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No Scribes, No Problem

Jan 11 2008 Posted by in entertainment, writing | Comments Off on No Scribes, No Problem

So, Variety says that Leno is still easily topping Letterman in the ratings, despite having no WGA staffers and relying on non-SAG guests and/or C-list scabs. And that reality shows (replacements or not) continue to outperform their scripted counterparts in prime time at around 30% of the cost.

This is disturbing on so many levels, but the main conclusion I’m drawing is that viewing habits are just that: based more on “habit” than programming quality. Or maybe it’s a reflection of the continued Idiocratization of America. People would rather be passively entertained at the end of a stressful day than consume anything that makes them think or emote. My thirst for game shows and on-screen humiliations and celebrity vehicles is dying faster than these alleged reality “stars”‘ agents’ cell phone reception once they get voted off.

I’ve seen some of the scribeless results. A Daily Show continues to be relatively sharp in spite. Carson Daly never had anything to say, anyway, so little has changed on that set. I just fear that we’re lowering the bar even further and that shows will be expected to get by with less after the strike is settled, based on this performance. Just like corporate downsizing. And I’m not even a WGA member.

Pray with me for the long-awaited reality backlash. Maybe after all the scripted content runs out and we’re given no options but third-generation incestuous mongoloid offspring of Who Wants to Bang a Fattie?, viewers will rediscover their sense of taste and programmers will respond to the market. In the meantime, it’s a great chance to catch up on some reading.