Not only have the usual union supporting actors like Alec Baldwin turned on them but the late night TV shows are coming back, a crucial element in the strike. Letterman signed a deal and Leno didn’t, both get nearly equal ratings hikes of around 50 percent from pre-strike averages. Impressive, Ja. Short term, also Ja, but it demonstrates the industry’s ability to work around and profit despite the strike. Late night TV was a block of programming that unlike dramas couldn’t be easily replaced with some cheap Reality TV. So the networks made it a priority to bring it back and they have.
While the WGA is stuck threatening everyone right and left with penalties including Leno for writing his own jokes, they forget that their relevance is quickly ebbing. The WGA’s importance comes from its influence and the WGA needs Leno more than Leno needs the WGA.
Hollywood is taking the opportunity to blame the WGA strike for every problem and setback but as Variety has pointed out, studios are jettisoning movies they don’t really want like Oliver Stone’s Pinkville under the guise of the strike. The strike has become Hollywood’s excuse for terminating deals, disposing of the last shreds of a disastrous season with the writers as the fall guys. Brilliant. Brilliantly evil that is.