As had been expected, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced that they were going on a nationwide strike starting today for the first time in 15 years. The announcement came following negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers who refused to bargain over many of the WGA’s proposals to improve conditions for writers in a new contract. The union’s demands are built around attempting to make writing a profession with greater stability by addressing pressing subjects like a need for greater residuals in a landscape of growing streaming programs, data transparency when it comes to their metrics, higher minimum staffing levels for rooms, and increased regulation on the use of artificial intelligence in writing. Both in solidarity and out of necessity, many shows have since announced they will be halting production for the foreseeable future. This will be a running list of all the various shows who have announced they will be pausing and will be updated over the course of the strike.
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The acclaimed ABC sitcom Abbott Elementary, in addition to being paused, may also end up having a shorter third season. In an interview with Democracy Now, writer Brittani Nichols explained that this is because they write while the show is airing and expressed a desire for their work to be more valued in the future.
“We are demanding that this industry be one that can sustain a career. It’s sort of as simple as that. We have a consistently profitable business, but right now the actions of the studios are ones that seem like they only care about Wall Street. They’re chasing a rabbit that they’re never going to get and in that pursuit, they’re running over the workers of this industry,” Nichols said. “The studios have devalued our contributions. They have shifted the industry to prioritize streaming while not following that up with the actions of making sure that our pay reflects those changes. A lot of the ways that writers are able to sustain a career is through residuals, that means we’re taking part in that profit participation when a show gets re-aired or a show gets sold. That’s when we get a little bit of that pie and the amount of the pie we’re getting in streaming is almost nonexistent.”
Another one of the first showrunners to announce they were pausing production was Jon Hurwitz, co-creator of Netflix’s hit series Cobra Kai. In a statement on Twitter, Hurwitz said, “We hate to strike, but if we must, we strike hard. Pencils down in the Cobra Kai writers room. No writers on set. These aren’t fun times, but it’s unfortunately necessary. The moment a fair deal is in place, we’ll get back to kicking ass. In the meantime, sending strength and support to the negotiating committee. You got this.” The show had been working on its sixth and final season.
One of the most noticeable and immediate impacts of the strike will be the pausing of various beloved late-night shows who will air reruns of past episodes. The first of these is Late Night with Seth Meyers which announced it will be pausing. A longtime writer himself for both Saturday Night Live and his own show on NBC, Seth Meyers closed out his corrections segment last week with a statement of support for the union and their continued fight for better working conditions.
“I am deeply proud of the fact that I get to be a professional writer and I bring this up because as of Monday at midnight, there might be a writers’ strike and if a writers’ strike happens, that would shut down production on a great many shows,” Meyers said. “I also feel very strongly that what the writers are asking for is not unreasonable and as a proud member of the guild, I’m very grateful that there is an organization that looks out for the best interests of writers.”
Next in the talk show world is CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert which also announced it will stop airing following the strike announcement. In his show Monday night, comedian and host Stephen Colbert addressed the news and expressed support for the writers to get a fair contract.
“[Our writers] are so important to our show. They write the monologue, the meanwhile, the cold open, and without these people, this show would be called The Late Show with a guy rambling about the Lord of the Rings and boats for an hour,” Colbert said. “I think that the writers’ demands are not unreasonable. I’m a member of the guild, I support collective bargaining. This nation owes so much to unions. This is true, unions are the reason we have weekends and, by extension, why we have TGI Fridays. So the next time you enjoy a whiskey-glazed blaze burger, you thank a union.”
Continuing the trend, NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon will also be going on pause. At the Met Gala on Monday, host Jimmy Fallon expressed support for his writers.
“I wouldn’t have a show if it wasn’t for my writers and I support them all the way. They gotta have a fair contract and got a lot of stuff to iron out,” Fallon said. “If there’s a strike, yeah I think we’ll go dark. Whatever I can do to support the guild. I’m actually in the writers guild as well. I couldn’t do the show without them and I support my whole staff.”
Shifting over to ABC, Jimmy Kimmel Live! is similarly going on pause though longtime host Jimmy Kimmel did not address the strike or his writers in his show on Monday night. He, along with Colbert who had previously hosted The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, is one of the hosts who had previously gone off the air during the last writers’ strike.
Speaking of Comedy Central, The Daily Show will also be going on hiatus. Currently, without a singular host following the sudden departure of Trevor Noah back in December, the show had been relying on rotating guest hosts from correspondents to outside comedians.
Moving to HBO, the weekly show Real Time With Bill Maher will also be going off the air. The last time there was a writers’ strike, Maher had said, “In this age where corporations are taking over and strangling this country and strangling the little man, we do need unions more than ever,” though he has yet to weigh in on the conditions facing workers this go around.
HBO’s other late-night weekly program Last Week Tonight is also currently on hold. In what may now be his last show for some time, host John Oliver addressed immigration and the plight facing those attempting to come to the country that he argued is being made more difficult by the current administration despite promises that they would be more humane.
Though they held off on announcing for longer than most of the other shows on this list, the decision was still made to pause SNL later on Tuesday. This means there will not be the planned show with host Pete Davidson and Lil Uzi Vert as the musical guest this weekend. Instead, NBC will air repeats of past episodes when they would typically go live.
Last, but definitely not least, the breakout Showtime show Yellowjackets also announced that it will be halting work on Season 3. In a statement posted to Twitter, co-creator Ashley Lyle said, “Well, we had exactly one day in the #YellowJackets S3 writers’ room. It was amazing, and creatively invigorating, and so much fun, and I’m very excited to get back to it as soon as the #WGA gets a fair deal.”