Labor Strikes Threaten Future of Favorite TV Shows, Delaying Premieres and Shortening Seasons

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Labor Strikes Threaten Future of Favorite TV Shows, Delaying Premieres and Shortening Seasons

Labor strikes by the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) continue to pose a serious threat to the future of our favorite TV shows. As negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) stall, fans fear that the highly anticipated premieres of shows like NCIS, 9-1-1, and Chicago PD for the upcoming 2023/2024 TV season may be delayed, and the seasons themselves may be shortened.

Traditionally, dramas return every September, but due to the strikes, it was initially speculated that premieres would be pushed back to Spring 2024 with shorter, 13-episode seasons. However, as the strikes enter their fifth and third months for the WGA and SAG respectively, it is becoming increasingly evident that even a shortened season might not be possible. Networks might have no choice but to postpone the release of new seasons until September 2024.

Typically, writers rooms for network shows resume in late May, allowing them a few months to prepare for the production of shows like Chicago Fire and Law & Order. By early September, these shows would have been shooting their fifth or sixth episode of the new season. However, with the AMPTP’s lack of progress in negotiations, it seems highly unlikely that a deal will be reached by Labor Day 2023. This has left showrunners like Warren Leight, known for his work on Law & Order: SVU, pessimistic about the prospects of salvaging a 13-episode season this year.

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While networks have the option of running series throughout the summer months, the traditional broadcast season runs from late September to May. During summer, networks usually air reruns or shows with expected lower ratings, as people tend to spend more time outside, on vacations, or their children attend sleepaway camps. Reality TV also thrives during these months.

Creating a TV series involves several weeks of pre-production, including outlining the season’s arc, developing individual character storylines, and collaboratively building each episode. Writers then need to write the scripts, receive feedback, and work with the rest of the team to bring the episodes to life before handing them over to the actors. Generally, most shows prefer to have at least four episodes completed before filming begins, allowing for a ten-week timeframe leading up to the middle of September when premiere episodes air.

For certain shows like comedies, production can be quicker due to their simpler technical requirements. For example, a show like Abbott Elementary could potentially produce a 13-episode order for a Spring 2023 premiere. However, for shows like 9-1-1, with its high production costs and complex emergencies, it would be impossible to maintain the usual schedule. Considering that episode 11 of season six was filmed in November 2022 and aired on March 13, 2023, it took five months to complete. If a shortened seventh season were to happen, the writers would need to reconvene soon for filming to commence by November this year.

While the strikes primarily involve the WGA, the SAG is also demanding better working conditions related to safety clauses concerning Artificial Intelligence. The duration of this strike has now exceeded the 2007 WGA strike, making it an unprecedented negotiation period with the AMPTP. Until the AMPTP shows a willingness to meet the requests of the WGA and SAG, it is crucial for fans to continue supporting the casts and crew affected by the strikes. Donations to the Entertainment Community Fund can also provide much-needed support.

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As TV viewers eagerly await the return of their favorite shows, the future remains uncertain. With each passing day, the likelihood of delayed premieres and shortened seasons becomes more significant. It’s a waiting game for fans, show creators, and the industry as a whole, with hopes that a fair resolution can be reached soon to save our beloved television shows.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to the Above News

Why is there a labor strike by the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG)?

The labor strike is a result of negotiations between the WGA, SAG, and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) stalling. Both guilds are demanding better working conditions and fair compensation.

How will the labor strikes affect the upcoming TV season?

The strikes have the potential to delay the premieres of favorite TV shows for the upcoming 2023/2024 TV season. Additionally, if a resolution is not reached soon, seasons may be shortened or postponed until a later date.

When were the premieres originally scheduled to air?

Traditionally, TV dramas return every September. However, due to the labor strikes, it was initially speculated that premieres would be pushed back to Spring 2024.

How likely is it that the upcoming seasons will be delayed further?

As the labor strikes continue into their fifth and third months for the WGA and SAG respectively, the likelihood of even a shortened season happening becomes less probable. Networks might have no choice but to postpone the release of new seasons until September 2024.

How does the timing of the labor strikes impact the production of TV shows?

Typically, writers rooms for network shows resume in late May, allowing them a few months to prepare for production. By early September, they would have been shooting their fifth or sixth episode of the new season. Considering the lack of progress in negotiations, it is unlikely that a deal will be reached by Labor Day 2023, leaving the future of the seasons uncertain.

Can network shows continue to air throughout the summer?

While networks have the option of running series throughout the summer months, the traditional broadcast season runs from late September to May. During the summer, networks usually air reruns or shows with expected lower ratings, as people tend to spend more time outside or on vacations.

How long does it take to produce a TV series?

Producing a TV series involves several weeks of pre-production, writing scripts, receiving feedback, collaborating with the team, and bringing the episodes to life. Most shows prefer to have at least four episodes completed before filming begins, allowing for a ten-week timeframe leading up to the middle of September when premiere episodes air.

Can all TV shows maintain their usual production schedules?

Production schedules can vary depending on the type of show. For comedies with simpler technical requirements, production can be quicker. However, for shows like 9-1-1, with its high production costs and complex emergencies, maintaining the usual schedule would be impossible if a shortened season were to happen.

What are the demands of the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG)?

The WGA is primarily demanding better working conditions and fair compensation, while the SAG is also demanding safety clauses concerning Artificial Intelligence. The duration of this strike has now exceeded the 2007 WGA strike and has become an unprecedented negotiation period with the AMPTP.

How can fans support the casts and crew affected by the strikes?

It is crucial for fans to continue supporting the casts and crew affected by the strikes. Donations to the Entertainment Community Fund can provide much-needed support during this challenging time.

Is there hope for a resolution and the return of our beloved television shows?

The future remains uncertain, and it is a waiting game for fans, show creators, and the industry as a whole. However, there is hope that a fair resolution can be reached soon to save our beloved television shows.

Please note that the FAQs provided on this page are based on the news article published. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is always recommended to consult relevant authorities or professionals before making any decisions or taking action based on the FAQs or the news article.

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