In the last week, the media companies gave the impression of “business as usual”. On Thursday, HBO hosted one Premiere on the red carpet for a documentary, while Fox TV announced a survivalist reality show, Stars on Mars, which will be hosted by William Shatner.
“3… 2… 1… TAKE OFF!” Read the network’s promotional materials.
With the exception of the late-night shows, which went dark immediately, Bakish assured Wall Street, “Consumers really aren’t going to notice for a while.” Networks and streaming services have a vast amount of banking content. Reality shows, news programs and some script series by foreign companies are not affected by the strike. Most of the films slated for release this year are well past the writing stage.
On Friday, the shares of all companies involved in the failed contract negotiations rose; Investors tend to like it when costs come down, which they do when production falls, for example during a strike. If the strike drags on into July, analysts say studios could step out of expensive writer contracts because of “force majeure” clauses in the contract.
“The sad news for writers is that by calling a strike they may actually be helping the streaming giants and their parent companies,” Luke Landis, media and internet analyst at SBV MoffettNathanson, wrote in a report on Wednesday.
However, the writers managed to give the studios a hard time in the first week. Apple TV+ had to postpone the premiere of “Still,” about Michael J. Fox and his battle with Parkinson’s disease, because Mr. Fox refused to cross a picket line. In Los Angeles, writers demonstrated outside the Apple TV+ set for “Loot,” starring Maya Rudolph, causing a stir Taping to stop. In New York, similar actions disrupted production on shows like “Billions,” the Showtime drama. Other shipments affected were “stranger things” on Netflix, “hacks” on HBO Max and the MTV Movie & TV Awards broadcast on Sunday, which went forward with no host after Drew Barrymore retiredciting the strike.