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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

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Ratings are based on a four star system.
One star means that the commercials are more entertaining than the program.
Two stars watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars is good solid entertainment.
Four stars means you never dreamed television could be this good.

As of this writing, the writers and the studios in Hollywood are not even talking to one another. The sticking point concerns writers for "reality" shows. Yes, reality shows have writers, but the big studios do not want to admit that the people who write reality shows are real writers -- that is, people entitled to payment when their work is used in other media.

The studios think that the writers will have to give in or starve. In reality, most writers have a day job, and sooner or later the studios will have to give in or go broke. It looks like it is going to be later -- because for the studio executives to give in, after costing their corporations millions by holding out, will probably cost them their jobs. What that means for us is, after the pipeline is empty, no new TV drama or comedy for a long time.

The real sticking point will be when the studios face a year with no new movies -- then, I think, they will fold and the writers strike will end.

My pick for the best SF on TV these days: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

SF on TV in February

Friday, February 1
Stargate Atlantis "Outcast", by Joe Flanigan, 15 of 20 episodes in the pipeline.

Torchwood Saturday, February 2
Torchwood "Sleeper" by James Moran, 2 of 13.

Monday, February 4
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles "Heavy Metal", by Toni Graphia, 4 of 9.

Thursday, February 7
Smallville "Siren", by Brian Peterson and Kelly Souders, 11 of 15.

Thursday, February 7
Lost "Confirmed Dead", by Drew Goddard and Brian Vaughan, 2 of 7.

Friday, February 8
Stargate Atlantis "Trio", Martin Gero, 16 of 20.

Smallville Saturday, February 9
Torchwood "To the Last Man", by Helen Raynor, 3 of 13.

Monday, February 11
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles "Queen's Gambit", by Toni Graphia, 5 of 9.

Tuesday, Feb 12
Jericho "Reconstruction, Condor", by Carol Barbee and Jonathan E. Steinberg. 1 of 7 episodes.

Thursday, February 14
Smallville "Fracture" by Caroline Dries, 12 of 15.

Friday, February 15
Stargate Atlantis "Midway", 17 of 20.

Monday, February 18
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles "The Man Comes Around", 6 of 9.

Thursday, February 21
Smallville "Hero", 13 of 15.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Friday, February 22
Stargate Atlantis "The Kindred I" by Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, 18 of 20.

Friday, February 22
Stargate Atlantis "The Kindred II" by Alan McCullough, 19 of 20.

Monday, February 25
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles "Vick's Chip", 7 of 9.

As you can see, after March, the deluge.

Copyright © 2008 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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