It’s been a slow week since the strike started. The trades are mostly focusing on the picket lines and the studios aren’t exactly putting out a whole lot of press releases with an army out front.
So I’ll just update you on the strike. Most people don’t really seem to care. The news outlets are covering which celebrities showed up to lend their support and pizzas, not how it’s affecting the industry or the audience.
There was a massive gathering at the Fox building Friday with about 4,000 people. Meanwhile, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner called the strike stupid.
As expected, television was immediately hit the hardest. Late shows and other comedy/variety shows went dark, except for Ellen DeGeneres’s show. I wasn’t aware that Scabby McLesbian did anything other than dance, but there has been a lot of backlash about her crossing the picket lines. The WGA East even came out saying she “wasn’t welcome” for her scheduled New York tapings in late November.
The rest of the hosts showed solidarity with their writers. Jon Stewart paid his writers for two weeks out of his pocket. Jay Leno showed up with pizzas and refused to cross the lines, so execs are considering guest hosts. Several shows are considering layoffs if the strike continues into a third week.
Mid-season shows are also being affected. Season 7 of “24″ is postponed indefinitely because they don’t want to start a season with less than half a “day” of episodes after usually airing uninterrupted shows. “Lost” is in the same boat with only eight episodes ready.
“Scrubs” has started, but only finished 12 out of 18 episodes of its final season. That’s how most shows sit right now, only half the season is completed with episodes running into a dead end by around January. Wikipedia has a giant chart, so I won’t have to list all the shows.
In case you’re a soap opera star, those shows are mostly written until January, but apparently a few of those writers are crossing the picket lines and giving up membership in the guild.
Films aren’t being affected as quickly, but some are already on the bubble. If the strike lasts for months, some films might get postponed indefinitely with no writers to rework scenes or touch up lines.
Bond 22 is not finished according to writer Paul Haggis. The Pelham 123 remake with Denzel Washington supposedly has script problems. Angels and Demons was rushed and might not have been completed before the deadline. Terminator 4 still needs work. Transformers 2 is ready to go into pre-production and early FX work, but will have problems if the strike continues. Almost all of those movies are uncast at this point.
One article speculated that UK writers (who aren’t covered under the U.S. WGA) could be imported to write or rework scripts.