Daytime Soaps Are in Jeopardy as Writers Threaten to Go on Strike
Just when you think your favorite soap is going to make it, another obstacle gets in the way. While we don’t want to be all doom and gloom when it comes to our favorite daytime shows, fans should be prepared if another writers strike happens.
A vote has already gone out to the Writers Guild of America members to approve the strike. If a new agreement with producers isn’t reached by May 1, a strike will occur beginning on May 2. It will affect all daytime and primetime TV as well as feature films.
Do you remember the last time this happened? The soaps weathered the first part of strike, which began in November 2007, well, but the second half of the strike was a bit bumpy until it ended on Feb.12, 2008.
At the time, there were eight soaps on the air: All My Children, Days of Our Lives, The Bold and the Beautiful, Guiding Light, One Life to Live, As the World Turns, The Young and the Restless and General Hospital. The shows didn’t have to rely on reruns, according to The New York Times, because the writers scrambled to write as far ahead as they could before the left their post.
Most of the shows made it until January 2008 before they ran out of new material. Guiding Light was lucky enough to have scripts written through February 2008, but other shows, like Y&R and As the World Turns, used non-union or financial core guild members who are allowed to avoid the strike.
Like last time, producers will do all they can to make sure their shows do not go into reruns for one good reason: declining ratings. Every time a soap misses its original air date with fresh material, the ratings see a dip. This happened when the soaps were preempted by the O.J. Simpson trial, and even the Sean Spicer daily briefings in President Trump’s administration have challenged daytime television.
Days of Our Lives will be in the best position if the strike hits since they work six months ahead of schedule, but you can bet GH, B&B and Y&R are working their writers hard should the inevitable happen. Let’s hope the writers come to an agreement because each blow delivered to our favorite soaps gets them one step closer to cancellation.