Save the Writers, Save the World!

Leave it to Hollywood to produce such an entertaining strike. With all the machinations, scheming and backstabbing, it’s like one of the reality shows they are so worried will take over the airwaves if the writers stay out for months. Which, it seems, could very well happen.

With everyone’s heels dug in, some nastiness is emerging. Fox aired a new Family Guy today, but without the participation or approval of creator Seth MacFarlane, who joined the picket lines when the Writers Guild went on strike on Nov. 5. There was only one complete episode in the can at the time, but three that were near completion. So the network, which has cancelled the show before, is moving ahead without MacFarlane, who also voices Peter, Stewie, Brian, Glen Quagmire and Tom Tucker. Ingrates.

Not surprisingly, this is not going over well with MacFarlane. "It would just be a colossal dick move if they did that," he told Variety. "They've never done anything like this before, in which they've said, 'We're going to finish a show without you. It's really going to be unfortunate and damaging to our relationship if they do it."

Obviously they know that and clearly they don’t care. The networks and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have known this strike was coming and they are prepared for it. If that means stepping on a few writers and creators, then so be it.

On the other side of the picket line is the cast of 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live, who are staging live performances at a New York improv theater and donating the proceeds to production workers who will be out of work while the strike continues. Doesn’t get much more black and white than that, does it?

Some other interesting tidbits:

- My friend Nik, a TV blogger extraordinaire, is speculating that if the strike goes long, it could mean the end of Lost.

- Another friend, who works at a Toronto production house, says there is renewed U.S. interest in Corner Gas. Already airing on the cable station WGN, it seems the strike has at least one of the big four networks sniffing around.

- Perhaps they’d better settle this strike soon, or my pals at Dose will have to keep pumping out their replacement versions of 24 and Ugly Betty.


  1. While it was indeed a dickhead move on Fox's part to finish that episode without MacFarlane, I still don't understand how there is that little lead time with an traditionally animated show.

  2. Yes, this strike is turning out to be interesting. It has even had its first feature film causality. The Da Vinci Code prequel, Angels and Demons, has been postponed. At any rate, even if it means the end of Lost, I am still behind the writers.

  3. I am amazed that they didn't have more in the can as well. I read that the Simpsons have 17 episodes completed, I would have expected the same. Anyway, it was a good episode, even if they shouldn't have run it.

    I agree with you, Mercurie, but I don't think it will come down to that. I get the sense it won't go that long.