General Soap Operas

Will A Writer’s Strike BLOW UP Soaps For 2017 And Beyond?


It’s that time again – when the Writers Guild of America enters contract negotiations with the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) – meaning if they can’t come to terms, we could end up losing our soap operas once again to a strike. The current contract expires on May 1.

Shows are probably looking to bank as many episodes as they can to position themselves just in case, considering the strike of 2007-2008 lasted over three months, though it fell over the holidays when writers usually don’t work anyway.

But that strike devastated the industry.

One writer who was working then shared the following on the condition of anonymity.

“Being out of work for two months during the last strike was horrific. I think everybody in daytime was worried that we might not have jobs to go back to when it was over. Some of my friends who were working on DAYS at the time lost their jobs and haven’t worked in television since.”

There could be a reason those writers never worked again. Last time, the shows were written by scabs – people who crossed the picket line to help keep the genre alive.

Their peers who did strike then shunned many of those writers (trying to make sure they would never work again in retaliation); even though it was thanks to them that they had shows still on the air to return to while they got to do what they felt was right.

But this strike could be different.

Rumors are swirling that this time actors may choose to not cross the writers’ picket line, which would strike a final blow to any hope of having new episodes produced during the stalemate. What will happen to the shows if that happens?

While Days of Our Lives (DOOL) is in the best position to survive a strike since it shoots six months in advance, the other three shows could be in dire straights quickly. The networks would have a couple of choices at their disposal.

The best-case scenario for the soaps would be if they decided to air classic (repeat) episodes. A doomsday scenario would be if they replaced them with shows that are cheaper and easier to produce, especially if these shows end up garnering better ratings.

Soap Hub will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed.

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