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WGA STRIKE UPDATE: Studios Begin Trimming as Writers' Strike Stretches On

It Remains to Be Seen if Cutbacks Are Temporary or a Chance to Remake Development Cycle 1/14/2008 08:15:00 AM Eastern

As expected due to the ongoing writers’ strike, several major studios have shed many overall deals for writers and producers.

Among the companies making cuts are Universal Media Studios, Warner Bros. TV, CBS Paramount Network Television, ABC Studios and 20th Century Fox Television. Some 60 to 70 deals have been terminated.

Studios are cutting back on agreements such as holding deals with writers and producers that are not involved in current programming in the wake of the Writers Guild of America’s work stoppage.

Studio statements indicated that the strike was the main cause.

"We highly value the tremendously talented individuals with whom we have deals,” said NBC Universal’s Universal Media Studios in a statement. “However, the duration of the WGA strike has significantly affected our ongoing business. Regretfully, due to these changed business circumstances, we've had to end some writer/producer deals. We wish these colleagues the very best and thank them for their contributions."

"As an unfortunate but direct consequence of the strike, we have been forced to release some of the valued members of our roster from their development deals,” Warner Bros. said in its own statement.

While the strike has given the studios impetus to get leaner, it remains to be seen if the cutbacks are largely temporary until the strike settles or if they will signal a long-discussed but rarely-instituted evolution of television’s development cycle.

For full coverage of the strike, click here.

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