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The Strike is Finally Over, but Did Anyone Really Win?

A look at the cause and fallout of the writers and actors strike, which lasted a combined six months

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 4 months ago 7 min read
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Every TV fan's long nightmare is over. The actors strike came to an end barely over a month after the writers' strike ended. We should all be happy about this, right? Well, we are, but we can't help but think of the proverbial bloodshed.

The rumors of a writers strike started around April, and in May, they officially went on strike. The actors joined later, but I was optimistic that it wouldn't last too long. I recall the strike in 2007/2008 wasn't really long. Boy, was I wrong. This strike ended up being way worse than the last one, and the reason for that is a simple one: there was way more on the line than there was 15 years ago.

Think about it. A lot has changed in TV viewing in the last decade and a half. In 2007-2008, we had ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and The CW as the main five networks. There were cable channels that had original programming, and premium channels with their own programming, but for the most part, that was it. We still have that now, but we also have streaming platforms that actually air original programming. Platforms such as Hulu, Disney+, Paramount+ (formerly known as CBS All Access), Peacock, Apple TV+, Netflix, Tubi, and Amazon Prime. And each one of those platforms has their own original programs and movies. So we have all of that to go with the main five networks, the cable channels, and the premium channels. That is a lot of TV shows.

Imagine all of that being at risk because both sides, who were apparently harmonious after the drama from 15 years ago, were at odds again. While I hated the last strike because it got a few of my favorite shows canceled, at least the risk wasn't that high. But again, things have changed. I have a smart TV. I have the stream platforms. And I enjoy so many shows on these platform. But thanks to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA striking, all of that was in jeopardy, and I'll be honest, I was scared and very anxious over this.

When the WGA strike ended in September, I was so happy, but I forgot about the actors, they were still picketing. That part finally ended on November 9. A tentative three-year deal was struck. So that's that. The rich get richer. The rest of us should be happy, right? Our shows are coming back, right? Yes, but the seasons will be condensed. While I will take it--it's a hell of a lot better than nothing, there are still a lot of casualties that could have been prevented.

I really should be looking forward to the third season of How I Met Your Father. This was my Tuesday jam; during the afternoons, I would have my popcorn ready and have Hulu up on my TV for this show, which was a spinoff/follow-up/reboot of the CBS series, How I Met Your Mother, this time with Hilary Duff in the main role, while her older version was portrayed by Kim Cattrall. Season Two looked iffy as it aired, but I was hopeful for a third season. Thanks to the damn strike, that would not happen. Thank God my other Hulu Tuesday jam, Only Murders in the Building, is still going on strong.

I hate cliffhangers with a passion. Too many of my favorite shows have been canceled on a cliffhanger. I'm still pissed that NBC canceled My Name is Earl on a damn cliffhanger. Thanks to the strike, we viewers of the iCarly reboot were left hanging on a huge cliff, as the third season finale ended with Carly actually seeing her mother, who we have never seen at all in either series. Sadly, we never will. Our only hope is if this show gets the Zoey 101 treatment: a reboot movie. They owe us that...big time!

Speaking of Paramount+ shows that were canceled on a cliffhanger because two sides were striking when they shouldn't have been, let's talk about the Fatal Attraction reboot, shall we? Fatal Attraction is the greatest "psycho vengeful villainess" film of all time, so I drank in this reboot series when it was announced! Joshua Jackson and Lizzy Caplan as Dan Gallagher and Alex Forrest respectively, it's set in the present day, and they aged Ellen Gallagher (Dan and Beth's daughter). Speaking of Ellen, spoiler alert, she's the cliffhanger. The final moments of the season finale revealed that Ellen's quite deranged herself, as she was stalking a teacher she had a fling with. We even see her deliver the iconic "I will not be ignored" line for good measure. It's clear that the second season would feature the fallout from Ellen's surprise heel turn and her descent into outright madness, but because two sides who already have a lot of money bickered about wanting more of it, we wouldn't see it.

This one hurts. ABC's reboot of The Wonder Years was axed, and the sad part is that this death was a slow one. For one, they took their time renewing it, and when we did get a second season, it was condensed. I'm a fan of the original, so when I learned that a reboot was happening, I was excited. Even more epic: the reboot centered on a Black family in Alabama during the late 1960s. I was over the moon with every episode; which often contained a lot of the classic Motown music that my parents grew up on, and that my mom often played during my childhood. Plus, Dulé Hill was part of this, and I've been a huge fan of his since Psych. The strike killed this show. It had promise, but the unnecessary strike killed it.

This is the reason for my story: the recent announcement that The Rookie: Feds got canceled after one season. The spinoff to ABC's The Rookie debuted during the fall of 2022 with great promise. Niecy Nash-Betts' performance was stellar. The show was doing quite well in that 9PM time slot between its predecessor and another new show, Will Trent (another show I now find myself wondering about). A lot of us could have seen that show last, at least, three or four seasons. Instead, the show was in limbo, and on the moment that both strikes ended, the plug was pulled.

This brings me to something I find quite alarming. A good bit of the shows that were axed due to the strike just happen to star POCs. The Wonder Years reboot, The Rookie: Feds, the Fantasy Island reboot, Grand Crew, The Game reboot, A Black Lady Sketch Show, and (for the second time) All Rise and the Magnum P.I. reboot. Yes, NBC backtracked on the two-season plan they had after CBS canceled the show, and decided that while a fifth season would happen, a sixth wouldn't. Oh boy.

This strike sucked. I haven't been this angry over an unnecessary work stoppage since the NHL's lockout that killed the 2004-2005 season. It made me anxious, it made me nervous, it made me scared for my favorite shows and the amazing actors who played on them. All because two sides who were already rolling in dough, wanted more money that they really didn't need. In short, this was the Hollywood equivalent of how the Vegas Golden Knights pouted about how much they deserved a Stanley Cup after that first year. Though at least a) Vegas eventually won, and b) the only result was another good season. Yes, the strikes are over, but let's face it, the result is that two sides are now getting even more money than they know what to do with, and we lost a lot of great shows because SAG-AFTRA and the WGA weren't fucking appreciative.

All I have to say to those two sides is this: I really hope it was worth it.

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

Feel free to follow my social media:

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Comments (2)

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  • J. Delaney-Howe4 months ago

    A great, in depth look at the strike and its collateral damage. Well done.

  • Hannah Moore4 months ago

    I see this quite differently, having worked as an extra on quite a number of shows. There are those who earn a lot, yes. But there are larger numbers of people who earn very little in insecure work, who's livelihood is genuinely under threat from AI. In a way you can look at it like a test case, because there are going to be, increasingly, threats to people's jobs and even identities from AI. There a lot of debate about the interaction of AI and creators on this platform, for a start.

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