Letter Re: Will “Jericho” be Affected by the Current Screenwriter’s Strike?

Hi Mr. Rawles,
Do you know if the Hollywood writers strike will effect the filming of the CBS television series Jericho? If the [spilt season] filming has been completed, I guess that maybe the strike could be the best thing for Jericho since it would be an all-new show in a lineup of [other shows that are] repeats. Regards, – Sam

JWR Replies: I haven’t heard per se, but it is probably safe to assume that most of the Jericho scripts are written by Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) members. I heard from Rourke–the moderator of the Jericho Discussion Group–that the seven episodes for 2008 are completed, so the writers strike should have no effect, at least for this season.

I agree that their mid-season starting date for the new episodes could give it a competitive edge.

Coincidentally, another show that is slated to start at mid-season is “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”. So perhaps both of these quasi-survivalist shows will benefit from the disruption in the regular television season.

According to published reports, “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” will premiere at 8 p.m. on January 14, 2008. It will be run on Monday nights.

“Jericho” will return to CBS in January, on a yet to be-announced premiere date. It is as yet uncertain if it will retain its 9 p.m. Friday slot in the new split season.

It bears mentioning that the previous writer’s strike had a significant effect on the television industry. It was because of that strike that “reality” shows got their real start. (Since they are are only loosely scripted.) If the current strike goes on for more than just a few months I can foresee further changes in the industry. One such change might be the advent of direct viewer participation discussion and “adventure” television shows, via cell phone text messaging and the Internet. These would be analogous to on-line chat rooms and on-line role-playing games. Both would give viewers that are not yet web savvy a glimpse of what is going on in cyberspace.