The EndStrike

Posted by Mike Merritt in Television on

With a seeming end to the writer’s strike being imminent, things have played out more or less how I thought they would.  Two months ago I said in the last episode of Dymersion Video that the studios would eventually force themselves to cough up a decent deal in face of falling ratings, but that the writers would not get everything they wanted.

And so it seems that this is the case.  This source is perhaps a little out-of-date on an actual time basis, but I don’t think it’d be too out of date on a fact basis.  As you can see, by the end of 2007, NBC viewership dropped 11%, CBS 10% and ABC 5%.  I’m going to guess it’s gotten worse as series have stopped airing new episodes after pre-strike episodes have aired.  Remember that around the time that article was written, new episodes of series were either airing their final new episodes, or it didn’t matter anyway, since Christmas was a few days away.

Then Christmas came and went, and we went a whole month without new episodes.  Lost came back on the 31st, but that’s about it.  I’d be interested in seeing if ABC’s ratings have risen any, since judging by the article, they seem to have lost the least, and so probably gained the most by Lost coming back (which has been good so far).   Meanwhile, CBS and NBC are likely struggling.  I’m guessing all the ratings have come back up with the return of some other shows, but are probably not where the execs would like them to be.  It would help immensely if the anchors of these networks could come back.  Heroes on NBC, the CSIs on CBS, would help things a lot.

So, faced with lower ratings, the studios knew they needed to get back to making shows.  So, they were forced to concede more than they wanted, but not as much as the writers wanted.  So is the nature of negotiation; both sides have to give up concessions, or nothing gets done.  The writers seem to be content. anyway, lauding the deal.  It’s only for three years, but I’m hoping the Internet will have truly proved itself by then, in which case, the writers will have firepower at their disposal.

I’m happy that this thing seems set to end.  I know it will be some time before I can see CSI, Without a Trace, 24, and Heroes again, but I’m content in knowing that they’ll be back soon.

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