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Paul Nelson, KSL NewsradioYou may have noticed the reruns on late-night TV last night. The Writers Guild is on strike, demanding more pay when their materials get sold on DVD or online. But could this strike trickle down to the local level?
Hey, did you see Conan last night? Apparently, they just came out with a fifth episode of the Harry Potter movies. I tell you, I have a feeling it's going to be a hit.
Of course, I am kidding. Last night was just the first night of what could be many days of reruns we could see on television. Some Utahns say they're devastated because they love to watch major network television. That was sarcasm.
One woman said, "We stopped watching network TV quite a while ago because the content of the shows is not something our family enjoys."
One man said, "I've got cable so I watch a lot of, what is it called, ‘Movies On Demand.'"
It seems few people here are taking the writer's strike as seriously as the man on YouTube.com who calls himself Chris Tian.
Chris Tian: "We need to fight this form of entertainment terrorism here in our country."
The major networks have enough new shows to last them a while. NBC has programming to last through December. However, KSL Television Program Director Michelle Kettle says if the strike lasts long, they could see a big drop in sales revenue.
Michelle Kettle: "Obviously, repeats never do as well as original programming, so, that's where it's really going to hurt, especially in prime time."
She says all local TV stations could run into this problem. People who watch soap operas may be disappointed pretty soon. There isn't much time before they run out of fresh episodes.
"We've got about three weeks of soaps [already produced]," She added. "You really wouldn't have the audience. No one wants to see a soap in repeats."
Kettle says if writers don't get back to work in the next couple of weeks, overall ratings during February sweeps may take a big hit.
"It shuts down production, for one thing, so they would be slow in getting new shows done," she said.
She says NBC has not released any plans if the strike lasts a long time. The last strike in 1988 lasted 22 weeks. Kettle says if no compromise has been reached, they may have to air the shows they plan to release during the summer to fill the time in late winter.