The WGA strike has reached the upper echelon of overall deals at Warner Bros. Television Group.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the studio has suspended a number of overall deals for its top creatives including J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot (Duster), Greg Berlanti (Superman & Lois), Chuck Lorre (Bob Hearts Abishola), Bill Lawrence (Shrinking), John Wells (Maid), Mindy Kaling (Sex Lives of College Girls). Sources say Lorre’s multiyear pact with his decades-long studio was quietly suspended in May, a week into the strike.
Reps for the Channing Dungey-led WBTVG declined to comment.
The news comes as the Writers Guild of America has entered the fourth month of its strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers over such issues as residuals, AI and streaming transparency.
The move is similar to lower-level writer deals that had been suspended during the first month of the strike in May as studios immediately paused deals for scribes who went on strike. The impact now affects this batch of mega-producers as producers. While none of them had been working as writers, they were contractually obligated to continue working in their capacity as producers.
All six prolific producers are behind multiple shows and all have development projects at the studio that they had been working on. It’s important to note that the deals have been suspended and not outright canceled/dropped as once the labor action concludes, Warners will need its top producers to ramp up writing and producing immediately as the content pipeline continues to thin.
The deal suspensions arrive as Hollywood’s studios and streamers who comprise the AMPTP are now in cost-cutting mode as the writers strike continues to drag on well past the 100-day marker. Across the entertainment spectrum, layoffs have begun to impact companies like Roku and others. Layoffs have also been rumored to be coming at NBCUniversal.
This story was updated at 9: 10 p.m. to reflect the timing of Lorre’s deal suspension.