The Writers’ Guild of America downed pens/keyboards about 80 days ago.
In Australia the implications for the Seven Network are that hero shows, attracting the hero dollars, such as Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy and Lost only have 10, 11 and 8 episodes “in the can” respectively. Normally they would have twice this amount. Nine’s and Ten’s situations are slightly better because they have less reliance on US programmes (than Seven) but also the nature of their programming is that of self contained episodes such as the CSI and Law & Order franchises which can bear repeating unlike Seven’s serialised programming which just run into a wall of silence.
On the upside this situation is a bonus for local production companies and hopefully will give vent to upcoming Australian talent on both sides of the camera.
A great post from Get Shouty so whatta ya going to do? prompted me to consider what will Australians do with the approximate 1,200 million hours that we currently spend watching commercial TV each month (based on people aged 14+, source Morgan) and what opportunities and advice we might be imparting to our clients who are in some part “reliant” on 30 second solutions in high rating programmes.
If we can ‘reallocate’ 10% of this time, 120 million hours per month, what are the opportunities?
Well we could get people off their arses tackling obesity, creativity and mental health. We might imagine that cinema attendances and DVD rentals will increase, conversely we might see an increase in gambling and alcohol consumption. The web will undoubtably benefit as more people turn to it for entertainment and that surely is an opportunity as people switch tubes.
Ideas anyone? A resurgence of board games?