My first thought when I heard the television writers were going on strike was – how would you tell? I can tell now and bad tv is getting worse. Repeats and reality programs will be dominating the network schedules for the near term. Increasingly, reality shows will be the dominate form as these type of shows generally do not employ union represented writers. I do not care for reality shows, just my opinion.

For example, “The Moment of Truth”, a Fox show scheduled to begin in January in which contestants will be strapped to a lie detector and interrogated regarding their most most embarrassing and personal secrets will be the type to dominate the network’s schedules. Or how about American Gladiators, where scantily clad women will compete in physically demanding events and competitions. Yeah I know, I may sneak a peak too but seriously, after two minutes of this dribble, I want want to knock my head against the walls.  Even Oprah, that paradigm of rational thinking is offering up “Big Give” to start on ABC. Oprah is sponsoring the show to see who can give away big sums of money that supposedly would be to society’s benefit. Hey, just make sure the checks will clear and I can do that very easily. I think a better scenario would be for her to visit various charitable organizations and find out for the viewer what they do, what their challenges are, etc., and then have a competition to develop a money raising campaign (where you need good ideas). The winner whose idea raises at least “x” amount of money would win a prize or even a very small percentage of the funds raised.

Instead we will have “Survivor”, “Power of 10”, “Deal or No Deal”, “Dancing with the Stars”, “Super Nanny”, “The Bachelor”, “Wife Swap” and “Big Brother” to look forward to. Oh, and don’t forget, “American Idol”.

If you enjoy this kind of fodder, fine, but I would like to see something that has some thoughtful writing, plot development, suspense, character development, etc., behind the program. I miss those writers now. Talks at ending the strike collapsed Friday and the two sides appear far apart in their positions, so it is not going to end soon. I believe the writers should be fairly compensated, especially in new media like the Internet, and if I miss them this much then they must be worth it. It’s nice to be reminded that it is not just the star of the show that makes the show what it is, but the ‘behind the scenes people’ as well.

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