Archive for the ‘TV’ Tag

TV Networks Taking the Artistic Reins

Since Family Guy creator and key voice actor Seth McFarlane joined the Writers Guild picket lines, Fox has been scrambling to deliver new content for its flagship Sunday show, according to E! News. McFarlane told the studio he would not author, produce or provide voice-overs until the strike is settled. McFarlane voices Peter, Brian and Stewie Griffin, among other characters.

Fox has decided to overstep its artistic boundaries, as McFarlane describes, by planning to release the episodes without the final approval or voice talent from the series creator. While it is within Fox’s lawful right to do so, I cannot, in any respect, endorse this move. I sincerely hope Fox feels a painful recourse from viewers for this hijacking of artistic creation.

In that same E! story, the last paragraph confirms my suspicion of the strike’s true goal. “[NBC] became the first network to withdraw from January’s Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, which showcases midseason series. Others are expected to follow,” E! writes. Looks like the strike is already beginning to take a serious toll on the progress of new TV series.

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The Underlying Goal of the Writers Strike

The ongoing strike of television writers associated with the Writers Guild that hasĀ compelled the news media and ripped through Hollywood’s production schedules doesn’t appear to have any foreseeable end in sight. Writers are demanding to receive royalties from DVD and online sales of the shows they helped compose, like they receive for TV airings, and network execs aren’t budging.

Brad Templeton points out that this isn’t really having the devastating effect on viewers as the writers may have hoped. In fact, and ironically so, it’s driving fans to DVDs and iTunes purchases that these very writers are not seeing a penny from. Beyond that, many shows have tons of episode scripts sitting in their production rooms that they can dive into in the mean time, says the LA Times.

So what is the Writers Guild really trying to accomplish? The group knows that soon enough the studios will realize that there will be no more pilot shows, a major foundation of keeping a network fresh, if there’s no writers to put pen to paper. It’s not about season 20 of the Simpsons; depending on how long the strike lasts, it could be a long time until we see a substantial, new batch of TV series. And that’s worrisome.

This Week in Antitrust Cases

With all the perks that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission gives to telecoms like Verizon and AT&T (some being in the gray areas of the law), it’s nice to see the F.C.C. put a stop to one that’s really anticompetitive.

The chairman announced this week that the F.C.C. is ending thousands of contracts giving a single cable company the rights to supply service to an entire apartment building, The New York Times reports. As an apartment resident, this is a major win for myself and for the consumer. Cable TV prices are beginning to needlessly skyrocket, and this measure should put a little more competition in the consumer sector.

In other antitrust news, Microsoft finally conceded defeat in its case in Europe. It will have to open the source code to some of its software.