Time to Rewrite Hollywood

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

It was one thing when the late night comedy shows shut down because of the writer's strike... Now we hear that the next season of 24 will be delayed, and the co-creator of Lost warns today that, if the strike goes on for more than three months, we won't see ANY new TV shows until January of 2009. Even if you don't watch TV, if this drags on long enough, eventually the movie studios will run out of scripts, too. And when you get down to it, it's as much about iTunes and YouTube as it is about the networks. Writers want a cut of online video. And in an opinion piece he wrote in The Wall Street Journal on Friday, writer Rob Long says this all sounds very familiar... think back to the music industry's fight against online downloads (a fight, he reminds us, they lost). His answer to the problem? Rewrite the whole industry...

if this thing isn't settled soon, if the old system isn't replaced, the ruthless lean-machine of the Web is going to strip away the gooey inefficiencies of our sweet business and suddenly, tragically, we're all going to get paid in the worst, most crushing way: We're going to get paid what we're worth, and then only in success.

And no one wants that.

Over on our news blog, Tom Regan has been writing about the strike, too... and the similarities between the walk-out in Hollywood, and the walk-out on Broadway.



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I am one of the thousands of unknown screenwriters who is hoping to sell a script to a production company sometime in the next few years. How might the current strike affect me?

Sent by Barbara Pless | 3:38 PM | 11-12-2007

The writers should get paid for "residuals" at a fair rate! It is by their creativity the entertainment industry even exists.

Sent by Harold | 4:34 PM | 11-12-2007