17 Things That Happened Because Of The Last Writers Strike

“The Celebrity Apprentice puts the defibrillator paddles to Donald Trump’s dying reality franchise.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer, December 2007

The last work stoppage started Nov. 5, 2007, and ended Feb. 12, 2008. Back then, one of the major things the writers wanted was a larger share of profits for work that was distributed online. Taking a stance that is almost comical in retrospect, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers wanted to stream content without paying the writers more money — because streaming was just to promote the work, they said. By the time the strike was over, the guild had won a piece of digital profits.

But until they did, the consequences of their walkout rippled across the country as more than 60 shows halted production, putting thousands of people — not just writers — out of work. Late-night television was wiped out immediately, since the time between writing the script to airing the episode is incredibly short. For scripted drama and comedy series, which have a longer production schedule, new episodes didn’t stop airing until weeks after the strike began. Other guilds, particularly the Screen Actors Guild, encouraged their members to conduct themselves in solidarity with the writers by doing things like boycotting awards shows.

The Colbert Report and The Daily Show With Jon Stewart came back on air with no writers.

The Colbert Report and The Daily Show With Jon Stewart came back on air with no writers.

They released a statement in late December 2007: “We would like to return to work with our writers. If we cannot, we would like to express our ambivalence, but without our writers we are unable to express something as nuanced as ambivalence.” Stewart temporarily changed the name of the show to A Daily Show in solidarity. USA Today said that without writers, both men had material that was “adequate.”

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O’Brien gravitated toward anti-writing bits, including a running gag where he tried to beat his personal record for how long he could keep his wedding ring spinning. According to TV critic Alan Sepinwall, O’Brien eventually got to 51 seconds with advice from an MIT physicist.

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Source: buzzfeed entertainment