Strike Hits Home at 'Brothers & Sisters'
The writers strike has united Hollywood’s creative community, even as it’s created inherent conflicts with show-runners and producers compelled to abandon their own productions in the interest of solidarity – and writer residuals for online streaming.
Tina Fey (30 Rock), Greg Daniels (The Office), Shawn Ryan (The Shield) and Bill Lawrence (Scrubs) all have declined to cross picket lines to work on their respective shows and instead, on shows where production has continued, have left day-to-day cutting and editing of episodes already written to their fellow producers.
In the case of Ryan and Lawrence, being absent means missing (or in Lawrence’s case, postponing) production on series’ finales.
But while the strike is intensely personal for many involved, it’s downright intimate for Ken Olin and Patricia Wettig. Not only are Olin and Wettig married, they work together on ABC’s Brothers & Sisters, where he is an executive producer and director, and she is one of the show’s stars. (The couple also worked together as actors on thirtysomething.)
When the cast of Brothers & Sisters and writer/producer Greg Berlanti joined the picket line at Universal Studios as part of the Screen Actors Guild show of support, Wettig–who is also a playwright–was there. But Olin couldn’t make it: He was furiously working on Brothers & Sisters.
ABC declined to comment on whether the strike was causing thirtysomething-level angst in the Olin-Wettig domicile. Wettig’s publicist did not respond to an inquiry.
We wondered: Did Olin drop his wife at the picket line on his way to work at the Walt Disney Lot in Burbank?
Well, no. Apparently castmates Sally Field and Balthazar Getty led the Brothers & Sisters carpool.
By Marisa Guthrie