It's all pretty interesting. I know a number of folks who think television is the spawn of Satan and will probably rejoice in these misfortunes that are befalling the denizens of the city of iniquity, i.e. Hollywood.
Personally I'm only a little bit interested in the strike itself, as I only have a few programs I really follow, but if those programs go off the air it should take me about 20 minutes to deal with it and move on with my life. I'm a bit bummed that 24 might not make it back in January and I really enjoy the new show Chuck, so I'll miss that if it goes away. Oh yeah, I'll probably lose lot's of sleep wondering what happens to the castaways on Lost if that doesn't make it back.
Other than that, for me the highest purpose of a television is show college football games so as long as the writer's strike doesn't affect Bowl season and next year's football season I should be fine.
But, all that silliness aside, Andreessen has an analysis worth paying attention to. He says this:
The writers' strike, and the studios' response to the strike, may radically accelerate a structural shift in the media industry -- a shift of power from studios and conglomerates towards creators and talent.
It sounds like Hollywood is being affected by the same cultural shifts the news media is experiencing with the new media. The shift is away from reliance on a few strong, centralized institutions into a newer, more democratized form of distribution. I wonder if there isn't some Starfish and Spider going on here (see my thoughts on the Starfish and the Spider here and Brad Brisco's here).
The writer's are demanding more revenue from their work and the studios are digging in. According to Andreessen this can only go badly for the studios - he says they "were acting suicidally in picking a fight with the writers at precisely the wrong time."
And that's why I make the link between that and the Starfish and the Spider - a book/concept which says that decentralized organizations have more power than centralized organizations. We live in a time when any attempt by an institution to exert heavy-handed control from above is sure to be met with resistance, and failure in the long run (the nation of Burma being the exception, although I can't imagine the current situation will hold indefinitely).
So it will be interesting to see what happens in the entertainment industry in the coming months. If Andreessen is right the locus of power is shifting to artists and creators. Thus, for those who feel that Hollywood has locked them and their values out, doors are open, but they are open to those who are the best in their craft.
BTW, just for fun, if you want to follow up on the television is good, television is bad debate, here's an interesting article saying it's bad (and it's by an atheist no less, not a fundamentalist Christian). The article is long and I haven't finished it yet but thought I would go ahead and link to it anyway for anyone who wants to follow up.
And for an opposing view, here's Steven Berlin Johnson on Why Everything Bad is Good for You