The Writer’s Guild of America is on strike, and many television shows and movies have begun feeling the effects. From Stranger Things to Severance, the writers’ strike has halted production on shows and movies across the country.
Writers have been picketing at locations across Los Angeles and New York City for over a week now in order to gain leverage in the negotiating room. The WGA has been negotiating with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), who bargains on behalf of most of Hollywood’s production studios, to create a new contract that will fairly reflect the changing media landscape. The WGA says that the rise of streaming has resulted in a bevy of concerns for writers and producers, including less pay, less protections, and a concerning use of artificial intelligence in the writer’s room.
With writers no longer working, several scripted productions have shut down their productions for various reasons: some are still in the writing stages and thus can’t move forward, others need writers on set, and some just have the crew standing in solidarity with the WGA. The work of writers doesn’t end once the script is finished, meaning many production schedules are in a limbo state.
Some shows, meanwhile, are continuing production despite the strike. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, for example, is moving forward with Season 2 production, but its own showrunners will not be on set. Work will also continue on House of the Dragon Season 2; George R.R. Martin recently said that, since scripts for the season were finished months ago, the production is in the hands of the directors and crew now.
You can find a list of TV shows and films impacted by the writers’ strike (that we know of) below.
The TV Shows and Movies That Have Been Impacted by the Writers’ Strike
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight (Max)
George R.R. Martin provided an update on all of the Game of Thrones series in development on May 8 via an online blog post. Martin, who stands with the WGA and its demands, said that the writers’ room for spinoff series A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight “has closed for the duration” of the strike as the team has hit the picket lines. The prequel series is based on the Tales of Dunk and Egg, which was officially unveiled for Max (formerly known as HBO Max) last month.
The writers room for the third season of the Emmy-winning show Abbott Elementary was supposed to convene on May 2, but that room has closed. In an interview with Democracy Now, writer Brittani Nichols said that the strike could impact the number of episodes the writing room can create for the upcoming season.
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
The Netflix animated series Big Mouth was six weeks into writing its eighth and final season, but it has since paused due to the strike.
The only movie to be formally delayed thus far is Marvel’s Blade, which has already experienced many setbacks during its production. Pre-production work on the Mahershala Ali movie has been halted due to the strike. It’s unclear if the delay will change the current release date of Sept. 6, 2024.
Netflix’s martial arts comedy-drama Cobra Kai is on pause due to the writers strike. Co-creator Jon Hurwitz said on May 2 that pencils are down in the writers room and there are no writers on set. “These aren’t fun times, but it’s unfortunately necessary,” Hurwitz wrote on Twitter. “The moment a fair deal is in place, we’ll get back to kicking ass.”
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
Season 4 of Evil wrapped production earlier than expected on May 6. The early wrap on the Paramount+ show was due to picketing as well the sudden departure of a cast member due to a personal family matter.
The hit Emmy-winning comedy Hacks has halted production on Season 3 due to the strike. The HBO Max/Universal TV series will be on pause for the duration of the strike. “We are devastated to not be with our incredible crew and cast right now, but there was no other option here,” Jen Statsky, co-creator of Hacks, wrote on Twitter.
We are devastated to not be with our incredible crew and cast right now, but there was no other option here. Writing happens at every stage of the process – production and post included. It’s what makes shows and movies good. It’s what makes them possible. #wgastrong https://t.co/aU8QqUDEwu
— Jen Statsky (@jenstatsky) May 5, 2023
Late-Night Talk Shows
Many of live television’s biggest late night talk shows are all going dark for the time being. That includes ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on CBS, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on NBC, and Late Night with Seth Meyers on NBC. During their hiatus, these shows will be airing repeats. HBO is also ceasing live production on Real Time with Bill Maher and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Comedy Central’s The Daily Show is also on hiatus.
The second season of Maya Rudolph’s comedy series Loot has halted production in Los Angeles. The Apple TV+ show paused production due to WGA picketers on May 5.
Production on the second season of the hit Apple TV+ show Severance shut down in New York on May 8. Members of the WGA picketed York Studios, and Teamsters and IATSE members, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, refused to cross the strike’s picket line.
Stranger Things creators The Duffer Brothers took to Twitter on May 6 to confirm that production on the fifth and final season of the hit Netflix show has been delayed. “Writing does not stop when filming begins,” the Duffers wrote.
Duffers here. Writing does not stop when filming begins. While we’re excited to start production with our amazing cast and crew, it is not possible during this strike. We hope a fair deal is reached soon so we can all get back to work. Until then — over and out. #wgastrong
— stranger writers (@strangerwriters) May 6, 2023
Saturday Night Live
NBC’s famed live sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live is halting production. The network will continue to air repeats for the forseeable future.
Yellowjackets co-creator Ashley Lyle revealed on Twitter that writing on the Showtime show’s third season has paused. “Well, we had exactly one day in the #Yellowjackets S3 writers room,” Lyle wrote. “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.”
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
Thumbnail credit: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images
Carson Burton is a freelance news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter at @carsonsburton.