God has answered the prayers of everyone: the writers, the TV & movie executives, the actors, the rest of the essential players in the TV & movie industries, and most importantly, the fans.
The Writers Guild of America strike is over.
Members of the Writers Guild of America voted Tuesday to end the three-month-old strike. Writers will return to work on Wednesday - as in, tomorrow. The so-called show-runners - which include LOST executive producer Carlton Cuse - went back to work Monday.
These members, however, didn't vote to ratify the tentative agreement reached on February 1. They will have to cast their ballots by February 25.
OK, so what does this mean for the best show on earth (i.e. LOST - duh)?
According to the May 2007 agreement between ABC and Darlton, the three remaining seasons will contain sixteen episodes from February to May. Now, with this strike, only eight episodes were finished. According to this article posted at The Tail Section, Darlton's plan is to finish five more episodes, which will bring the Season Four episode total to thirteen. The remaining three of the sixteen episodes originally planned for Season Four will be added to Season Five. Here's what Carlton has to say regarding this new plan's effects on the storytelling for the current season:
"We'll have to compress some of the storytelling we planned for this season, and that may not be a bad thing. Damon and I feel like we know how we can finish it off and still make it a really, really great story."
Not bad, Darlton, not bad at all.
If the writers get started writing the remaining five episodes by the end of the week (or next week even), production may begin in four weeks or so. Post-production should start immediately after filming for an episode ends, and even while filming for the next episode starts. I imagine the new episodes will be aired in a month and a half, or two months at the most.
I only wonder now what's going to happen to LOST's timeslot. During the tail end of the strike, LOST took over Grey's Anatomy's slot, at 9/8 central Thursday nights. Will LOST go back to its Wednesday slot at 9/8 central (and bump Private Practice from its current timeslot)? Or will ABC give LOST a Monday night timeslot, as rumoured during the hiatus?
I guess we'll have to wait and see. Stay tuned, folks!
Lastly, congratulations to the members of the Writers Guild of America for successfully reaching a deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. I don't know the exact terms of the agreement, but I believe the WGA leaders (and members) are satisfied with them. I truly hope they got the contract that they deserve, especially regarding their cut from revenues generated through new media, such as the Internet and digital sales (e.g. LOST episodes on iTunes).
Fantastic day! Ain't it, fellow LOST fans?