The Strike that halted television

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The Writers Strike in America has seen many shows close off production, and has seen some shows taken off the air and replaced by repeats. Now it’s December, and with some shows only have so few episodes to broadcast; how will television in the US cope. Well, they will most likely get reality television in the mix.

Another idea that has plagued my mind, why don’t they just import programming? In Australia, UK and mostly any channel around the world imports programs from the US. Why don’t they do the same? They could import some shows from Australia, UK, New Zealand or any English programs around the world. At least that’s better than watching someone making an idiot out of themselves.

But how will our television channels cope? That’s a different story. Seven and Ten have ‘fast tracked’ some of their popular shows to beat those torrent downloaders, however it has seen a decrease in ratings over at Seven. Prison Break is now under 1 million viewers, as it is placed on a timeslot where The Chasers are on ABC. Heroes has also a decrease, but not as bad as Prison Break.

But, mostly all shows are usually broadcast in February. This is because of the Term Holidays for children, and the Australian Open for Seven. The rating season, however, kicks off in mid-January. So, they will have enough episodes for them to last until March or April.

In Australian Television, we are usually now starting to follow UK Television on producing dramas, with some having a 13 episode series and some can take up an entire rating season, meaning that we produce at least 40 episodes per year.

NBC, being desperate for content, has aquired the broadcasting rights to the MySpace drama Quarterlife. MySpace is owned by News Corp., who also owns FOX and My Network TV. Does this mean that broadcasters are actually looking at the online world for content? Maybe so, but mostly not. Broadcasters will usually get their shows from their production arm of the company, but will also broadcast another company’s production if the execs believe it will be a success. House, for example, is produced by Universal Media Studios (NBC Universal) and is broadcast on FOX.

OK, that’s a lot to digest down, and it maybe doesn’t make any sense. But, let’s have a look at the shows that are finishing in the coming months…

House (FOX) – 3 left scheduled in Jan. 2008, one after Superbowl.
Samantha Who? (ABC) – Six more episodes to go.
Family Guy (FOX) – Repeats and new episodes scheduled in Jan. 2008.
CSI Franchise, NCIS, Criminal Minds, Without a Trace, Cold Case (CBS) – Down to 4 or fewer episodes apiece.
Ugly Betty, Grey’s Anatomy, Pushing Daises (ABC) – Each only having 2 episodes left.
Desperate Housewives (ABC) – Airs final episode.
The Office (NBC) – No episode, repeats.
Heroes (NBC) – Airs final episode on December 3.
K-Ville (FOX) – 2 more episodes to go.
Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, Rules of Engagement (CBS) -No episodes.

Now, let’s see what’s happening with those premiering in Jan. 2008…

Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles – 2 night premiere (Jan 13 & 14). 13 episodes completed.
Medium (NBC) -9 episodes completed.
Jericho (CBS) – 7 episodes.
The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS) – 8 episodes.
Cashmere Mafia (ABC) – 7 episodes.

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