WGA Strike: US Nets May Air Foreign Shows
Fearful of WGA strike, executives at ABC and NBC have begun discussions with foreign producers about airing finished episodes of their existing series, something they have never done before.
US shows regularly air on major networks across the globe, but US broadcast networks never air foreign-produced shows, mainly out of fear US viewers wouldn't tune into shows with non-American accents.
If WGA strike does occur (it may happen as early as Nov.1), as Variety reports, US nets could get desperate and forget about those concerns.
Nothing has been purchased yet, but both ABC and NBC are seriously looking into that option.
Recent months have shown viewers would not tolerate an unlimited amount of reality programming, so should networks lose their original production, they will be forced to come up with an alternative.
Nets will of course also look to their cable sister channels - after all ABC Family's "Kyle XY" and Sci-Fi Channel's "Battlestar Galactica" have already been successfully sampled on ABC and NBC, respectively.
Of course, if shows like "Weeds" (Showtime), "The Closer" (TNT) and "Damages" (FX) do end up on broadcast networks, the viewers will be seeing a toned-down version of these envelope-pushing dramas.
Still, the question remains - British hits such as "Footballers' Wives" (season 1 cast pictured above) have worked well for cable nets such as BBC America. But could they do the same on free-to-air broadcast networks?
Come fall, nets may have no alternative but to find out.