Here’s how the WGA strike will impact your favorite shows
WGA strike explained: How your favorite shows will be impacted
Here’s what you can expect from streaming, network series, late-night shows, and reality programming.
By EW Staff Updated May 04, 2023 at 07:15 PM EDT
After failing to reach an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers, Hollywood writers are taking to the picket line to demand fair pay from multibillion-dollar studios like Netflix, Disney, and Warner Bros. It’s the first Hollywood writer walkout in more than 15 years, and it means production on a number of TV series will come to a halt.
Wondering how this affects the viewer — the reality TV fan, the SNL devotee, or the Roman Roy Succession stan? We’ve got answers. Below, we detail how your favorite shows will be impacted by the writers’ strike, and just how long it may go on.
What happens to late-night shows?
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!
| Credit: Randy Holmes via Getty Images
What about network TV?
Sam Lerner, Hayley Orrantia, and Wendi McLendon-Covey on ‘The Goldbergs’
| Credit: ABC/Scott Everett White
Most network TV shows have wrapped production for the summer and are already on hiatus (thank goodness we got to see what happened between Janine and Gregory on Abbott Elementary!). But the writers’ strike could go on for months (the last writers’ strike in 2007-08 went on for 100 days) and could disrupt the fall premiere schedule if an agreement can’t be reached before the end of May or June, when many writers’ rooms start to convene.
Speaking of Abbott, the writers’ room was set to convene for season 3 this week. Writer Brittani Nichols told Democracy Now! that a strike could ultimately impact the upcoming season in a number of ways: “If this strike goes on for a significant period of time, our show will not come out on time and that could change the amount of episodes, which people I’m sure will be very upset about.”
Many shows set to air their season (or series) finales in May completed filming before the strike. For example, a source tells EW that the current seasons of Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med won’t be affected and will wrap as planned.
Jumping to cable, both Succession and Yellowjackets have finished filming their current seasons, so you have nothing to worry about there. However, Yellowjackets co-creator Ashley Lyle described something similar to the Abbott situation when tweeting about the show’s season 3 writers’ room, which was only able to meet and work one day before the strike kicked off.
Meanwhile, the Starz series Power Book III: Raising Kanan, which was in production for season 3, has shut down its writers’ room.
Does the WGA strike include streaming too?
The Last of Us Season 1, Episode 9
‘The Last of Us’
| Credit: Liane Hentscher/HBO
Yes, but there’s a catch: Streamers tend to produce their shows way ahead of schedule and will likely have plenty of episodes banked for now, though which shows and just how much they have ready is unknown.
Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos recently said on an earnings call that Netflix could “probably” serve their subscribers “better than most.” So while XO, Kitty and Queen Charlotte are safely hitting streaming services soon, new seasons of popular shows like The Last of Us and The White Lotus may not be, as they are still inching toward production.
Some good news? A source tells EW that all of the House of the Dragon season 2 scripts have been completed, so that series will remain in production without interruption.
If you’re in the middle of a show you love right now, odds are, you’re okay. Series like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Ted Lasso, for example, wrapped filming a while back.
However, certain streaming shows will inevitably be affected. Cobra Kai co-creator Jon Hurwitz tweeted that the show has shut down its season 6 writers’ room less than a month after writers returned to work.
Okay, but reality and daytime won’t be affected, right?
The Bachelor recap. Credit: ABC
Gabi and Zach on ‘The Bachelor’
| Credit: ABC
Reality shows, entertainment news, sports, and daytime talk shows are not subject to the WGA agreement and will be unaffected by the strike. One major exception in the daytime space is The Talk, which employs WGA scribes, so the CBS staple will halt production and air repeats.
When will the mess be over?
As of publication, no one knows. But the longest WGA strike in history was in 1988, lasting a record 153 days. In 2007-08, the strike lasted 100 days, or about 14 weeks, helping reality TV snare its tendrils even deeper into the industry.
I have been writing professionally for over 20 years and have a deep understanding of the psychological and emotional elements that affect people. I’m an experienced ghostwriter and editor, as well as an award-winning author of five novels.