Hollywood writers strike affects US TV networks 2023
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Hollywood writers strike affects US TV networks 2023

On May 15, news presenters like Willie Geist and Stephanie Ruhle sold comedies and dramas for NBC Universal during the Hollywood writers strike.

Fox withheld their fall TV schedule due to strike uncertainty.

11,500 Writers Guild for America members quit two weeks after contract discussions broke down, claiming streaming has damaged their earnings.

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As successful series stall, unscripted content is hot.

Network late-night programming ended instantly. Showtime’s “Billions,” Apple TV+’s “Severance,” and Disney+’s “Daredevil: Born Again” were shut down by picketing writers.

Network sales presentations, known as upfronts because TV executives use them to urge advertisers to lock up commercial spending months in advance, are big television events. Writers protested outside Radio City Music Hall, where NBC showcased programs for viewers.

In chatting to ad reps, NBC Universal head of television and streaming Mark Lazarus swiftly acknowledged the concerns.

“It may take some time, but I know we will eventually get through this,” Lazarus added. “The result will be a stronger foundation from which we can all move forward together”.

Ted, a Seth MacFarlane-voiced bear, performed before Lazarus. After two movies, Peacock will air a Ted series.

NBC Universal’s upfront presentation lacked celebrities, which are usually used to attract sponsors. On May 15, the network and Peacock announced new programs starring Jon Cryer, Jesse L Martin, Kaley Cuoco, and Anthony Hopkins, but none of them were present.

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Instead, Geist promoted the 50th anniversary of “Saturday Night Live,” while Ruhle and business journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin promoted new dramas.

NBC says Amy Poehler, Dick Wolf, and Simon Cowell recorded pre-strike remarks.

Three NBC-affiliated artists entertained the gathering. Reba McEntire will coach a forthcoming season of “The Voice,” Grace Potter won a previous season, and Nick Jonas was a coach. Jonas remarked the audience’s Monday morning apathy.

“I know it’s early, but y’all feel free to let loose,” he continued.

Executives discussed new series, but not their airdates, before Fox’s presentation Monday.

“No one has a crystal ball about the duration and impact of the strike,” said Dan Harrison, executive vice president of program planning and content strategy. “We will announce our plans once we have a clearer view.”

Fox executives said the epidemic taught them to be adaptable when the content pipeline shuts down.

Allison Wallach, Fox’s unscripted programming head, expects the strike to increase unscripted content. Fox unveiled a new game show, “Snake Oil,” hosted by David Spade and a music guessing game, “We Are Family,” developed and presented by Jamie Foxx.

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