Strike Threat Keeps Losers On Air
The increasing probability that a strike by the Writers Guild of America against the major TV and film studios will occur next month has redounded to the benefit of producers of new television shows that performed below par during their first month on the air, Broadcasting & Cable observed today (Monday). The trade publication noted that a strike threat has particularly helped such struggling shows as CBS's Cane, Fox's K-Ville and ABC's Big Shots. Preston Beckman, head of program planning for Fox, appeared to represent the thinking of other network executives when he told B&C: "If I cancel a show now and put something in its place, I have eight unaired episodes of that show. ... We would rather stick with what we have and have [a potential replacement show] to hold on to for a strike. Otherwise, if there is a strike, I net out with eight fewer original hours."