It seems that everyone is talking about the dreaded writers’ strike that could affect popular TV shows and films. Soap operas have not been discussed too much because many of them film weeks or even months ahead of time. Days Of Our Lives, which has been on the air for over 50 years, films six to eight months in advance. However, one website stated that even soap operas could be affected by the writers strike.
According to Entertainment Weekly, a writers strike is becoming more likely. The membership of Writers Guild of America had a vote and today, its leadership was authorized to order a walkout. This doesn’t mean that it will happen, but it does indicate that Hollywood is one step closer to losing their writers if a deal cannot be made.
The current contract expires on May 1 and in a statement, the WGA explained that 6,310 writers voted. Out of those, 96 percent approved the strike authorization, which is a record-breaking turnout.
“We thank you for your resolve and your faith in us as your representatives. We are determined to achieve a fair contract. Talks will resume tomorrow.”
In a previous report from EW, it was explained what exactly would be affected if a writers’ strike actually happened. The article stated that all scripted programming would lose writers. Dramas and comedies that run until May will probably not be affected. However, late-night talk shows and daytime soaps could be halted. Programs that air during summer could also be impacted by the writers strike.
“Daytime soaps — which grind out new episodes five days a week — would also get derailed.”
So, how will this affect Days Of Our Lives since the episodes are filmed six to eight months in advance? It seems likely that right now, new episodes will continue to air. However, episodes that would be written during the strike could affect programming that is scheduled to air at the end of the year. A lot depends on the duration of the strike. If it is short-lived, writers might be able to quickly catch up. However, if a new contract cannot be negotiated soon, DOOL fans could go without seeing new episodes for a little while this winter.
What complicates matters for soap operas is the number of episodes that air each week. Dramas and comedies typically only have one episode per week. However, Days Of Our Lives, The Young And The Restless, Bold And The Beautiful, and General Hospital all air five days a week. That is a lot of writing to make up for if a writers’ strike actually happens. Even if the strike only lasts a few weeks, that is still a huge amount of episodes that will be affected.
There was a strike in 2007. Members of the WGA that participated will likely not want to go through it again, some sources predict. There are those that believe younger members who were not around back then will probably join the picket line.
Before DOOL fans start panicking, keep in mind that a strike has not happened yet. What the vote means is that a strike is authorized. There is still time to complete contract negotiations, but the vote does let everyone know that writers are serious. The New York Times wrote that some of the demands include higher wage minimums, improved health care benefits, the ability to work on multiple shows at the same time, and “residuals on streaming commensurate with traditional reruns.”
What do you think of the possible writers strike? Do you think it could affect Days Of Our Lives if writers actually walk out?
[Featured Image by Larry French/Getty Images for Corday Productions]