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Factbox: How will TV shows be affected by the Hollywood writers strike?


The iconic Hollywood sign is shown on a hillside above a neighborhood in Los Angeles California, U.S., February 1, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Thousands of Hollywood film and television writers will go on strike starting Tuesday, an action that will disrupt TV production. How will the walkout by the Writers Guild of America’s affect viewers’ favorite TV shows and movies?

Which shows will feel the first impact of the strike?

Late-night talk shows such as “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” are expected to go dark immediately and air re-runs. That means new installments will not be available on traditional networks, nor on streaming services such as Hulu and Peacock that make the shows available the following day.

Next to be disrupted could be daytime soap operas since they are traditionally written not long before they are filmed.

Primetime comedies and dramas currently on air should be able to wrap up seasons uninterrupted – their episodes for the coming weeks will have already been written and filmed.

What could happen if a strike drags on?

A protracted strike could delay the start of the fall television season, when networks debut new scripted shows and fresh seasons of their hits. Writing for the fall season typically starts in May or June.

What about streaming services?

Netflix (NFLX.O), which makes shows around the world, has said it can feed its service with shows produced outside the United States. But its U.S.-based series would be affected if a strike drags on.

HBO Max, which is switching its name to Max in late May, has been saving up programming to release with its re-branding.

Which shows are safe from the strike?

News programs will continue as normal because their writers are covered by a different union. The same is true for unscripted reality shows such as “Big Brother” and “The Bachelor.”

What about movies?

The flow of films to theaters will not take an immediate hit because movies take two to three years to produce, studios have a pipeline of films already written and shot. It would take an extended strike to interrupt movie release schedules.