Thursday, January 10, 2008
For our first post-By the Way edition of the Weekend Assignment, I asked,
Weekend Assignment #197: Now that the WGA strike has had lots of time to affect the prime time television schedules, how is it affecting you as a viewer? What show do you miss most, aside from reruns?
Here are snippets from the bumper crop of responses. Click on the links below to see everyone's full remarks:
John Scalzi : "I got out of the habit of watching TV regularly when I was in high school, since we weren’t allowed to watch TV there as a general rule."
Tanyad (Fenris_Cranston): "The only thing thats really chafing me is the loss of the new season of 24 until the strike is over."
Hieronymus: "The one place it has hit home is in my daily DVR of "The Daily Show", which has been in reruns so their topical impact is obviously lessened."
Saqib: "First of all the company who set up my satellite receiver provides only 50 channels, no ifs ands or buts. So they like to change the channel lineup just to keep things interesting."
Mike: "For starters, I'd have to say that our TiVo is getting less of a workout. If it wasn't for all the kids shows we record, the poor machine would be very lonely."
Codefool (Garyl Hester): "It does not bother me that shows are in reruns other than it means that the strike is still on, and that means “real” folks are hurting."
Laura: "Until very recently I have not put much thought into how the writer’s strike might be affecting me because I had a back-log of dvr’d shows...."
Aelf'en: "PBS seems largely unaffected by the strike. Much of what they're showing are nature shows and educational programs that were written way long before the strike began."
Adam Rakunas: What’s funny is that we ran out of Tivoed backlog just as Life On Mars started up, and The Daily Show’s coming back next week...."
Julie Barrett: "If it's not on the PVR I'm probably not going to make time to watch it - unless it's House."
Becky: "Oh man...it would be easier to ask what DON'T I miss. I'm a network TV junkie. Even some of my morning talk shows have been affected by the strike."
syrinxkat: How is it affecting me? Not at all, other than a minor twinge of curiosity at how The Daily Show would cover the campaign trail. I've been almost entirely prime time free for years."
Jeff: "the WGA strike is hitting me pretty hard, or I should say will hit me pretty hard, once I finally catch up on the almost 30 hours of shows on my Tivo."
Unfocused Me: "It wasn't that we didn't enjoy the shows when we watched them -- we did. It was just that something had to go, and I really couldn't give up any more sleep."
Deb Geisler: "Jeopardy goes on; there's been a lot of weather(!) and news; and football doesn't rely on writers so much (but might benefit from some better scripts)."
TexasPatrick: "But the thing that drew me into any TV watching whatsoever, wasn't a show . . . it was a thing: the DVR. Well, that and Battlestar Galactica."
fdtate: "What was really killing me was not being able to watch new episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Both shows are back on now without writers."
Maria: "Of these, the only one I sorely miss is The Daily Show. Jon Stewart’s take on the news is a real wake-up call."
Florinda: "The show I probably miss the most is Scrubs, and that's partly because this is supposed to be its final season and I'm uncertain how the disruption of the strike will affect that."
Zeke: "Honestly a lot of my DVR is filled with more unscripted shows or reruns, Sunrise Earth, Star Trek Voyager, Deep Space 9, stuff like that."
Mythusmage: "Even if I had a properly functioning tv (vertical is screwed) I wouldn’t be watching fiction on tv. Documentaries and factual series are more my style."
A.B.: "Without cable, I go once around the horn, see there's nothing on, and turn it off, returning to my book, laptop, or less frequently, my crocheting."
Vixen Strangely: "I am affected a little as the season numero dos of "Heroes" was cut short and I wanted more, more more."
muneraven: "Tv was losing me already before the writer's strike, but the writer's strike has more or less accelerated the process."
Two--no, three--things strike me as significant about the general tenor of these responses:
1. Most people in this admittedly skewed sampling watch very little network tv anyway - or, at least, they say they don't, and I believe them, mostly.
2. What tv they do watch is mostly delivered on a time delay at their convenience, by DVR or, to a lesser extent, on DVD.
3. More people in this group miss(ed) The Daily Show than any single prime time series.
I'm not sure what all this means for the parties in this strike, but it looks to me as though the pie they've been squabbling over all these years is rapidly breaking down into crumbs. The WGA is probably right to think that alternative means of pie delivery, virtual pie and pie-like products are going to be increasingly important as time does on.
Thanks, everyone! Your new Weekend Assignment will be posted here in a couple of hours.