As streamers face mounting pressure to save money, several are dropping shows. Erasing original shows can help streamers get tax write-downs and, to a smaller extent, save on residual payments. But it brings criticism that they are sidelining already marginalized voices and shortchanging creatives. These issues have increased tension between executives and writers amid union contract negotiations that started in March and could lead to a significant work stoppage.
The Writers Guild of America and the major studios reached a deal Tuesday night on a new agreement, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. The deal is said to include increased residuals — which likely mirror the improvements achieved by the Directors Guild and subsequently SAG-AFTRA — and improvements on span, a concept under which writers are paid additional compensation for working more than a set number of weeks on a television script.
As the number of scripted series and TV writers surge, shorter orders stall the volume of produced episodes and staff writer earnings, while screenwriter’s wages drop 21%. Growth in the labor supply has outstripped growth in demand, while shorter series orders mean writers, who are held under option from season to season, may be working yet making less than before.