Writers–you’re killing yourselves.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the writer strike and how nobody has died from not watching new TV. Guess what. As far as I can tell, still nobody has died. Life goes on without TV.

In the long run, the strike may change the face of Hollywood forever…and not as intended by the writers.

Seth Godin recently wrote about lessons learned from the demise of the music industry. The music industry is evolving. Big, over-produced stars are being replaced with smaller niche artists. More variety is going to push the industry out of creative stagnation. The music industry is not alone.

The writer strike is forcing the TV audience to look elsewhere for entertainment. On the one hand, the studio executives will feel the crunch–exactly the hope of the writers. On the other hand, who is to say the audience will flock back to their couches once the strike is over? The longer the strike, the more difficult it will be to bring the viewers back. Writers will have lost their audience just like everyone else who is part of the production. Americans will always enjoy TV, but we just might find we like other things, too.

(On a side note, I find it interesting that while “on strike” many writers continue to receive residual royalties for past productions…along with the studio execs and the actors. Sure, it isn’t as much as they’d like, but it is a lot more than everyone else involved on a production is receiving now. I’m glad my career as an audio editor didn’t take me into the TV industry. Selfish writers would’ve put me and my family out on the streets.)

The Golden Globe awards have been canceled because the actors support the writers in their endeavor. A spokesperson for the awards commented on the radio this morning, “It is too bad. It is usually a great opportunity for fans to celebrate the accomplishments of their favorite actors.”

Actually, it is great that the show won’t be on. Actor accomplishments are not something to celebrate. It is entertainment. I like it. You probably like it, too. But why do we need to give them awards while the whole world watches?

It is time to find something else to do. Personally, I’ve enjoyed watching less TV. I’ve been able to finish freelance projects quicker, I’ve spent more time practicing the piano and guitar, and I’ve spent more time teasing Daphne. I have been known to watch The Amazing Race and plenty of cooking shows, but there are plenty of other ways to enjoy life without the burden of TV.

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One Response

  1. I agree. The long tail of entertainment is being explored- I spend a lot more time reading, surfing online, and doing home improvement projects.

    I hope TV takes a long time to be interesting again. I could use the free time it sucked away from me.

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