If the WGA goes on strike The Walking Dead season 8 could be delayed

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 16 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

The Writer’s Guild of America is threatening to strike. If they do shows that go into production in the spring and summer, like The Walking Dead, will be delayed.

Currently talks are under way to prevent a shut down in production of TV shows that are getting ready to go into production like The Walking Dead. But so far the WGA and The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have been unable to come to an agreement.

If the WGA and the AMPTP can’t come to terms before May 1, 2017 the WGA will go on strike on May 2nd. If that happens all WGA writers that work on TV shows, both broadcast and cable, will strike.

Shows that run daily, like late night talk shows, will suffer the greatest impact because their production will immediately stop. Most broadcast shows, which go into production over the summer, will be affected if terms aren’t agreed upon before the summer.

But cable and streaming shows, like The Walking Dead, will also be impacted. The Walking Dead writers and showrunner plan the stories for each season far in advance but not all the scripts are written ahead of the production of a new season.

So if the WGA goes on strike it’s possible that production of The Walking Dead which is supposed to start the first week in May could be delayed. It’s also possible that while a few episodes could be completed episodes that would air in the second half of the season may not be able to be filmed on schedule if the strike happens.

Why The WGA Is Threatening To Strike

There are several issues that the WGA wants to get resolved. Issues like health care and benefits are a concern. But the primary issue is the way that writers are paid for their work on popular TV shows. Shows on streaming services like Netflix and Hulu and cable TV network shows like The Walking Dead typically have fewer episodes than broadcast TV shows. But the production time for these shows is just as long as the production time for broadcast shows.

That means that writers who work per episode get paid less because there are fewer episodes. But they still work the same length of time as broadcast shows which have more episodes. Writers can only work on one show at time so the writers end up getting paid less because there are fewer episodes and they can’t work on more shows to make up the difference.

The WGA wants to raise the pay for writers and get rid of the requirement that writers can only work on one show so that writers can make more money working on several shows at once.

The Official Statement From The WGA

In a letter to advertising buyers who are starting to buy ad blocks for the fall season the Executive Director of the WGA, David Young, had this to say:

"To address the imbalance between industry prosperity and the economic position of writers, the WGA has put forth reasonable demands that amount to a fraction of one percent of company profits. In response, the AMPTP has offered almost nothing of economic value to writers. As a result, the WGA has begun the process of conducting a strike authorization vote of our membership, which would allow the union to call a strike any time after the contract expires.In the event that we are unable to negotiate a new contract with the AMPTP, a work stoppage will begin May 2nd. Should this occur, writing for television, feature films and digital series will cease. Immediately, late night shows including Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Saturday Night Live, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and others will go off the air. Some scripted series scheduled to air in the summer of 2017 may be affected as writing and producing for the season is ongoing.Critically, a work stoppage in May could significantly affect the fall television season. Writers on fall broadcast series typically begin work in May and June in preparation for fall season launches. This lead time is needed to develop storylines and write episodes prior to the start of production. Any delay in the start of work has the potential to postpone fall season premieres and reduce the amount of new programming available to advertisers and audiences.”"

How A Strike Will Impact The Walking Dead

There is still time for the WGA and the AMPTP to reach an agreement before a strike goes into effect. Hopefully the two sides can find a fair resolution and The Walking Dead won’t be impacted at all. But if that doesn’t happen the fall premiere of The Walking Dead season 8 may be delayed.

Since the fall premiere of The Walking Dead will also be the show’s 100th episode it would be a real blow to have that premiere delayed. But it’s possible that only episodes from the second half of the season will be delayed. It really depends on how many scripts have already been written and how long the strike, if there is one, lasts.

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So hang tight The Walking Dead family and let’s hope that the WGA and AMPTP can reach an agreement that won’t cause any delays for season 8 of The Walking Dead.