In 2019, the last “normal” year, new scripted television series for ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox began debuting on September 23, 2019. This year “normal” will not happen because of the ongoing strike of the Writers Guild of America.
The WGA has a lengthy history—it’s 90 years old, going back to the early days of talkies. A summary history of WGA strikes since 1960 would be:
|Started May 2||142||Ongoing|
|2007-2008||100||Higher residuals;more unscripted shows|
|1988||154||Residuals for shows sold to foreign markets|
|1981||96||Increased base pay; share of revenues from home video and cable markets|
|1973||111||Salary hikes; residuals for cassettes and cable|
|1960||163||Salary hikes; residuals on post-1960 films;health, pension, and welfare benefits|
Recently, rather than relying on negotiators CEOs of Disney, Netflix, etc. have been meeting with union representatives.
While I think it’s likely that higher pay will result from the strike it’s hard for me to see how the union’s demands for residuals from streaming can be met. That segment simply doesn’t work that way. There will be no fall television season. If the strike goes on for another couple of months, which based on history it might, there won’t be January midseason, either.