[For those who are still confused, an interview with Judd Apatow, writer/director of "Freaks and Geeks," 40-Year Old Virgin, and Knocked Up yielded this:
One of the main conflicts the Writers Guild have with the AMPTP is over new media, such as digital downloads of TV series or movies, which writers currently receive no residuals for. I asked Apatow how he might explain the reason for the strike to the general public, and he addressed the new media issue using an analogy, saying "Here's how I would explain it: If you're a teamster, you get paid to drive a truck. But if someone invents a new kind of truck, and you're still driving it, you should still get paid." Apatow noted that watching TV or movies online is becoming more and more common, remarking "We're switching trucks at this point. But if someone comes up with a three wheel truck, you're still driving!"
The AMPTP currently seems unwilling to budge on the issue of new media. Apatow mused on the AMPTP's reasoning for this, saying "I think that there seems to be some argument that it's too complicated to figure out. But there's content - You can decide that people get paid based on how much you charge for it or for how many people see it. It doesn't seem that complicated to me. There are low budget movies and writers get paid less if the budget's very low. Over a certain budget, there's a different minimum. It all can be figured out if people want to figure it out." As for the AMPTP wanting to call certain online presentations of TV series or films "promotion", which wouldn't qualify for payment to writers, Apatow firmly declared "Entertainment is not promotion! It's as simple as that. An episode of The Office is not promotion. It's The Office! It's a show."]
So yes. Fully agree with Apatow and the writers on strike. And I think it's excellent that non-writers (including actors, and executive producers) have been striking as well. Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy were seen on the picket lines, as were a number of showrunners ("creators") including Shonda Rhimes ("Grey's Anatomy"), Marc Cherry ("Desperate Housewives"), Carol Mendelsohn ("CSI"), and Joss Weadon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer"). According to one article: "NBC gave up producing one more episode of "The Office" after key actors on the show failed to come to work. That means that show will be in repeats after Nov. 15."
Videos from the strike lines and interviews with actors, writers, and showrunners, and other news items are up on United Hollywood. The Huffington Post also has a plethora of blog pieces by people in the industry.
I also assumed that the conflict would not be resolved quickly. Which means that shows that filmed a week or two prior to airing will start dropping off the TV lineup and we'll be left with gaping holes. Three big ones facing immediate re-runage (for lack of a better word) include "24," "Family Guy," and "The Office." Other shows may have two or three episodes left to air before re-runs roll in.
However, apparently Variety is reporting that the strike may last well into the New Year (though I couldn't find the source article...it was reported in an IndieWIRE blog). That I wasn't anticipating. Three weeks, yes. Two months? No.
I guess we'll wait and see.
And I can't write any more or comment, because I really need to get ready for class...and finish studying for the exam I have this morning. Whoops.
*Speaking of Judd Apatow
*Strike hitting '24,' 'Family Guy' hard
*Blame Laura Ingalls When You Can't Watch The Office