Television viewers are beginning to get a better sense of how the writers strike will affect their favorite shows. Original half-hour episodes of NBCs hit half-hour comedy The Office will stop being shown after next week.
Steve Carell showed solidarity with the striking writers. A publicist for Mr. Carell said he had no comment about the strike.
Production on The Office was shut down on Tuesday, after the writers, several of whom are also actors on the show, began picketing and Steve Carell, the lead actor, refused to cross picket lines. Only two new episodes are ready for broadcast, so The Office will enter repeats after the Nov. 15 episode.
Picketing in Burbank on Wednesday, Greg Daniels, an executive producer of The Office, explained why he was helping force a halt to production.
When we were in the 10th grade reading Mark Twain and dreaming about being a writer, none of us were thinking about residuals or payments for DVDs or anything like that, Mr. Daniels said. I suppose the reason people should care about this is because the television networks get their broadcast licenses from the government. They are supposed to create public culture. Instead, they are taking the attitude of We will crush you toward the people who create their programming. They are talking of canceling scripted programming and replacing it with reality programs. I think that is not in the public interest.
In a blog entry on MySpace, Dan Beals, a production staffer for The Office, said the crew waited for seven hours on Tuesday before Universal Media Studios decided to shut down production.
After expressing support for the strikers, Mr. Beals wrote: As for me, its back to the unemployment line.
Its really annoying that they would let things get that bad. Reality shows are bad enough as it is. You need shows like the Office to entertain the masses. Plus Im hooked. I need my Office.
Some of the other shows affected.
“House,” with six episodes left, will be fresh through November, with the last few airing in January one of them following Fox’s broadcast of the Super Bowl.
“Samantha Who?”, ABC’s new hit comedy, has eight episodes in the can.
The “Crime Scene Investigation” trio, “NCIS,” “Criminal Minds,” “Without a Trace” and “Cold Case” each have three to six more episodes to run on CBS.
CBS’ comedies (“How I Met Your Mother,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Two And a Half Men,” “rules of engagement”) will run dry by month’s end.
ABC’s “Ugly Betty,” “Pushing Daisies” and “Grey’s Anatomy” each have four new episodes to go.
“Desperate Housewives” airs the last of its current stock of new episodes Dec. 2.
The final new episode of NBC’s “Heroes” airs Dec. 3.
Fox’s New Orleans-based “K-Ville,” which shut down production this week, has three new episodes left, with dim prospects for shooting to resume post-strike on this low-rated freshman drama.
Despite a report that Fox’s “Family Guy” would air its final new episode this Sunday, the cartoon series will be new through November, the network said.
The planned January return of Fox’s “24” has been postponed indefinitely. Since only some of the series’ 24 episodes have been shot, Fox didn’t want to risk beginning a new season that might be interrupted.