Writers are standing at the picket line with signs warning against the use of AI, paying today’s TV laureates more and fighting for entertainment justice amid the impending writer’s strike. The news reminds us of a time in 2007 when the industry faced its last strike. Check out the best and worst scenes in television, resulting from those wild times in modern day TV inside.
Popular shows like “Breaking Bad,” “The Office,” “Girlfriends,” “Ugly Betty” and “Desperate Housewives” were all affected by the 2007 strike. Though several shows went on without their writers, the quality was obviously suffering.
Some of the issues the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) is fighting for include: guaranteed number of on-the-job weeks for TV staffers, pay structures to compensate for the residual fees eliminated by streaming, and regulations to rein in the looming existential threat of artificial intelligence.
Before the strike, the organization representing the studios and networks countered their initial offer with a unwavering refusal to restrict the amount of work that can legally be done for no money, and proposed a “day rate” for comedy writers that transforms the wondrous process of TV-making into some sort of freelance employment.
The last WGA strike lasted for 14 weeks, starting at the end of 2007. This was at the beginning of a growing media industry and the online economy causing a 180 on the landscape of TV and filmmaking. It lasted roughly three months.
Critics believe that now with more issues to fight for and other Hollywood guilds looking to the results of this negotiation when renewing their own contracts, the strike could be far lengthier than before.
Networks will likely program reruns of their old shows and finish out the projects that are already in production. Back then, CBS ran several seasons of “Dexter” and NBC attempted to create an unsuccessful web series called “Quarterlife.” Shows like HBO’s “House of the Dragon” will reportedly attempt to continue filming new seasons without the convenience of on-set writers, hoping that they won’t have to make any last-minute rewrites.
Clearly the industry has no desire to learn from its mistakes. In 2007, countless shows operated in the same way with a no-writer sprint to the finish line and many of those shows were all unsuccessful.
Whew chile, this may take awhile!
So, take your time and revisit some of the best and worst TV moments that came from the 2007 Writer’s Strike below:
Best/Worst TV Moments Thanks To The Last Writer’s Strike In ‘07 was originally published on globalgrind.com
1. “The Office”Source:YouTube
Endings are always bittersweet, but this one really hurt.
In 07, many seasons were cut short and some shows like “The Office” came back in the spring, but with shorter overall seasons than normal.
According to a feature in The Atlantic, “During the 2007 writers’ strike, [Steve] Carell, in a show of solidarity, called in sick with a case of ‘enlarged balls.’ Without the show’s star, production on new episodes was quickly abandoned.”
2. “Breaking Bad”Source:YouTube
Fans might argue that the strike did “Breaking Bad” some good. Apparently, the series greatly benefitted from it when it had to ends its first season abruptly after only seven episodes had been shot. Legend has it that the strike saved the life of character Jesse Pinkman, since Vince Gilligan was planning to kill him off before reconsidering over that hiatus.
Stillness isn’t bad after all.
3. “Late Night with Conan O’Brien”Source:YouTube
Late-night talk shows also have their own writing staffs. Shows like “SNL,” “Jimmy Kimmel” and other notable hosts have announced that their shows will go on hiatus until the writers’ needs are met.
Back in ’07, late night shows stood in solidarity for a few weeks until they decided to go back on air without writers all together. The hosts did their best to fill in the gaps however they could.
Somehow, the strike did some good for host Conan O’Brien, because his strike episodes were arguably the high point of his entire tenure at NBC. This resulted in some of his most insane ideas like seeing how long he could make his wedding ring spin on his desk or flying over the heads of the studio audience on a zip line.
Talk about making the best out of a bad situation.
4. “American Idol”Source:YouTube
“American Idol” had already found great success in the years before the 07 strike, but reality TV definitely saw a BOOM during this time. It was organic and memorable TV.
5. “I Love New York”Source:YouTube
Reality TV was already here by 2006, but the writer’s strike made it more appealing to stay around for good. This time created one of the most legendary reality tv stars in history – Tiffany Pollard and her spin-off from “Flavor of Love’s” “I Love New York.”
Just reality goodness we will never forget.