The SAG/AFTRA Guilds announced this week that they have reached an agreement with producers and studios that will end the six month-long writer-actor strike. Reports indicate that the deal should be ratified by the middle of next week.
That is great news for folks working in television. Nanny Fran (Drescher, the Guild president) dug in her heels and it looks like the big issues were resolved. They include an increase in immediate as well as residual compensation, and no more talk of AI “grave robbing” when it comes to compensating the estates of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and other stars from the past.
Still, what does this mean for viewers? How soon can new episodes premiere of hour-long, imported drama favourites such as Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Doctor, Chicago this and that and FBI everything?
The end of the strike would seem to come at a very fortuitous time. The writers settled six weeks earlier, and presumably have been busy cranking out storylines. If actors return to work in a week or so, new episode should be available sometime in January or early February.
This will allow many of the reality shows currently cramming broadcast schedules, such as super-sized versions of Survivor and The Amazing Race, a re-located Big Brother, and new shows such as CTV’s The Traitor and import gamer Snake Oil, to conclude as they play out into the holiday season.
The six weeks or so between US Thanksgiving and Christmas will be, as it is every year, wall-to-wall holiday specials and Hallmark movies. That gets us to January, and the re-setting of the mid-season TV clock. It’s almost as if the studios knew it would last this long all along.
In the meantime, look for stars to immediately flood back to the late night talk shows. The Guild prohibited actors from promoting film and TV work during the job action. This is also good news for award shows. CBS has already announced that the 50th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, delayed due to the strike, will now be televised live on Friday, December 15 (on both CBS and Paramount+). Entertainment Tonight‘s Kevin Frazier and Nischelle Turner will host the ceremony.
You can hear more from me on the post-strike return to normal in this 900CHML Radio interview from Thursday with host Scott Radley. Jump ahead to the 43:48 mark to get to the TV talk.