How TV Has Changed Since Last Hollywood Writers Strike – And What That Means

Next week’s potential Hollywood writers strike ain’t your daddy’s WGA work stoppage.

The last time the Writers Guild of America union members walked off the job was November 2007 — in a strike that lasted 100 days and majorly disrupted TV networks and movie studios.

That’s not even a full 10 years ago, but it feels like a lifetime in terms of the evolving TV landscape that will face the repercussions if the WGA fails to forge a new deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers when its current contract expires on May 1. Here are some of the major differences and how they could make a difference for the industry — and viewers at home.

Also Read: What ‘SNL’ Will Do If Hollywood Writers Go on Strike Next Week

1. Virtually all TV viewership was still live
Not only were shows like “House” and “Desperate Housewives” among the top series on broadcast television, DVRs were still fairly rare and Nielsen had only begun measuring delayed viewing the year before the 2007 walkout.

That’s more of a history lesson than anything else, but there are some real differences these days that should matter to television executives. For starters, the last strike happened in the fall — which means many of TV’s top shows were still in production.

And in many cases, those episodes were never made up and shows produced a shorter season with fewer episodes (just ask any “Friday Night Lights” fan). At least a May deadline this time only immediately impacts the handful of scripted summer series that may not have finished their episodes. That is, unless this drags out long enough to postpone production for next fall’s shows, which tends to start in earnest around August.

Additionally, nowadays, there are archives everywhere — so who needs live TV? When viewers turned off their sets a decade ago, they went to the movies or (God forbid) went outside. There are so many streaming services and so many archived series now, TV fans may see a shutdown as an opportunity to catch up on catalogued shows.

Also Read: NBCU Boss Steve Burke Appeals to Hollywood: ‘Strikes Aren’t Good for Anybody’

2. Streaming services were in their infancy
Also in 2007, Netflix first-offered its streaming option after years of mailing DVDs in red envelopes to customers. (Remember that?) Reed Hastings’ company had just 7 million overall subscribers back then — it now tops 100 million.

Also that year, Hulu launched as a joint venture of Disney’s ABC, Fox and NBCUniversal. Meanwhile, Amazon Prime Video was still something called Unbox — that service would go through yet another name change before “Prime Video.”

Those particular offerings will become paramount should writers join the picket line next week, when beefy libraries will become extra-valuable entertainment assets. At least broadcast nets keep (some of) their own stuff online now — that’s mostly new too.

Also Read: Writers Guild East Slams Reality TV Shows as ‘High-Status Sweatshops’

3. Late-night looks different
Here’s who had late-night talk shows at the time of the previous strike: David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien (“Late Night”), Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert (“Colbert Report”), Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, and Chelsea Handler (“Chelsea Lately”).

While many of these folks have retired from TV — or moved to other late-night shows — they’ve been joined by a slew of newcomers hosting their own writer-intensive shows, including Samantha Bee, John Oliver and Chris Hardwick’s “@ Midnight.”

And there are still three more new episodes planned for NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” which could be scuttled in the event of a strike.

Just for fun, here’s the cast of NBC’s sketch-comedy staple from the strike’s Season 33: Fred Armisen, Will Forte, Bill Hader, Darrell Hammond, Seth Meyers, Amy PoehlerMaya Rudolph, Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis and Kristen Wiig.

Oh, yeah, and Kenan Thompson was there then, too — you just can’t get rid of that guy.

Also Read: Soap Opera Writers Fear WGA Strike Will ‘Do a Lot of Harm’

4. There were fewer shows overall — and longer seasons
While we don’t have stats for 2007-08, we know that in 2009 there were 210 total scripted series, according to FX research. By 2016, that sum had more than doubled to 454. By Tuesday’s potential strike, we should be pushing 500 — so the looming strike isn’t exactly about a lack of gigs out there.

In addition, fewer broadcast TV series gets 22 episode orders anymore, there is far more original summer programming these days, and reality TV has grown and matured — thanks in part to the prior strike.

Today, smaller orders have contributed to the boom in the sheer number of series, and that reality has led to more unscripted orders. After all, it’s so much easier to plug-and-play a game show like “The Wall” than a series with a running storyline — especially when you don’t have a roomful of writers pounding away on their MacBook Air keyboards.

Also Read: WGA Resumes Talks With AMPTP After Strike Authorization Vote

The Writers Guild is instead threatening the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers with a work stoppage over a desire for increased compensations, stronger economic and workplace protections, and paid family leave, among other issues.

Read the complete list of demands here, and make your own list of old series to finally catch up on this summer — just in case.

Related stories from TheWrap:

WGA Rallies Members for Landslide Strike Vote or Else AMPTP ‘Will Have the Upper Hand’

WGA, AMPTP Suspend Contract Talks for a Week as Strike Looms

WGA Says It Will Go on Strike May 2 If No Deal

Newswire: Roseanne returns with Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, and Sara Gilbert on board

Maybe the Conners winning the lottery wasn’t just a fantasy, as Deadline reports that a revival of the beloved 1990s sitcom Roseanne is in the works. According to Deadline’s sources, Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, and Sara Gilbert are already on board, with Laurie Metcalf in talks to join them so we can settle the question once and for all if Jackie is a lesbian or what. (Which Becky will appear on the new series remains unclear.) The revival is being produced independently as an eight-episode limited series, with multiple suitors, including Netflix and original network ABC, reportedly looking to pick up the show.

Starring Roseanne Barr and John Goodman as the parents of an unruly clan in the fictional town of Lanford, Illinois, Roseanne, which ran on ABC from 1988 to 1997, remains notable for its realistic, humorous depiction of the the daily struggles of working-class Americans as …

‘Roseanne’ Revival in the Works With Original Cast on Board

“Roseanne” is the latest 90s TV show eyeing a comeback.

The original cast is hoping to mount an eight-episode revival, with Roseanne Barr, John Goodman and Sara Gilbert on board to reprise their roles.

The original series executive producers Tom Werner and Bruce Helford are also on board to executive produce alongside Barr and Gilbert.

The revival is being shopped to both broadcast and streaming platforms, with original network ABC in the mix.

Also Read: ‘Roseanne’ Reunion: John Goodman and Sara Gilbert Reprise Roles 20 Years Later (Video)

The original “Roseanne” aired nine seasons from 1988-1997 on ABC and won 17 Emmys. The series followed the blue collar Conner family, trying to make ends meet in Lanford, Illinois.

Goodman and Gilbert staged a parody of a mini-reunion for their father-daughter characters Dan and Darlene Conner when he appeared on CBS’ “The Talk,” on which she’s a co-host.

The show also starred Laurie Metcalfe and Johnny Galecki, who are in negotiations to reprise their roles as well.

Also Read: Roseanne Barr Reunites With Her TV Sitcom Kids During Surprise Appearance on ‘The Talk’ (Video)

Goodman’s presence is an interesting development since the show ended with the titular Roseanne revealing that the final season, in which Goodman’s character Dan had survived a heart attack and the family won the lottery, was all a dream. In the reality of the show, Dan did not survive the heart attack.

If a new “Roseanne” happens, it will be in good company with a plethora of other nostalgic properties which have come back to life, including NBC’s upcoming “Will and Grace” revival, Netflix’s “Fuller House” and “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” and Showtime’s “Twin Peaks” reboot. The CW also has a reboot of classic nighttime soap “Dynasty” among its pilot orders this year.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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CW’s ‘Dynasty’ Reboot Casts ‘UnReal’ Star in Lead Role

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‘Dear White People’: What It Means and Why

Shut up and listen.

No, really. “Dear White People” is just a more pleasant way of saying “shut up and listen.”

“Netflix” released a ten-episode series titled “Dear White People” that is a spinoff of a 2014 movie of the same name, and it will most likely address any and all questions, comments or concerns you’ve ever had about the difficult subject of race relations in the United States.

All you have to do is shut up and listen.

Also Read: Beyonce at the CMAs and the Myth That Blacks and Country Music Don’t Mix

The series will pick up where the movie left off, although you don’t have to watch the movie to understand the show, and will continue to follow outspoken and witty student Samantha White (Logan Browning) and the rest of her foes and friends as they navigate life at a fictional, predominately-white Ivy League school. White still has her own radio show titled “Dear White People” where she creates chaos by criticizing white people’s racist actions.

“Dear White People” isn’t an attack on all white people, nor does it speak for the entire black population, but the series does present plenty of topics and scenarios, like let’s say a blackface-themed party on campus, that people of color find themselves rolling their eyes at while white people can’t seem to understand what the big deal really is.

It also offers real-life microaggressions that people of color have to deal with on a daily and explains in a colorful, satirical manner why you probably shouldn’t ask the black girl at work to teach you how to twerk and why you most likely shouldn’t dress up as an “African” for your school’s Halloween party.

Also Read: Here’s Everything Coming to Netflix in May, From ‘House of Cards’ to ‘Doctor Strange’

“Dear White People” is here because more often than not, people will ask you to explain why what they said was racist or why that advertisement that Shea Moisture just put out was so wrong. Or why there is a BET, but black people would get upset if there was a White Entertainment Television network.

Now, while the series isn’t an end-all solution to all of your race questions and concerns, it will definitely tell you about yourself — just shut up and listen and you might learn a thing or five.

Also if you still think “Dear White People” is “racist,” well, surprise! — black people can’t be racist and you can read about all of that here (which also features a nice explainer GIF from “Dear White People.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

13 Best Documentaries to Watch on Netflix (Photos)

It Doesn’t Matter If Lil Wayne Isn’t Cool With Black Lives Matter (Commentary)

Beyonce at the CMAs and the Myth That Blacks and Country Music Don’t Mix

What’s On Tonight: Samantha Bee hosts her own damn correspondents’ dinner

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29. All times are Eastern.

Top picks

Not The White House Correspondents’ Dinner With Samantha Bee (TBS, Saturday, 10 p.m.): In defiance of the lame White House Correspondents’ Dinner that our chicken-ass president isn’t even attending, Samantha Bee, recently dubbed our “comedian-in-chief,” hosts her own event. The evening will undoubtedly include many funny yet spot-on statements on what a wreck our administration is right now. Bee fan Laura M. Browning can’t wait.

Dear White People (Netflix, Friday): This exemplary new series is based on Justin Simien’s 2014 movie about black students at a predominantly white fictional Ivy League university; Simien returns to expand his film into ten 30-minute episodes on Netflix. In her enthusiastic A review, Ashley Ray-Harris says the show doesn’t “waste time creating tragic origin stories …