Writers' Strike 1988: Writerproof Schedule
"Come hell or high water, we'll have original programming this fall," vowed late President of NBC Entertainment Brandon Tartikoff in June 1988, just before the writers' strike was about to enter its fifth month.
What NBC management had in mind was an emergency fall schedule of "writerproof" programs, including foreign shows, variety programs and old series remakes.
Having won the 1987/1988 season, the Peacock network was possibly best prepared for the fall 1988 as it was about to launch a new season with the live telecast of the Summer Olympics in Seoul (NBC acquired the broadcast rights for the event for $300 million).
Also, some of the companies supplying prime-time programming had already made independent agreements with the Writers' Guild (e.g. "The Cosby Show").
NBC was also planning to introduce reality programming, as well as produce existing scripts that hadn't been filmed in the past. Also, there was talk of filming foreign shows with American actors.
But many observers dismissed this NBC plan saying filming old or foreign scripts would still require rewrites.
Furthermore, the network was planning to use the Olympics (as well as the World Series which also aired on NBC at the time) to promote its fall schedule, an opportunity which would have been wasted had the fall season been canceled and shows like "L.A.Law" remained in repeats.