It's been way too long since we've read a good story hinting at the unspeakable horrors that would inevitably follow a potential Writers Guild strike, but today's Variety piece on how a work stoppage will impact reality TV production has at least temporarily given us the testicle-retracting scare we've been craving. While Var says that it's "not necessarily the case" that a strike would good for the unscripted sector, it's impossible not to imagine the networks quickly devolving from the mere reality-riddled disappointments they currently are into full-blown, post-Apocalyptic, Mark-Burnett-controlled hellscapes in which nary a union writer credit will be found:
"I don't know that a strike is going to be a gold mine for reality producers," says one network vet, who, like most people interviewed for this story, asked not to be identified by name.
"We're going to go to reality, I'm sure," the exec says. "But I'm not sure we'll be able to get away with doing that much more than we're already doing." [...]
"If someone said to us, 'We need a show in five weeks,' we'd be ready," one producer asserts.
What worries some insiders is the prospect of bad reality shows getting rushed into production.
"A bunch of crap is probably going to end up on the air," one wag says. "It's not like there are so many good new ideas we can come up with."
Indeed, if the "good new ideas" include punking weddings, famous people driving fast, and giant bingo drums, the "bunch of crap" produced out of work-stoppage desperation should be truly breathtaking, with poorly thought out offerings like Are You Man Enough To Shave This Homeless Man's Genitals? rushed onto the schedule by evil Fox altenative-programming mastermind Mike Darnell. It would undoubtedly be less painful just to drown yourself in a bathroom sink full of bleach now than to endure the aftermath of a prolonged strike.