some of them have already moved on or had several other projects going on at the same time. But now, those shows are gone and will never return.

I truly hope that Chuck is renewed. It really is a fantastic show. Those actors AND writers deserve the recognition in terms of the show's potential longevity. And . . . well . . . Adam Baldwin certainly deserves to have a steady job for quite a while, dontcha think?


Monday, March 30, 2009 12:40 AM


I don't think "24" is a fair comparison, nor would "Lost" be. Those shows built up a large following for several seasons before taking those long hiatus'. I just don't think you can take a show off the air after an initial 9-13 episodes in America and keep up the ratings. I think I read in the past that the same thing happened after the last writers strike - some good shows were canceled because of poor ratings AFTER the strike.

My main complaint, would probably be that the combination of the writer's strike and American's short attention span led to these shows being canceled, but it was started by the strike. I completely understand, like I said, why the writers went on strike. They did what they felt the had to do, but it may have cost them more income because some of their shows were canceled because of the strike. That's all.

Wow. Pretty rough comments for my first blog!

Sunday, March 29, 2009 3:13 PM


only 3 points.
1. This would be a good topic for an RWED discussion- plenty of room for lots of heat on both sides, if not lots of enlightenment. I'm bottling up more than my share of same at the moment.

2."But I strongly feel there SHOULD have been a better way to handle it. What they way may have been is beyond me. That's for smarter people than myself to ponder." I'm gonna be a jerk here and say that if you don't have a concrete suggestion of what they should have done, criticizing what they did is useless. They DID put their livelihoods on the line for what they believed.

3. The LA Times posted last week's Nielsens the other day-- I'm not sure whether they were national or just L A regional. Chuck was 85th out of 85 shows listed, and Dollhouse was like 82 out of 85. Because of the strike or not, folks are staying away in droves. Oh, BTW, Castle was rated # 20.

Sunday, March 29, 2009 3:59 AM


I am sure instead of Nowhere Man you meant to say Journeyman, which I really liked and wished it had been renewed. In the case of Chuck, it just barely managed to have borderline ratings that got it renewed, the strike might actually have had something to do with that. If the strike had not happened it may not have lasted a full first season anyway. It is in one of the most hotly contested time slots though, so hopefully NBC will take that into consideration. I don't think you can lump "24" in with these other shows. It had six full seasons for people to remember, rather than just 9-13 episodes.

Saturday, March 28, 2009 9:20 PM


Sometimes I'm non-plussed by the decisions of the networks to cancell good shows,Firefly,nowhere man and now maybe chuck,really denting my karma espicially when "reality" are swamping the airwaves.Dont get me wrong,some of those shows have merit,Secret millionaire from the uk absolutely brilliant ,a real uplifter,wife swap,nanny 9-11 but the rest just deal out hardship ,you cannot build a persons ego up and then drop them ,aint right.NOw I know im off the point but as I see it corporations,networks and goverments have lost focus on the things that matter the most.I cannot understand why common sense leaves the room when business and profits take over .Isn't being here a form of protest and maybe one day the clowns upstairs might start too listen.

Saturday, March 28, 2009 1:54 PM


I think it's a bit too easy to blame the strike for the failure of some shows - viewers managed to remember 24 despite it being off air for 18 months. Plus it should have given the writers some thinking time to come up with ever better storylines.

The real disappointment with the strike is that they accomplished practically nothing - the right time to do this was either ten years ago or ten years from now. At present, the networks have reality shows to fall back on, just like they had game shows in the 70s but audiences will tire of them soon enough. It's a fight that needed fighting but the timing was wrong so the surrender was meek indeed.


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