ABC’s entire scripted lineup hits the bin amidst the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike.
Per TVLine, the network officially became the third behind CBS and NBC to unveil its fall schedule, albeit without the presence of any new episodes of any scripted shows. Currently, ABC’s fall schedule is comprised entirely of reruns of Abbott Elementary on Wednesdays, which is the lone outlier in a sea of unscripted reality and contest shows such as Judge Steve Harvey, Celebrity Jeopardy!, and Bachelor in Paradise. As reported by an insider at the network, ABC is “prepared for the possibility of a prolonged work stoppage.”
In contrast, CBS’ recently unveiled fall lineup includes multiple brand-new shows, such as The Good Fight spinoff Elsbeth starring Carrie Preston, the Damon Wayans and Damon Wayans Jr. starring comedy Poppa’s House, and the Kathy Bates-led reboot of Matlock, the latter of which is slated to pick up a Sunday timeslot following new episodes of 60 Minutes. CBS has so far offered no indications that these shows will be affected by the writers strike.
The current writers strike began on May 2 after negotiations between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers fell through. The WGA released a statement at the time explaining that the writers union “began this process intent on making a fair deal, but the studios’ responses have been wholly insufficient given the existential crisis writers are facing.” The statement went on to note that the WGA had been “stonewalle[d]” when it came to proposals that would regulate the use of artificial intelligence in work typically covered by the WGA.
Though multiple studios and productions have continued on largely if not entirely unaffected by the writers strike, multiple productions have been shut down in the wake of protests and picket lines. So far, both Marvel Studios’ Mahershala Ali-led Blade reboot and Disney+’s upcoming Daredevil: Born Again starring Charlie Cox have been effectively shut down for the time being, with the latter having to close out at least one on-location shoot in New York City due to the strike.
The writers strike has put a great impetus on other industry unions to take solidarity with the WGA. The Nanny star and Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) president Fran Drescher came under fire for comments she made on May 9, in which she stated that she didn’t think that what is “important to writers… is the kind of stuff that we’re [SAG] going after.” Drescher later walked back these statements, explaining that the SAG and WGA are “all cogs in the same wheel” while calling for sister unions to stand alongside one another.
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