ICYMI: Brutal Mailbag, Bomb Drop Ends Summer
Catch up on our recent best
Though Arrowverse showrunner Marc Guggenheim told our Elaine Low he is “uncharacteristically optimistic” about the trajectory of the talks, many others this week wrote in to express their pain and fear:
The writer: ‘Constantly fighting anxiety’
As a TV writer, I went into this year having sold a series to a major network/streamer, and was deep into development, which was my first major step into becoming a creator and Co-EP on a show. At this point, I am constantly fighting the anxiety that the show could get cut at any point before we even complete the pilot, putting me back in many ways at square one… if we end this by September or even October, there’s the chance I can get health insurance for my family and actually have a show moving forward for 2024, and the possibility of selling something new. If not… it’s hard to say.
I’m an actor in one of the biggest releases of the year. For months, my representatives were working hard to leverage that into more opportunities, but overnight, it went from “You’ll be having meetings with all the major networks and studios” to “You’ll be lucky if you’re working by January 2024.”
The producer: ‘It’s not like production starts the next day’
I’m a producer without an overhead deal. The effects of the strikes manifested well before the strikes actually took effect as getting productions bonded and insured became insurmountable... I had multiple project set for Spring shoots onward hit the skids. And there goes my income for the year as once the strike ends, it’s not like production starts the next day. Nope, it will take months just to get things back to where they where in January. Then to add insult to injury, producers don’t get basic things like other guilds get like health care, pensions, producer fee protections and the delivery of developments fees. So, this strike that I didn’t vote for has massively affected me and is eating into my rainy day fund and it sucks. It sucks practically, it sucks for my family and quite frankly, the entire state of the business sucks right now.
Meanwhile, at The Ankler
We can’t overstate the importance of what happened Friday (typically a three-day weekend dead zone for news). An unprecedented public smackdown occurred when the second-largest cable provider, Charter, called an emergency investor call not just to rebuke Disney (whose channels, including ESPN, were pulled from its service the day before over a carriage dispute) but the entire industry for, essentially, its greed and poor strategy. Remember, cable revenues still make up 40-60 percent of revenues at our legacy studios — and they are falling fast. Worth noting: WBD stock was down 12 percent, PAR 9 percent and FOX 6 percent on Friday. DIS, at a nine-year-low, fell another 2 percent.
Forget strikes, this is what hits studio stocks. (Note: Netflix, Apple and Amazon stocks were each slightly positive on Friday).
Our Sean McNulty broke it all down, writing:
CHARTER is essentially saying not anymore! Top execs on the call:
“We’re at the edge of a precipice. This is not a classic carriage dispute.”
DISNEY is “trying to squeeze every last dollar” out of the customer.
“We are at a crossroads. Economic Indifference really.”
Read the whole thing here:
And for more context, revisit our devastating history, also from Sean
So, clearly even when the strikes settle, it’s going to be a bumpy back to work, a topic Richard tackled:
Yeah, the Streaming Wars didn’t work out so well (see: everything above). Now, our Entertainment Strategy Guy assesses WBD’s rebrand of HBO Max into Max:
The industry was never functional, writes former TV writer Patty Lin (Freaks and Geeks, Friends, Breaking Bad), who dished on Hollywood this week…
…and then joined our podcast to discuss the breaking point(s) that made her leave the industry:
And for anyone not yet convinced we are in a mental health crisis:
☀️ The Wakeup
Also from Sean this week…
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