The firstin 15 years kicked off Tuesday, and it’s expected to bring production in the nation’s entertainment center to a halt.
could be far-reaching, depending on how long it takes for writers and studios to reach a deal. The last Hollywood strike, in 2007-2008, took three months to resolve.
With the 11,500 members of the Writers’ Guild of America working across film, TV, streaming and fiction podcasts, here’s how the labor stoppage is expected to affect shows.
What shows are affected?
The most immediate impact of the strike will be seen in late-night shows, which are written daily to pivot off current events.
“The Late Show” on CBS, “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on ABC, “The Tonight Show” on NBC, “Late Night” on NBC and Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” have stopped production and plan to run repeats for the foreseeable future.
NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” has a slightly longer production timeline but is even more dependent on its writers, the Associated Press notes. The show will not air the last three episodes of its season, starting with the scheduled May 6 show guest-hosted by Pete Davidson.
Not all late-night shows will go dark. Fox News’ “Gutfeld!” with Greg Gutfeld will continue airing new episodes, Fox said Tuesday. Gutfeld and his writing team are not WGA members, Deadline reported.
It’s less certain how daytime talk shows would be affected, as they lean more into host chats and interviews. ABC’s “The View” was uninterrupted during the last strike in the 2007-2008 season.
How does the strike affect streaming shows and movies?
The impact on these services is uncertain. Scripted shows — not to mention movies — work on longer timelines than late-night TV, so many viewers may not notice the effects of a strike until long after it’s over.
“When it comes to scripted dramas or comedies, it would actually be quite a while before a normal viewer would see a difference,” Alex Weprin, media and business writer at the Hollywood Reporter, told CBS News. “There are a lot of episodes that have already been shot that are banked for later use; there are also some scripts that have already been written for some of these shows.”
The menus on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video will look no different next week, but they could change months down the line, the AP noted. If a strike lasts through the summer, fall schedules for scripted shows and films could be upended.
With the walkout long anticipated, many studios rushed to finish projects and create a backlog to have enough content for the short term. Netflix has said it could turn to overseas series to fill some of the void during a strike.
“We’ve got ourselves ready. We’ve had a lot of content that’s been produced,” David Zaslav, chief executive of Warner Bros. Discovery, said last month.
Does the strike affect show production?
Production on finished screenplays can proceed as planned, but without the benefit of last-minute rewrites. As a result, films currently shooting could see a notable drop in quality.
However, that’s assuming that crews, whose union recently came very close to striking, are willing to cross WGA picket lines and work. If they aren’t willing to do that, the strike could have ripple effects in Hollywood.
Contracts for two other major unions, the Directors’ Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA — which represents actors, expire in June. Both negotiations are likely to focus on similar issues around the business model of streaming, the AP reports. The DGA is set to begin negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) on May 10.
With reporting by the Associated Press.