The Writers Guild of America has sounded its war horn and is now ‘ready for a battle’ due to the looming streaming revenue issue. Because of this networks and producers have handed out early renewals and adding more episodes to television shows just in case Tinseltown shuts down again after the last strike over a decade ago.
There is growing unrest in Hollywood as chatter in writers rooms are brewing. The Writers Guild of America is 15,000 strong and the fear is that this massive army of writers will walk out again if they can’t reach a reasonable agreement with studios.
The WGA’s three-year contract will be up this May 1st and everyone’s palms are sweaty if the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers will play ball with the WGA and their demands.
These demands will probably focus on the compensation they will be seeking from the impact that the streaming era has had on the industry, specifically in terms of work quantity like shows producing lesser episodes than the usual norm not some years ago.
Major studios are now setting up contingency plans in case of an unavoidable strike like what happened back in 2007. The studios have apparently learned their lesson the last time and are now stockpiling content for films and television shows, even going as far as turning to content outside of the United States, all to cushion an impending walkout from the writers guild that cost Hollywood an estimated $2.5 billion during the 2007-2008 season.
Film and television content is being hurried, and the main thing that networks and studios can do is to ensure that all the potential writing for a show or a movie is finished before (if ever) the strike happens and it is penciled down for the show or movie’s creative team.
Another option if ever a deal cannot be brokered between the WGA and the AMPTP is to have shows be on hiatus for a few months in between TV seasons instead of premiering the new season of a show. Sources claim that there are already talks of doing this for certain CBS shows and multiple television series’ on The CW Network.
Whatever decision a studio or a network chooses, early renewals have already been granted to a lot of shows as well as handing out a complete series order instead of pilots. This news has finally shed light on why networks like the CW have hastily handed out renewals for almost all of their shows late last year and why shows on the CBS like McGyver extending their episode count from 13 to a full 22 episode season.