Thursday, January 10, 2008

Writers strike leads to self discovery?

Or it's a sign of growing older.

How old do you need to be to start reflecting on your past? Does a five year old do it when they start school and long for the days when they could play all day?

The 50 year old that longs for his life in his 30's? The 70 year old that wonders what's wrong with the kids of today who also remembers with a twinkle in her eye the mischief she got into in her youth?

Back to the subject at hand. In the fall of 2007, I found myself with a favorite tv show nearly every night. Chuck and House, Boston Legal, Brothers & Sisters, Private Practice, Grey's Anatomy, 20/20, the CSI series, Without A Trace, and a couple others.
But once the reruns kicked in and the networks started screwing around with the schedule, I turned back to TV as a background noise, instead of getting my full attention.

Where did I go? More time on the Internet, reading books and on line and I have come across a few shows on PBS recently. Last night they had a special on the Tonight Show with Steve Allen, Jack Parr and early Johnny Carson. Recently I watched a salute to Carol Burnett, and a few salutes to TV stars from the 60's and 70's.

What about you? Has the writers strike changed your habits?

UPDATE: In my email today came this from Chuck McKay:

Pencils Down.

For two months now the Writers Guild of America has been on strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Have you noticed, yet?

Most of the television drama is produced months before it's aired, so no significant changes in drama.

“Reality” programming such as Survivor, American Idol, American's Next Top Model, or Celebrity Apprentice doesn't use written scripts (so they say), which means no problem there.

It appears that the only programs showing any immediate effect of the writer's strike are the daily comedy shows – such as those hosted by Jay Leno, David Letterman, John Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Conan O'Brien, and Craig Ferguson.

The writers seem determined to continue their strike.

The networks are rumored to already be considering programs produced in other countries. (BBC anyone?).

The producers are betting that Americans don't care enough about quality to affect their viewing habits. If they're right, the nation will watch whatever is put before them. If they're wrong, there are always writers in other countries. (Did we mention the BBC?)

The writers are betting the opposite - that people will angrily demand better programming.

They're both wrong.

While the writers and producers play chicken with the prime time lineup, they're all missing a major point.

Today's younger audience considers TV to be just another option on a much bigger menu. These viewers are much less likely than their parents to watch programs which are only marginally interesting to them.

If viewers don't care for Letterman, Stewart, or Colbert (who have all returned to the air without writers), then YouTube or World of Warcraft are only a mouse click away.

And, as advertisers, we should always be thinking about advertising where the viewers are.

No comments:

Post a Comment