Writers’ strike ends

Christine Guerrini

Finally, after months of mourning the loss of new episodes of TV’s favorite shows, the writers’ strike has ended.

The strike, which officially began on Nov. 5, 2007, resulted from on-going contract negotiations.

The Writers Guild of America demanded pay increases and shares in Internet and DVD revenue.

The terms were ignored, however, and the WGA decided to send a more forceful message. Thousands of writers formed picket lines and protests that shook the media world. While movie production remained somewhat steady due to backup scripts and continuous projects, TV networks found themselves scrounging for material for 100 long days.

Without the writers and their material, the entertainment industry is estimated to have lost upwards of $500-700 million. These numbers are some of the most damaging in entertainment history. The WGA made the announcement of the strike’s end on its Web site on Feb. 12. It cited an overwhelming majority vote to call off the protests and return to work.

Although the WGA appears to find the strike’s conclusion a success and the media gains back its better material, the verdict on which side “won” remains hazy.

What does this mean for the viewers? Networks have already began strategizing how to proceed with their lineups.

In some cases, the networks have to decide whether to rush production on new episodes to fill slots for the remainder of this season.

Most networks will focus production on a strong and successful fall schedule, though.

ABC plans to look toward the fall. The network will carry through new shows like “Private Practice,” “Pushing Daisies” and “Samantha Who?”

The brunt of its work, however, will come from returning staples “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Lost,” “Ugly Betty” and “Desperate Housewives.”

Networks like NBC, CBS and FOX, conversely, will roll out episodes before the end of this season. Most will begin with easy-to-tape comedies such as “How I Met Your Mother,” “Two and a Half Men,” “The Office” and “Scrubs.”

CBS then plans to focus on crime-based dramas such as “Cold Case,” the “CSI” series and “Without a Trace.”