Tuned In

Strike Watch: Not to Jinx It…

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…but reports are coming in from just about everywhere that the writers and the producers are getting very, very close to a deal.

To anticipate your question: I don’t know. To anticipate the next one: I don’t know that either. We’re all wondering what the end of the strike–if the strike is ending–will mean for our favorite shows; Variety’s story today says that Hollywood had seen Feb. 15 as a deadline for ending the strike in time to salvage the season. But “salvage” can mean a lot of different things, and different things for different shows. It could mean resuming some shows and not others, giving some abbreviated seasons, perhaps even running some past the normal end of the Nielsen season in May.

As for the next season, though the strike may have disrupted development season, there would seem to be no reason new shows couldn’t be greenlighted and go into production in plenty of time; in fact, one side benefit of the strike may be that the networks will streamline the wasteful development process, committing early to a few scripts, rather than shooting dozens of pilots and waiting until the last minute to decide which few will actually air. (I suppose that may not be great news for the people paid to make the unaired pilots. As David Chase once told me, “You can make a pretty good living being a writer whose shows never get made.”)

Bottom line, we won’t know what the fallout for individual shows will be–and by “individual shows,” I mean “Lost”–until there’s an actual settlement. In the meantime, I don’t want to see any uncrossed fingers out there.