December 2007

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I’m not sure if this is premeditated, but the Writer’s Guild of America strike is going to profoundly affect the future of television. Don’t click — it’s not what you think. With scripted shows receding into the sunset (unless the strike is settled), reality shows will step in to fill the void.  Reality shows are already a bit too numerous, so with their frequency turned up viewers will become over-sated and the genre will lose its appeal.
As a kid, I remember eating strawberry shortcake until I couldn’t see any more. I got so sick I wasn’t able to go nose in until my 20s. That’s what’s going to happen to reality TV if we get too much. The strawberry shortcake effect.   

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Gawker is one of my favorite blogs. It’s the reason I love blogs. Attitude is what makes Gawker work for me. It speaks to me in a voice I rarely hear anywhere else.

Today, its managing editor Choire Sicha and two key writers left. Their gripe? They don’t like the new compensation system that will pay them based upon the number of page views their stories generate. They want to be paid by the post or, perhaps, by the hour. The pay-per-view approach, the departing writers say, will encourage them to be more competitive and outlandish. Hello? Have they read their own stuff? That’s what they do. 

I am very sorry to see them all go`and do hope the writing will not go so cartoonishly over the top it becomes unreadable, but the pay-per-view compensation system is here to stay. It’s the American way baby! 

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