The WGA strike has been officially suspended pending ratification (which is pretty much a cinch considering 92% voted yes to suspending the work stoppage). For the first time since the beginning of November writers can go back to work on Wednesday.
What does this mean?
For TV writers on staff this means you say goodbye to your family and friends for the next two to three months. Once you enter the studio you will never leave. You might as well be checking in to the Hotel California. Round the clock writing sessions seven days a week to catch up. For the first few days it’ll be great. You’ll be rarin’ to go. By week two you might be looking back nostalgically to those halcyon days when you just picketed in the rain for four hours.
The good news is the final product will be terrific, probably even better than early season episodes when you had more time. Why? Because you won’t have time anymore to address endless notes. There’s a lesson in that of course but those that need to learn the lesson won’t.
With feature writers the amount of interference depends on whether your script is on the fast track or slow. If it’s fast they’ll want the draft TOMORROW. No time for them to say “What if we changed the drugged out rock star to a nun?” But if they’ve been sitting on your draft there’s no hurry then look out. They’ve had four months to obsess over the script. They’ll want you to change the rock star to the nun even if a rock star is not in your screenplay.
Warning: If you’re an A list feature writer and your phone doesn’t ring on Wednesday – you’re now a B list feature writer.
5,000 half-written screenplays/novels/plays will now go back into the drawer never to be seen again.
The Bill Maher Show will become funny once more. It’s been painfully obvious that you could replace Bill Maher but you can’t replace Chris Kelly and the rest of the writers.
Agents will be inundated with calls from writer clients saying, “Okay. I’m ready. Get me a job.” Every time these writers call back the agents will be “in meetings”.
Even though he can now get top name talent to appear on his show again, Jay Leno will still have Mike Huckabee on.
All the writer/directors who used to give money to both WGA and DGA causes will now make their contributions to WGA and SAG foundations.
Pitchers and catchers report this week. I know that isn’t strike related but so what? Pitchers and catchers report!!!!
(photo by Jim Stevenson -- Deadline Hollywood Daily)