DAVID BIANCULLI

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WGA Strike Reaches One-Month Mark - And So Does TV Worth Watching
December 5, 2007  | By David Bianculli
 
One month ago today, the Writers Guild of America went on strike, and this website was launched. A month later, I'm still writing... and the writers still aren't.

The writers and studios resumed talks yesterday, but didn't even finish outlining their respective positions, and plan to talk more today. Meanwhile, the networks have begun announcing their strike-affected revised lineups for January and beyond.

Dexter

Among the most interesting moves comes from CBS, which is talking about importing edited versions of such Showtime series as Dexter. That's a smart short-term solution, because it's clever corporate synergy. Dexter is reaching little more than 1 million viewers right now - impressive numbers for Showtime, but only a fraction of what a broadcast on CBS would bring.

Besides, Dexter is better than any scripted drama on the entire CBS network right now. But there's the rub. Sooner or later - and it looks, at this point, like it's probably going to be later - quality television comes down to the writing, and to the writer. Sooner or later, even the cable inventory will run out and who knows where viewers will be by then?

Seeing Dexter on CBS will be nice, but seeing it unedited on Showtime is nicer. As for a less laudable CBS move, the prospect of an in-season cycle of Big Brother, beginning in February, is just painful to contemplate. So is NBC's prime-time revival of American Gladiators, beginning next month. Television, on balance, is about to get much, much worse.

Which makes a website devoted to TV WORTH WATCHING more challenging to generate, as well as more valuable to use. At this point, a few pages have yet to be designed and uploaded, but email updates and a special holiday shopping section are imminent - so please be patient, and keep returning to see what's new.

Come to think of it, that's good advice for the writers and studio representatives hovering around the negotiating table as well.

 

1 Comment

 

Eileen Morgan said:

Glad to see "The Fabulous Baker Boys" in your "Best Bets". Jeff & Beau Bridges are probably two of the most under appreciated actors of all time. I have never seen either one of them in anything that was less than great. In addition, they both seem to be grounded, normal family people; hats off to Dad Lloyd for doing a great job. The Bridges were featured on "Biography" a few years back, and it was truly heartwarming how they spoke respectfully of each other and their parents as well as their wives and children. A rarity...

Comment posted on December 5, 2007 9:26 AM

 
 
 
 
 
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