A 22-week strike by writers for the television and film industry finally ended this week. It means that TV viewers may get something more than reruns later this fall, but it didn't leave the writers very happy.
What are the consequences of the long walkout?As far as the TV audience is concerned, it results in a new television season, although the start of new shows undoubtedly will be delayed. Writing and shooting new scripts cannot be accomplished overnight. There will be a lot of continuing chaos in coming weeks.
For the writers, it means a better deal than the one they turned down June 16, and what the Writers Guild of America calls the first real improvement in contracts in 18 years. It includes the first industry contract covering shows written for basic cable television.
But it also left the writers badly disappointed in the strike's key issue: payments for TV reruns or residuals, particularly for those programs broadcast overseas.
If the strike had not been settled, the fall season would have been an extension of the traditional summer reruns. In fact, there may be much of that, anyway. The new fall season probably will turn out to be more like a new winter season.
But eventually, there will be new shows instead of reruns. The real question is whether viewers will notice a difference, and if they do, will it really be an improvement?