SAG strike won't kill our Heroes

by Paul William Tenny

peter-blue-ligthening.jpgSometimes people take a hint and run with it to the most dramatic conclusion possible. It doesn't matter if the conclusion is true, or even remotely possibly, if it's sexy, then they'll do it. SyFy Portal went down that road a day or two ago by scaring the hell out of Heroes fans, trying to make them think that a potential SAG strike might be enough to kill off the show for good after the spin-off Origins was nuked, and the second season was cut short by the WGA strike. All this because of an off-the-hand remark from one actor on the show that didn't seem to know its fate one way or another.
There's a lot to be said for being able to interperet what people are saying and being able to project that into a story, but I think what you'll find is that the best practice is to stop projecting and just listen to what they are saying. There's nothing definitive in this statement that would lead me to believe that NBC is that bad off, and I'll address that here in a second.

Speaking with fans at the recent Eclipse event in the United Kingdom last month, "Heroes" star Sendhil Ramamurthy revealed that the possibility of SAG going on strike could essentially kill the series. Bit the actor is hopeful that negotiations will stop that from happening.

"Hopefully producers and SAG will get together and sort something out," he told fans at the event. "My last scene [on 'Heroes'] was filmed on Oct. 23 so I'm hoping we'll get something together cause I'd really like to get back to work."

What I'm not seeing here is Ramamurthy saying anything about NBC possibly canceling Heroes in the event of another work stoppage. There's nothing here at all along those lines and even if there were, coming from a single actor, it would fly in the face of reason. Other than some brainless reality programming, Heroes represents NBCs only recent success in prime time scripted programming. Bionic Woman was supposed to be the next Heroes for them and continue the upward trend of crawling out of the cellar, and it imploded like a submarine.

I've seen nothing on the networks recently announced 2008 slate that looks hopeful, either. In fact I would argue that Origins represented the next logical step in the networks path to relevancy. You find something that works, then you make more of it. That's kind of how network television works. For that very reason, Heroes -- which is still got pretty decent ratings last year despite being strike shortened and story challenged -- still represents the networks best scripted programming. It does very well in the demo which means it does very well with advertisers, something that is more critical to NBC than any other network ever since the peacock had to return advertising dollars during the WGA strike due to missed ratings targets.

Put simply, NBC can't afford to cancel the show even if they actually wanted to. It's one of the few programs keeping the network alive at a time when GE's other holdings like the USA cable channel are outperforming it in profit nearly 10-to-1.

Projecting is one thing, but inventing rumors just to get some play is pretty low. I expect a lot more than that from SyFy Portal.
in Labor, Television


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