Well, apparently it's official: First-run TV is dead for this year. The unfulfilled contracts for new shows were canceled yesterday.
The history of this as I see it:
1. The writers want something which, at least to an uninformed outsider like me, seems reasonable in principle.
2. The producers won't give it to them, so they go on strike.
3. Neither the producers nor the writers will give an inch.
4. The TV season is canceled, leaving the real workers out of work.
Sure, the producers and writers are hurt, and the networks will lose some in advertising revenue (depending on whether they can put on something that will draw audiences). But it's the "little guys", the regular workers who earn decent wages while they're working but are anything but wealthy. It's the merchants who serve these people (and those who serve the big shots, too). And finally, it's all California taxpayers, as more unemployment insurance claims are filed. (I hope Gov. Arnold's new budget provides for this.)
And as this battle for a little bit of money has been raging, "in other news" there has been a lot of worry and fright about "recession". Well, all these "regular" people being unemployed and not knowing when or if they'll get work again, and therefore cutting their spending to the bone, burning through their savings (if any--not many Americans are saving anything), maybe struggling to make their house payments, or maybe failing to make them, during this mortgage crisis, is NOT GOOD.
Seems like a pretty hefty price to pay just so some fat-cats can get a little more, or so some fat-cats can keep from giving up a little, depending on your point of view. (By the way, neither can happen now; they've already lost too much. Doesn't change the impact on the regular folks, though.)