Tuned In

The Strike Is Over! Long Live the Strike!

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If all goes according to plan, the writers will go pencils-up and return to work tomorrow. What may come as a surprise to the casual viewer, though, is that the coming months on TV will in many ways look strike-ier than the months when there actually was a strike. That’s because it will be March or April before many scripted shows are actually able to regroup and throw new episodes on the air, and in the interim the cupboard is fairly bare.

Also, it looks like many primetime shows–especially the new ones that debuted last fall–will hold back new episodes until next fall, when they’ll get what amounts to a second premiere, to fill space that would have been occupied by pilots that writers have spent the last three months not writing.

In other words: remember that mediocre, uninspiring fall 2007 filled with forgettable shows and a few that were all right but not as good as your longtime favorites? You get to live it all over again! Woo-hoo!

Variety is among the trade papers that have done the heavy lifting of finding out which shows return, and when, and which don’t. (Among the tidbits, NBC Universal is “looking for a way” to bring back Friday Night Lights. Maybe as a radio drama!)