Networks were bracing themselves Fri for a strike by the Writers Guild of America—the 1st such walkout in nearly 2 decades. Late-night programs, such as NBC’s “Tonight Show,” and broadcast fare will be most impacted, but cable isn’t left untouched. Comedy Central’s “Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “Colbert Report” will go into reruns because of the strike. USA’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” which moved over to the cable net from NBC in Oct,” has the 1st half of the season in the can (10 eps), but the 12 episodes for the 2nd half of the season could be impacted. USA’s hits “Psyche” and “Monk” have already been filmed for their Jan debut. The deciding factor for the strike’s impact, of course, is how long it will last. Another cable show that could be affected is TBS’ new comedy “FrankTV,” which is filmed before a live debut audience. The show, starring impersonator Frank Caliendo, is slated for a Nov 20. It’s not clear if the premiere will be delayed. Lifetime said production of Season 2 of “Army Wives” could potentially be delayed because of a strike, but several original movies and reality shows, including “How to Look Good Naked” in Jan, are good to go. Speaking during Viacom’s 3Q earnings call Fri, CEO Philippe Dauman said the company feels well positioned on an overall basis, including its Paramount Pictures studio. “As far as our television business, for the most part, across our family of networks, we will have very little to no impact,” he said, adding that “The Daily Show” and “Colbert” will be impacted because of their topical nature. “If there should be a strike, we’ll evaluate what we do in those time slots… what we do normally is we’ll have reruns for a while, then we’ll see what we do with the format.” The writers’ agreement expired at midnight Wed, with talks breaking down over DVD residuals and payment for programs distributed on the Internet. WGA said the strike will begin at 12:01am Mon. — A poll at CableU (http://www.cableu.tv) asked whether going on strike for increased residuals from online downloads was a good idea. 64.7% of respondents said it was. 29.4% called it a bad idea, while 5.9% were undecided. CableU is an online service providing competitive analysis of cable network performances and trends.

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Lifetime announced “Gift of a Lifetime,” part of the net’s pro-social giveback initiative partnering with charities to identify five women and their families to receive the “gift of a lifetime”

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