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Writer's Strike Affects Television In More Ways Than One

Article by Tommy G.  11/3/07

Hollywood is at a standstill. But some people have crossed picket lines and it's not pretty. Ellen Degeneres last week decided to tape her show and show her support for her writers by not doing a regular monologue. She may think in the short run, this was very supportive but in the long run it may come back to bite the comedienne on the butt. Writers from her show told me, 'We cannot believe that Ellen would do such a thing. That she wouldn't realize this is about fairness and our livelihoods and that we are not here just having fun. A few of us have discussed not returning to her show even when this strike is over." Ellen seems to have been getting bad advice. It is a tough call but this is not the smartest move on the part of someone once considered extremely savvy to salvage her career after coming out in 1997 as a gay American. America is a very forgiving nation, but Ellen may find that it's not the same in Hollywood during a strike.

Eva Longoria also became embroiled in scandal. Not her fault. Eva showed up at the picket lines at her set in the San Fernando Valley to support producer and show creator Marc Cherry and the team of writers by bringing them pizza. Eva however was heckled and yelled at, protestors uttered, "How dare you Desperate Housewives not come out to support us by picketing with us." Eva was devastated by the jeers and left in tears and Marc Cherry tried to explain to the protestors that he didn't expect any of the Housewives actresses to be on the picket lines. But Teri Hatcher quickly and publicly supported her "DH" costar and said, "Eva's a very good person and she wanted to do her part, she didn't realize that it would entail being accused of treason."

But primetime and Talk Shows are not the only ones that are taking a hit. Daytime is already in a tizzy. The producers of daytime soaps have daily shows to film and only "Y&R," "GH" and "ATWT" are written up to the Holiday Season hiatus. Many soaps don't have scripts that last through the end of November. They also worry that fans will turn off the soaps if they hire "scabs" to do writing. This is a possible killer for many lower rated daytime shows. Already suffering from millions of viewers who were fed up with being forced to watch the OJ Simpson trial on their small screens, they either went to cable, got part time jobs or simply found other things to do with their time. If viewers are forced to turn away from soaps yet again, there are some that simply won't survive. A daytime writer who is striking currently, said under the condition that I keep her name out of the article said: "We know that many of us won't have shows to go back to after this, but it's about our best interests and people forget that we have families to feed. Most of us aren't studio bosses or $25 million dollar per movie actors, we are working class people fighting for our rights and we hope the viewers can understand and realize that it's not our fault."

Who will be left holding the bag when the viewers decide enough is enough? Stay tuned, we may know sooner rather than later.

Tommy Garrett, Columnist, Press Agent and TV and Radio Personality Author of, "Letters From a Known Woman: Joan Fontain," "So, You Want To Be In Pictures: The Making of Hollywood Idols" and most recently, "The Making of Hollywood Stars."

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