Hollywood Writers Go on Strike

Late-night comedy shows have been taken off air in the US after a strike by writers brought production to a halt.

More than 11,000 television and film writers are on strike as their union seeks a deal for better wages and job security.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike is the largest of its kind since 2007 and has impacted some of television’s most-watched shows.

Picket lines formed outside studios in Los Angeles and New York on Tuesday.

Speaking outside the Paramount studios in LA, The West Wing actor Rob Lowe said: “I came out to support the writers because as actors, we’re only as good as the writing we get.”

Here’s a quick breakdown on the immediate impact the strike will have on viewers, and how the last strike of this kind changed television.

On Tuesday, without their writing teams penning jokes, all of the top late-night talk shows went dark.

NBC’s The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Central’s Daily Show with Trevor Noah and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live were pulled off air, along with CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers.

As the week goes on, NBC’s flagship sketch show Saturday Night Live will air repeats instead.

Daytime soap operas could also soon be disrupted, like The Young and the Restless and General Hospital, as the episodes are written, filmed and broadcast in a short timeframe.

Depending on the duration of the strike, primetime comedies and dramas will likely continue as scheduled for now, as seasons for those have already been written and filmed.

If the strike goes into the summer, new seasons of top shows could be pushed back and delayed.
The LA Times noted that filming permits have been sought in the city for some TV productions, even as the strike gets under way.

Netflix said it will feed its service with shows produced outside of the US as the strike continues. Meanwhile, HBO Max, which recently rebranded as Max, said it had an arsenal of shows already written, filmed and ready to release.(BBC)