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James Hibberd

Sitcom Strike Shutdown Rundown

November 6, 2007 11:29 AM

Back to YouWith the strike entering its second day, several sitcoms have shut down production, including Fox’s “Til Death,” CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men.”

Sitcoms were expected to be among the first wave of shows to hit by the strike. The production process for multi-camera comedies includes rewriting of scripts right up until the day of shooting, which means they were on a short leash once the scribes walked.

The reason some comedies are still in production is because they are single-camera shows, and therefore require shots planned further in advance—along with completed scripts to plan those shots. However, one studio representative cautioned that such reasoning could not be applied in every case.

Here’s the current list:

CBS: “Big Bang,” “Two and a Half Men” and “Rules of Engagement” are shut down. “How I Met Your Mother” is still in production this week.

Fox: “Til Death” and “Back to You” are shut down (the latter actually is on a scheduled hiatus and was due to commence production tomorrow).

NBC: “My Name Is Earl” is still shooting. “The Office” was heavily picketed and media reports suggest the production was disrupted, if not officially shut down. “Scrubs” is still in production. "30 Rock" is in production and sources say Tina Fey, who walked the Rockefeller Plaza picket lines Monday, has returned to work as an actress on the show.

ABC: The network's lineup of single-camera comedies have been not been impacted by the strike so far. "Notes From the Underbelly" is still in production. "Carpoolers" is still in production and will wrap its order tomorrow. "Cavemen" is still in production on its final script. "Samantha Who?" is still in production. "Miss/Guided," which is scheduled for midseason, just wrapped.

The CW: “Aliens in America” remains in production. “Everybody Hates Chris” has wrapped for the season. “Girlfriends” and “The Game” remain in production.

Click here for complete coverage of the strike.

1:40 p.m.: Updated status of "30 Rock"


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Comments (10)

Just another example of the union bosses shooting their members in the foot. At the end, nobody wins. How long will it take to make up the lost salaries? Too bad.

Joe McCarthy:

Red, you are a great American. It always lifts my spirits to see you posting here.


I really hope the strike does not kill The Big Bang Theory's momentum. It got almost 10 million viewers this week. I am worried this could kill it. See here for The Big Bang Theory ratings :

Big Bang Theory 6.1/9 3.8/9 in the 18-49 demo 9,675,000 viewers


That's kind of the point, Red. Writers don't get salaries. They get residuals. (In other industries, it's known as the royalty cheque.) The producers want to give the writers (and actors and directors, for that matter) nothing for internet showings/purchased downloads, and at one point wanted to get rid of the 4 cents that they (writers) get per DVD sale and, I've heard, get rid of residuals for syndicated repeats.

I imagine those last two were scare tactics, but the internet one is the big thing. The networks are making big money off of those, why not give the writers their fair share?

jack london:

Nobody pays to download anyway, so why strike?


because streaming shows online come with advertising, the profits of which go to the networks and producers. it might be free for audiences, but other people are still making money off it. but not the writers. and iTunes downloads aren't free.


Writers do get salaries. Their livelihood is not 100% residuals.

And there are hundreds of other crew members on these productions that are also salaried or hourly that do not get residuals. And they are all being laid off/fired because of the production stoppage. Who's taking care of them?


Staff writers get salaries and residuals, freelance writers get an advance and residuals. The majority of WGA members are freelance writers NOT staff writers.

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