Media projects squeezed further by writers strike
Hollywood's writers strike cast a pall over this year's upfronts — the annual media pitch-fest to court advertisers — but it didn't stop the show.
Why it matters: Ad-supported networks and platforms have to work even harder to win marketing dollars amid intense competition, shrinking content budgets and now — production stoppages.
Catch up quick: More than 11,000 members of the Writers Guild of America went on strike earlier this month for the first time in 15 years after failing to finalize a new labor deal with major studios.
- Hundreds of writers and their supporters picketed nearly every upfront, which just wrapped up this week in New York, including those for NBCUniversal, Fox and Disney.
- Most major TV networks still staged highly produced presentations for their fall prime-time lineups, though without the typical star power. Actors steered clear in solidarity, while reality stars, athletes, musicians and journalists took the stage.
Zoom in: The first audience question to The CW executives was about the strike's impact on its plans, to which they expressed minimal concerns.
- Conveniently, The CW's slate relies heavily on unscripted and international programming, though president Brad Schwartz acknowledged that one show, "All American," could be impacted by a prolonged strike.
Zoom out: "Stranger Things," "Cobra Kai," "Abbott Elementary" and late-night talk shows are among halted productions.
- YouTube and TelevisaUnivision were both immune to the picketing, as the former relies on creator content and the latter produces outside the U.S.
What to watch: Because writers aren't allowed to talk about new ideas with one another or studios, new concept development is on hold too, CBS News notes.