As of this moment, only 24 of the scripted network-television shows that started on the fall prime-time schedule are still running new episodes. As the writers’ strike enters its fourteenth week, over 54 shows have halted production of new episodes mid-season, and of those, more than 27—including 30 Rock, The Office, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, Gossip Girl, Heroes, My Name Is Earl, and all of the CSIs—are in repeats. A few more, like Friday Night Lights and Samantha Who?, have only two or three more episodes left in the bank until their seasons meet the same premature end. And we’re in for a long winter: Even if the strike settles before this month’s Academy Awards, new episodes could take up to two months to move from script to screen, and no networks have promised to see the season out.
These are grim times for viewers who like closure. Will Jim and Pam’s romance last? Will the Dillon Panthers win State? Hoping to stave off the television famine, we invited network-television writers with way too much time on their hands to imagine season finales for shows they watch as fans.