Hollywood actors' strike explained: How does it affect TV shows and films?

Broadcast networks including Fox and Walt Disney Co's ABC have announced autumn line-ups heavy with reality shows

Production on shows such as Stranger Things has been shut down. Photo: Netflix
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Thousands of Hollywood film and television actors may go on strike from Thursday, joining writers who walked off the job 11 weeks ago.

How would a walkout by the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (Sag-Aftra) affect viewers' favourite shows and movies?

Which films and television shows would be affected?

A walkout by actors would stop production on all films and scripted television shows in the US, except for independent productions that are not covered by labour contracts with unions.

Work on dramas and comedies has already ground to a halt in Los Angeles, according to FilmLA, which issues film permits. Production on Stranger Things, The Handmaid's Tale and other shows have shut down.

What will the autumn TV season look like?

Broadcast networks including Fox and Walt Disney Co's ABC have announced autumn line-ups heavy with reality shows, which are not affected by the strikes. ABC will air re-runs of hit comedy Abbott Elementary and Fox will feature an animated comedy that was already completed.

Fresh seasons of comedies and dramas that typically start in September will likely be delayed.

What about streaming services?

Netflix, Amazon's Prime Video and other streaming services can continue to supply local-language shows made in places such as South Korea and India. But their Hollywood productions will be paused.

What programming is safe from the strikes?

News programmes 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 theatres is protected from an immediate hit because movies take two to three years to produce. But future releases, such as Marvel's Blade and Thunderbolts have been delayed and more are expected to be put on hold until the labour conflicts are resolved.

Updated: July 13, 2023, 12:36 PM