How the looming WGA strike will affect TV -- ''Lost'' and ''Gossip Girl'' will be safe, but the fate of other shows is uncertain
With a strike by the Writers Guild of America looking more and more likely on Oct. 31, it’s time to contemplate when your TV will fade to…well, if not black, then at least to reality shows like Farmer Wants a Wife (unfortunately, we’re serious). Between a rash of new series okayed over the past few weeks and scripts that have already been shot, we can surmise what this doomsday scenario (seriously, Farmer Wants a Wife) might look like.
The Big Three should make it to — if not through — February sweeps with what they’ve got in the can. After that, ABC’s decision to hold Lost until January could come in handy — at least six episodes should be shot, sources say, with more scripts scheduled to be completed before the strike deadline. The network also preordered six scripts of the new sci-fi drama Section 8 and has midseason entries like the Judy Greer comedy Miss/Guided and law dramedy Eli Stone, co-created by Dirty Sexy Money exec producer Greg Berlanti. Over at CBS, the second-chance season of Jericho is wrapped. The network also has a half-dozen episodes of sitcom The Captain, starring Chris Klein and Jeffrey Tambor as a talent manager and a (hmmm…) washed-up TV writer, buzzy ’70s drama Swingtown, and new seasons of The New Adventures of Old Christine and Survivor. NBC ordered 13 episodes of dramas Robinson Crusoe and The Philanthropist, along with Mark Burnett’s newest game show, My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad (nope, we’re not making any of this stuff up), and a celebrity version of The Apprentice.
Fox could see its usual post-January surge, since its biggest guns — 24, new drama Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and strike-proof American Idol — weren’t scheduled to bow until 2008. The CW, meanwhile, will get through at least 13 episodes of Gossip Girl and has a slew of reality series in the wings — including Farmer Wants a Wife and Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants. Sigh. We miss the writers already.