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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Has Strike Changed Your TV Habits?

With the Writers Guild of America strike completing its third month, and many of your favorite prime-time series ("Grey's Anatomy," "30 Rock," "Heroes," "The Office") out of original episodes, I want to know: Have your viewing habits changed?

Are you watching "American Gladiators," "The Moment of Truth" and more reality or cable series? Are you seeking out "Law & Order" or any new scripted episodes you can find? Maybe you're using the time to see DVD sets of old favorites.

Do you enjoy the writer-less late-night shows by Jay Leno or Jon Stewart?

Or are you striking back by watching less TV? If so, how are you spending that time?

I'm looking for people willing to comment for a story. I want you to email me your comments, not post them here on my blog. Email me, subject line "Writers Strike."

In your email, you must give your full name, age, your neighborhood or town, and a daytime phone number.

I need comments by Friday, Feb. 1. I hope to hear from a lot of you!



at 1/25/2008 4:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the networks have run out of scripted shows I've really tuned into what's on cable and really gotten involved in a lot of shows that otherwise I wouldn't have known existed.

at 1/27/2008 11:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't watch much TV (most of it is crapola). But I support the writers. They got screwed years ago when producers said, "We don't know whether there's money to be made in the rental market, so why should we agree to share it?" And they're going to get screwed again when producers and the studios lament, "We don't know if we can make any money on the Internet, so why should we share it?"

So, no, my habits haven't changed. When there's something worthwhile on TV, I'll tune in. Until then, I've got the Internet and books and WVXU.

at 1/28/2008 5:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm watching more PBS and History Channel.

Now I know that shots at JFK came from three different directions and that the world is going to end in 2012. So much for refinancing my Adjustable Rate Mortgage.

at 1/28/2008 5:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


at 1/29/2008 7:47 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

npr is so weird. i love it when the local host will read AP wire copy in his/her "npr voice" that they think makes him/her sound really insightful and intellectual --

at 1/29/2008 12:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been watching more movies on DVD. I would love to know if the writers strike has effected the usage rate at Netflix.


at 1/29/2008 2:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have changed mine. I have not been a big video game player but have really started playing with my son's PS3. Man Rockband is addictive.

at 1/29/2008 3:06 PM Blogger Dr Feelgood said...

Of the shows I watch regularly during first run Nip/Tuck hasn't been affected yet and the rest of what I watch hasn't been effected for one reason or another. I don't watch a whole lot of tv to begin with. Its a shame because this strike will only fuel more reality programing and less and less comedies when its over. The halfhour comedy is on life support and the plug is halfway out the socket.

at 1/29/2008 7:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

To: Anon 7:47.. Spoken like a true non-listener. Thanks for playing.

at 1/29/2008 8:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read more books this year than in the past 5! I am addicted to TV and a bit thankful to the strike to get me into TV detox! I support the writers 100% and am doing so by reading books.

at 1/29/2008 10:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been sampling more cable television, and realizing there's a lot of great shows I haven't seen. It may be difficult to switch back to the networks. I have some new favorites. But being a local news junkie, I always switch back in time for 10 or 11.

at 1/30/2008 7:16 AM Anonymous Paul Gardner said...

I don't watch much local TV. I can't stand it when school closings, etc., are printed and ticker-taped acrossed the bottom of the screen, distorting the picture. Add to that the storm and flood warnings that cover a good part of the viewing and don't forget the upcoming show pop-ups. Of course the station logo is also there in the bottom corner. IT'S GETTING TO BE TOO MUCH ... OVER THE TOP. Channel 9 is the worst!!! Add in their "BREAKING NEWS" and you often get snow warnings even if a single snowflake is predicted to fall. Journaism is dead and gone! Even some cable stations add in the pop-ups to promote other shows on their stations while the viewer is trying to watch the current show. It's RUDE and INTERUPTING.

at 1/30/2008 7:23 AM Anonymous Paul Gardner said...

Writer's strike? Go to Wal-mart and buy one single season of Seinfeld (24 episodes), The Andy Griffith Show (32 episodes), Friends (24 episodes) for $20-$25 or the cost of a single new movie.
There's NO ADVERTISING and you can watch it totally unobstructed ... anytime you want ... over and over again.

at 1/30/2008 8:58 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

playing xbox 360 call of duty 4. Enough Said.

at 1/30/2008 8:59 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey kiese with sweeps starting tommorow are stations going to be running the same old stories.

at 1/30/2008 9:35 AM Blogger liz said...

Jeopardy is still great, even if there is a strike.

at 1/30/2008 1:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul, take a deep breath, and realize its not all about you. You watch all of those stations airing school closings, tickers, and what-not free of charge.

at 1/30/2008 6:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't changed a bit. I crawl home, plop down and stare at the movement on the screen. Pretty colors.

at 1/30/2008 10:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've started watching more videos on Google. It's really very interesting and educational. Videos like 'America:Freedom To Fascism', 'Hacking Democracy', Frontline has some great videos and then there's all of the 9/11 movies like 'Loose Change 2' and 'Loose Change - Final Cut', '9/11: Press For Truth'. Really good stuff!

at 1/31/2008 5:14 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

To: Anon 1:03 PM

You need to put the pipe down... TV is ALL about the viewer - hence ratings. It's about INDIVIDUAL viewers aggregated together. When you alienate individuals with all of the distracting crap on the screen during the entertainment portion of programming they may just switch to something less irritating or wait for the DVD.

My favorite is when a local or network graphic or pop-up ad is superimposed over subtitles that are a part of the program so that you can't read them.

Paul said nothing about commercials. Commercials are what supports broadcast TV. So your comment about enduring this inanity because it's "free of charge" is baseless. Nothing about TV is free of charge. We already endure the ads, cable/sat fees, hardware costs, etc.

And before you get on your "it's a public service, people's lives are in danger from weather" soap box -- keep in mind that this is a rather recent annoyance. We all survived for decades without "screen spam." All of this "information" is available in countless other places. What's next? Commercials running in a split screen simultaneously with the programming? Wait, better not give broadcasters any ideas.

If all of the graphics, tickers, weather maps, upcoming show promos, pop-ups, etc. where so important to the public and not to be taken as an irritating distraction then why do they all magically disappear during the commercials?

Why don't dire "Breaking News" weather updates happen during commercials? Are the lives of the viewers (which are in imminent danger) not more important than ad revenue? Does danger always take a break during commercials or are conditions really not that dangerous? Give me a break!

at 1/31/2008 11:22 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon 10:23pm...
Nicely crafted and placed piece of self-promotion. Well done.

at 2/01/2008 9:59 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

agreed with Anon 11:22 AM. Anon 10:23 just went from one idiot box to another. Could there be a common denominator? Hmmmm.

at 2/03/2008 8:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon at 11:22 AM on 1/31:

Thanks, but I wasn't promoting myself. I was promoting some excellent documentaries! ;-)

To Anon at 9:59 AM at 2/1:

It sounds as though you are definitely criticizing films that you know NOTHING ABOUT! Watch them. Ask questions. And fact check. Who knows? You might even LEARN SOMETHING.

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