How the Hollywood Writers’ Strike Could Affect Everything You Watch

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) failed to reach an agreement on their contract, which means production of movies and television shows in Hollywood have been shut down. The effect for some television viewers will be seen right away, but if it drags on as long as previous strikes, just about everyone who enjoys scripted entertainment will notice changes. Television with a quick turn-around — like late night talk shows — likely stopped production the moment the strike began. That’s because these shows rely heavily on their writers and can’t be produced in advance. What that means for you is that the shows you see now will likely be re-runs. News shows, reality shows, sports, and interview-based talk shows aren’t subject to the WGA agreement, so they won’t be affected by the strike. Most soap operas are shot a few weeks in advance of airing, so fans won’t see much of a disruption there unless the strike drags on. Network TV shows have largely wrapped up production, so many won’t be affected. Others have banked episodes for the fall in preparation for the strike. Streaming shows usually have longer lead times than network TV shows, so it could be months until the effect is seen on Netflix and Prime. Big budget movies will be the last to see the effects of a strike. It’s expected that the movies planned for this summer will be released as planned, but the schedule for the slate of films that are set for 2024 and 2025 are in play. In case you’re curious, the writers are looking for larger salaries and larger residual payments from streaming, as well as assurance that artificial intelligence won’t be used to generate scripts.