December Repeats: Don't Blame The Strike

Get ready for a deluge of stories proclaiming that viewers are starting to feel the pain from the Hollywood writer’s strike. They should start any day now as November sweeps end and the networks switch to repeats in December. But here’s the problem: the networks always switch to repeats in December.

And like they do in the summer, cable networks are poised to fill the void while broadcast takes a breather. As Ed Martin points out on, TNT will air new episodes of The Closer, while USA Network will be in originals on Monk and Psych. Besides, who doesn’t like watching a giddy Jay Leno interview a 26-year-old Julia Roberts?

The real trouble starts in January if the strike continues and shows that have had great seasons like ABC’s Desperate Housewives and NBC’s Heroes go on forced hiatus. A full accounting of all the dramas running out of episodes here. In the catbird’s seat? Fox, which begins airing the unscripted (well, scripted but not unionized) monster American Idol on Jan. 15.

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