Fischer: One strike down
By Travis Fischer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, it’s over. After five months of picketing the Writers Guild of America is back to work.
Overall, it looks like the WGA was largely successful in attaining what they were going for. Along with negotiating for the usual issues like pay increases and health care benefits, the guild also future-proofed their portion of the industry, securing jobs against the practice of ever smaller writing room and the looming impact of AI along with claiming their piece of the streaming service pie as the industry continues to transition from cable to online subscription services.
Good for them, but… now what?
In the immediate term, late night talk shows are back. Colbert, Fallon, Kimmel, and more return to the airwaves this week.
As far as regular programming goes though, the fall television season is a patchwork of game shows, reality shows, and sports. For the major networks, what little scripted live-action shows are on the schedule are mostly made up of either reruns, shows previously exclusive to a streaming service, or foreign imports.
The CW, for example, is running five Canadian shows this fall, along with a British sitcom and a German sci-fi series. Meanwhile, somebody at CBS is probably very happy that they pitched “NCIS: Sydney” last year.
As far as streaming services go, where at least there’s less pressure to hit a specific release window, several big name shows can finally start to move forward again. A lot of shows won’t be able to film until the resolution of the actors strike, but at the very least scripts can be written in the meantime.
One notable exception is “House of Dragons,” which lucked out by having their scripts done before the writers strike and was able to continue filming during the actors strike due to its non-American cast. It’ll be one of the few high profile shows out there that will move on largely undisrupted. For everything else, expect the entertainment landscape of 2024 to be sparse and chaotic as suspended projects race to get back on track.
Much like when COVID shut everything down for a year, catching up with stalled productions after the strike will push everything back for years down the line. The schedule for the MCU’s movies through 2026 now runs through 2027.
But hey, turning lemons into lemonade, maybe another big gap in super hero movies isn’t such a bad thing. James Gunn may appreciate an excuse to put a buffer between his Superman movie and the people still very angry about Henry Cavil no longer playing the role.
And really, another break from the MCU may just stem some of that super-hero fatigue I keep hearing about.
Most importantly though, now that the writers strike is over Ryan Reynolds will again be able to improvise lines on the set of “Deadpool 3,” whenever that continues production.
In the meantime, I’ve still barely managed to crack the backlog of shows and movies I’ve been “meaning to watch,” so a year or so of delays doesn’t bother me. Especially if that’s what it takes for writers to get what they should get.
— Travis Fischer is a news writer for the Charles City Press and hasn’t even caught up on “Doctor Who” yet, and that show wasn’t impacted by the strike at all.