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Writers strike to hit TV first - and hard

Published November 5, 2007 12:00 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2007, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

With the Hollywood writers going on strike for the first time in 20 years, a new generation of TV watchers has no idea how it's going to impact them as Tinseltown scribes walk the picket lines.

Though this strike affects all 12,000 screenwriters and TV writers in the Writers Guild of America, the television industry will be hit first and immediately.

Thanks to the Los Angeles Times, here's a breakdown of how some of our favorite shows will be impacted. And it isn't going to be pretty.

"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "The Conan O'Brien Show" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live" will go into repeats immediately because those daily shows are staffed with WGA writers. Also add "Late Night with David Letterman" to that mix.

"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report" also will go into reruns immediately because their scripts are written daily due to their topicality. (Now this strike is starting to hurt.)

Also, variety shows like "Saturday Night Live" will go into reruns immediately since they depend on topical comedy as well.

Here is a sampling of sitcoms and dramas that will be affected:

* "Lost" - The serialized thriller from ABC is expected to have eight of 16 episodes in the can when it premieres in mid-season. Unfortunately, because it's starting late, it will have fewer episodes ready than most other series that premiered in the fall.

I would imagine that's a similar number for Fox's "24," which premieres in mid-January.

* "Moonlight" and "Cane" - Both of these CBS dramas will have 12 to 13 of their initial order of episodes done. Whether they get a full order of 22 episodes for the season is another matter involving the ratings.

* "Scrubs" - The final season of NBC's sitcom has 12 of 18 episodes completed.

* "Friday Night Lights" - It's expected that 15 of its 22 episodes will be done.

* "Heroes" - This is my own guess, but I would expect the same number of episodes of this fan favorite will be done as for "Friday Night Lights."

Already, the first full casualty of the strike is a "Heroes'" midseason spinoff, "Heroes: Origins." Reports are swirling that NBC has canceled that show because of the strike.

* "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" - USA's spinoff from the "L&O" franchise has 12 of 22 episodes produced, which means the second half of the season is in jeopardy.

* "Nip/Tuck" - The first 14 episodes, according to the Times, are done, but production has not started on the second cycle of 14.

"Dirt" and "The Riches" - These two FX series likely will be affected because production just started on both of them.

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* VINCE HORIUCHI'S column appears Mondays and Fridays. He can be reached at vince@sltrib.com or 801-257-8607.