The WGA Writers Strike has officially begun and the picket lines have formed across Hollywood and New York City. This halt means that many scripted projects will inevitably go dark, resulting in a Hollywood shutdown not seen since COVID, and not felt since the last WGA strike took place 15 years ago. Variety will keep readers updated with a rolling list of everything that has been put on hold as a result of the strike, which went into effect Tuesday. For more information about the strike, check out Variety’s FAQ primer on what it means for the industry.
UPDATE: “Family Guy” and “American Dad” updates added.
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LATE-NIGHT SHOWS GO DARK. ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” CBS’ “The Late Show,” and NBC’s “Tonight” and “Late Night” are all going on hiatus and repeats will be shown. HBO will also cease live production of “Real Time with Bill Maher” and “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver. Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” (which was currently being hosted by a rotating cast of comedians) is also on hiatus.
The writers room for the third season of Emmy-darling “Abbott Elementary” was supposed to convene on May 2nd. That room has closed. In an interview with “Democracy Now,” writer Brittani Nichols revealed that this strike could ultimately impact the number of episodes they can pen for the upcoming season. “We are a show that writes while we air,” Nichols said. “If this strike goes on for a significant period of time, our show will not come out on time and that could change the amount of episodes which I’m sure people will be very upset about.”
Hollywood screenwriters of @WGAWest are going on strike. They are fighting for a living wage in the streaming era, says Abbott Elementary writer @BisHilarious, who calls the industry a "gig economy," where studios prioritize Wall Street, not workers. pic.twitter.com/GDxWvfi5ZJ
— Democracy Now! (@democracynow) May 2, 2023
Scripts for AMC’s Anne Rice series and their “Walking Dead” spinoff shows are done, but no production has started.
AMERICAN DAD/FAMILY GUY
The teams behind the long-running adult animated comedies “American Dad” and “Family Guy” have walked off the job in support of the strike. “Family Guy” showrunners Rich Appel and Alec Sulkin, “American Dad” showrunners Brian Boyle and Matt Weitzman, and Seth MacFarlane (the creator, executive producer and star of “Family Guy” and co-creator, executive producer, and star of “American Dad”) have all stopped working on the shows. “Family Guy” concluded its 21st season in early May, while “American Dad” began its 20th season in March.
Showrunner Tony Gilroy, who was criticized for pursuing non-writing producing work on “Andor” after strike action, confirmed that he’s ceased all activities on the Disney+ show. In a statement Tuesday, he told Variety: “I discontinued ALL writing and writing-related work on ANDOR prior to midnight, May 1. After being briefed on the Saturday showrunner meeting, I informed Chris Keyser at the WGA on Sunday morning that I would also be ceasing ALL non-writing producing functions.” “Andor” Season 2 has been filming in the U.K.
The Netflix animated series was six weeks into writing the 8th and final season of the show. The creators would have finished writing in August without a strike.
Marvel has shut down pre-production on the vampire reboot “Blade,” which is set to star Mahershala Ali as the titular vampire hunter.
“Cobra Kai” closed its writers room for season 6. Series co-creator Jon Hurwitz tweeted “pencils down” in solidarity. The writers room is closed and no writers are currently on set for season 6 production.
We hate to strike, but if we must, we strike hard. Pencils down in the Cobra Kai writers room. No writers on set. These aren't fun times, but it's unfortunately necessary. The moment a fair deal is in place, we'll get back to kicking ass. In the meantime, sending strength and… https://t.co/99UulF7HeW
— Jon Hurwitz (@jonhurwitz) May 2, 2023
Production on Season 4 of the Paramount+ series wrapped earlier than anticipated, as filming was impacted by a cast member’s departure for a personal matter and picketing WGA members.
Neil Gaiman has also posted his support for the writers strike. The creator tweeted earlier that the long-awaited season 2 of “Good Omens,” starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen, would appear sometime this summer. However, if you’re hopeful for a stirring Gaiman press tour, you might need divine intervention for the writer is on strike.
I'm in the Writers Guild of America. I wish this wasn't happening and support it absolutely. When I wake up tomorrow I'll be on strike. (To forestall the inevitable questions, Good Omens 2 is completed and handed in. Although I may not be able to promote it as I had hoped.) https://t.co/sc64H4bm5E
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) May 2, 2023
Unlike the aforementioned late night shows, Fox News Channel revealed it will continue to broadcast new shows of Greg Gutfeld’s talk show program.
HOUSE OF THE DRAGON
All of the scripts for the second season of “Game of Thrones” spinoff “House of the Dragon” have been turned in, and executive producer Ryan Condal remains working on the series in a non-writing capacity.
Mayim Bialik is stepping away from her hosting duties of the long-running game show “Jeopardy!” in support of the strike, due to the fact that WGA writers typically work on the Sony-produced show. Production will continue on Season 39, however, with Bialik’s fellow host Ken Jennings filling in for her for the remainder of the season.
MTV MOVIE AWARDS
Host Drew Barrymore exited her role as host for the MTV Movie Awards. The red carpet for this star-studded event was also rolled up in the wake of the strike.
Production on the second season of the Issa Rae series wrapped in April.
THE RINGS OF POWER
“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” will move forward with production on the second season amid the ongoing WGA strike, but the Amazon Prime Video show will not be using the services of executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay (who are supporting the guild on strike).
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
The live sketch show has gone dark in support of the writers strike. Former cast member Pete Davidson was supposed to host on May 6 along with musical guest Lil Uzi Vert.
“Stranger Things” creators the Duffer brothers shared a statement that production would not move forward on the Netflix series until an agreement is reached between the WGA and AMPTP.
The daily talk show “The Talk” will not be filming. However, previously recorded new episodes scheduled to air will remain on the schedule. Episode listings previously released remain accurate for this week.
Production on the Netflix sitcom “The Upshaws” — starring Mike Epps, Kim Fields and executive producer Wanda Sykes — has been suspended during the writers strike, Sykes tells Variety. The series had wrapped filming 10 episodes of a 12-episode order for the show’s next season; previously completed episodes are still due to premiere on Aug. 17.
Co-creator of the series “Yellowjackets” Ashley Lyle tweeted that all progress on writing for season 3 of the Showtime drama has halted after exactly one day of progress. “It was amazing, and creatively invigorating, and so much fun, and I’m really excited to get back to it as soon as the WGA gets a fair deal,” she tweeted.
Well, we had exactly one day in the #YellowJackets S3 writers’ room. It was amazing, and creatively invigorating, and so much fun, and I’m very excited to get back to it as soon as the #WGA gets a fair deal. #1u #unionstrong ✊🐝
— Ashley Lyle (@ashannlyle) May 2, 2023
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