TV writer's strike

Do all TV series have a short number of episodes due to the strike? I wonder why writers don’t write more to make up for the strike. Is there a limited time perios in which they may be written?

Others who know more may come along, but as I understand it, there’s a limited time period in which the episodes can be shot.

All those sets and soundstages where TV shows are based are leased. Your show may have a lease for Thursday and Friday, from August to February (or whatever). The rest of the time, it’s being used for other shows, movies, industrial films, etc.

With the strike, all the studios went empty at the same time, then they all came back at the same time. There wasn’t enough capacity to drop in the work that was missed during the strike.

:confused: You know the strike’s been over for a few months now, right?

Given that a huge number of shows went into hiatus due to the strike and it’s almost summer time, it’s doubtful that a lot of them will produce full seasons. They’ll run some series as summer fodder, but most will have to pick up their regular schedules again in the fall.

Yes, thanks for sharing. :slight_smile:

It’s more complicated than you’d think. Seasons normally wrap up, actors get a hiatus and go off to do some other projects (often shooting features over the summer) and return to us in July or August to shoot for the fall. That said, we get our own little break and hit the Writers’ Room before then and prepare for the fall…

With the strike, everything got shifted around.

Let’s go with “Theoretical Show”, on Big Four Broadcast. Normally, we would have finished up writing, say, at the end of March (some of us stick around through shooting, polish, fix, tweak, yay…) The show might have been done shooting in April, done airing in May, 24 episodes to the season. Huzzah. We would have started writing for the next season the first workday of June (pitching, breaking would have happened a month before). Actors would be back July because the show requires a moderate amount of post-production work. Upside is, we give our actors a nice winter hiatus, right around November sweeps. Woot-de-woot.

See where I’m going with this?

Because of the strike, when we returned to work, our writing teams doubled up in order to get the work done fast enough to at least get some episodes out before the end of our regular seasons (May). This way, we could release our actors in time, we could hit sweeps (May), and we could start writing for next year without a break at all. The networks are the ones who placed the orders for the number of episodes we were going to produce post-strike. Writers, actors and producers had very little say in what transpired.

Some series got to finish the year with almost all the episodes they were originally supposed to produce for the year. This happened because they have huge writing staffs and huge ensemble casts and were able to shoot in tandem (shoot two episodes, side by side). They also had grueling hours. Hell, we all did/do. The return to work has been pretty hard for everyone, but we’re just glad to be back in the saddle.

Some series were told to “hold off” until the fall and had their second half pretty much canceled. That truly sucked for them, since they basically lost momentum. It was hard enough for most of us to remember where the hell we were after three months of strike…

Hope this helps answer questions.