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Writers' Strike Threatens Grey's Anatomy, Other Shows

by at . Comments

TV viewers hooked on cliffhanger episodes of hit shows such as Heroes and Grey's Anatomy could be left dangling if writers walk off the job.

With Hollywood writers poised to go on strike as soon as Thursday, TV networks were bracing for the need to fill time with reality shows, game shows, even reruns.

Viewers could start seeing an onslaught of unscripted entertainment by early next year, when series such as Desperate Housewives and Heroes run out of episodes.

"I was in a network meeting (Monday), and they were referring to the fact the timing is good for reality producers," reality TV producer Mark Cronin said.

"It's going from 50 mph to 70 mph," Cronin said, adding that networks must "protect themselves and fill their airspace" amid the upcoming writers strike.

The Writers Guild of America and the group representing film and TV producers were set to meet this week with a federal mediator after contentious talks.

With the contract set to expire at midnight Wednesday, negotiators remain far apart on the central issue of raising payment for profits on DVDs and TV shows offered digitally on the Internet, cellphones and other devices.

A newcomer to TV's writing ranks earns about $70,000 per season for full-time work on a show like Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives or Heroes.

MerDer Communication

Veteran TV show writers who move up to a story-editor position would get at least a low six-figure salary, with a "written by" credit on an hour-long script paying an additional $30,000 plus residuals.

Writers are free to negotiate for higher pay, and people who produce or co-produce - called "hyphenates" in industry parlance - earn more.

If writers walk out, the effect wouldn't be felt immediately. Networks have enough episodes of shows like CSI and Ugly Betty written and in production to last at least the end of the year and possibly into February of 2008.

After that, most schedules will run into trouble.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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If Grey's Anatomy runs out of episodes and no more are in the making, I just might burn my TV. What is the point of watching TV if there is NO Grey's Anatomy??? Anyway LOVE IZZIE!!!!!!!

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omg imagine a thursday without a grey's anatomy!?!?! its unthinkable i dont think i could live!! omg everything needs to turn out or there are only going to be greys episodes up to like episode 15 i guess eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

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i thought i heard that they were going on strike on monday

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omg this is the worst news i could've heard. not only grey's but heroes (not really that good, but i mean you can't help yourself) and DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES even UGLY BETTY after a year. are they shitting us. this can't be happening ps. i didn't know writers for such popular shows made so little.

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It´s from e 23 s 3 the ep that Susan dies.in. The picture that is.

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I hope the strike doesn't happen either! I think they are about 4-5 epsiodes ahead from what we have seen so maybe by the time we get through those that have already been filmed, they will have worked through the writers negotiations and we won't have missed an episode.

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Why would anyone want to go on strike from writing for a top show? It seems silly to me, especially if new Grey's don't air.
and that picture of Meredith and Derek above...LOVE IT! that better be in the show! and not just one from behind the scenes!

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wow.
can you get more details on this?!?!
Omg, I hope they don't go on strike because I would hate reruns every week.

Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.

Meredith