How The Hollywood Writers' Strike Will Affect Your Favorite TV Show

The WGA is officially on strike and here's what it means for you and what they want.


Members of the Writers Guild of America went on strike as of midnight Monday as studios would not reach a new contract agreement with the industry shifting more to streaming. The WGA's outline for its demands was transparent in ensuring writers could make a living. They even wanted to negate any and all future use of AI technology, with the studio heads even countering that with annual meetings to discuss the tech's advancement.

So what does this mean for television audiences? Well, late-night TV takes the first big hit. Deadline has confirmed that shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Tonight Show will be the first to turn off the lights. Their writers provide everything down the line from skits to even the celebrity interview questions. Conan O'Brien has been heavily mentioned over the past few days as he provided the content for his show by spinning his wedding ring the last time this happened was over a decade ago trying to break a world record. O'Brien no longer has a talk show and does his interviews through his podcast these days.

Shows like Saturday Night Live will also go dark and will likely air reruns in its stead. Lots of reruns and "Best Of" episodes. Following that will be daytime soap operas as the WGA wanted better rates for its daytime writers as well. You'll probably also see a robust return to unscripted television series.

As for scripted dramas and comedies, those are produced far enough in advance that a direct hit won't be felt for a few months while negotiations hopefully take place. Although spring and summer are when fall shows start the early stages of production and script writing. Streaming platforms like Netflix, where most of the demands are focused on, aren't worried for the time being at all with a line-up of new releases already in the pipeline.

"We really don’t want this to happen. But we have to make plans for the worst,” Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos said just last month. "We have a pretty robust slate of releases to take us into a long time but just be clear, we're at the table and we’re going to try to get to an equitable solution so there isn't a strike."

During Monday's Met Gala, the strike was a hot topic among attendees who were asked their thoughts on the prospect of the strike with the likes of Jimmy Fallon and Amanda Seifried in visible support of the guild. The last time this happened was in November 2007 going into February 2008 lasting 100 days.

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