When The Walking Dead returns for season eight, there will be All-Out War between Rick and Negan. But that’s not the only conflict going on. If the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers can’t reach an agreement by May 1, the WGA, who want more money (writing jobs pay less than they used to thanks to shorter seasons) and better healthcare, will go on strike the next day. “Should this occur,” executive director David J. Young said, “writing for television, feature films, and digital series will cease. Some scripted series scheduled to air in the summer of 2017 may be affected as writing and producing for the season is ongoing.”
Late-night talk shows will be immediately affected (expect nothing but reruns), as could any series that’s set to begin filming in May, including American Horror Story, Jessica Jones, Star Trek Discovery, and, you guessed it, The Walking Dead. (Game of Thrones, Twin Peaks, and Orange Is the New Black, among others, will be fine; the new seasons are all ready to go.)
The Walking Dead writers and showrunner plan the stories for each season far in advance but not all the scripts are written ahead of the production of a new season.
So if the WGA goes on strike it’s possible that production of The Walking Dead which is supposed to start the first week in May could be delayed. It’s also possible that while a few episodes could be completed episodes that would air in the second half of the season may not be able to be filmed on schedule if the strike happens.
The last strike, which lasted from November 5, 2007-February 12, 2008, had consequences on many shows, including fewer episodes for Lost, Desperate Housewives, Pushing Daisies, and Breaking Bad (that’s why there’s only seven episodes, as opposed to the planned nine, in the first season).
There’s still time for the WGA and AMPTP to reach an agreement (the New York Times calls it a toss-up), and hopefully it comes sooner rather than later. The only war anyone wants to see is between Alexandria and the Saviors.
Here’s what social networks say about this:
Christian Kelley To the writers of TWD: I’ll gladly work for you. Hire me on as a writer and I’ll take the same pay as the current writers, and most likely help improve the show beyond what it is now…
Liza Torres Munoz Boooooo … Give these writers what they want for one more season. Come on, I need to know if Rick or “Lucille” wins!!!!
Byron Sauer Are we positive there are actual writers for TWD and not just Kirkman cutting and pasting together scripts from season 1-3.
Sean Holland They’ve already gotten the script for the season. They’ll get it done.