By TIM ST. ONGE
After three long months of watching repeats of your favorite television shows, new episodes are finally on the horizon. On Feb. 10, the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) voted to return to work after walking off the job in protest of insufficient financial compensation for writers through the sales of DVDs and online television channels and distribution methods.
WGA also pushed for creative jurisdiction over reality shows and animations. With the signing of an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, writers are generally very pleased with the resulting contract, which compensates writers more for DVDs and Internet broadcasts of shows.
To the average UMW students, however, the big question over the three months of the strike has been when their favorite shows will be back on the air. There is no easy answer to this question, as airing dates will depend on each show’s pre-strike progress into its season, the popularity of the program, the timetables, the progress of new scripts, the expense and effort of restarting production and other factors.
For example, NBC’s “Heroes,” which has steep technical and financial demands, will not return until fall. Similarly, the seventh season of the action-packed thriller “24,” which Fox originally scheduled for January, will air in 2009.
Plenty of other popular shows, however, will make a return around late March and early April, airing unseen pre-strike episodes as well as newly filmed episodes.
Among these upcoming shows are “The Office,” “House,” “Lost,” (which returned Janurary 31), “Grey’s Anatomy,” “My Name Is Earl” and others. However, the strike has also meant the end for some newer shows like ABC’s “Big Shots” and NBC’s “Journeyman” and “Bionic Woman.” Still more episodes are on the bubble regarding a return to airwaves, including FOX’s “Back To You” and CBS’s “The Unit.”
Like many students, sophomore Jenna Calautti, a loyal “Lost” fan, is elated that her favorite show is back on the air with new episodes. “It’s been a frustrating few months with nothing but repeats,” she said, “especially for such an addictive show like ‘Lost,’ but now that it’s back, I’m just excited to watch new episodes and see what happens next.”
The writers’ strike has left viewers like Calautti in a funk after months of little programming to get excited about. Thanks to a well-supported resolution to the strike, however, TV shows will be fresh and new again to the delight of viewers everywhere.