Strike Watch: Reality TV to the Rescue? Not So Fast
'They threw money at the problem' in 2007-08. This time the streamers' cupboards are full
For additional coverage of the possible strike from The Ankler team, subscribe to our new newsletter, Strikegeist.
The last time a writers’ work stoppage hit Hollywood, the reality TV industry struck gold as networks rushed to fill the airwaves with programming, relying on series such as Keeping Up With the Kardashians and Celebrity Apprentice. (It is not unusual to hear some people draw a causational line from the 2007-2008 WGA strike to the presidential ascendency of Donald Trump, who hosted NBC’s The Apprentice and its celeb spinoff.)
“Last time it felt like a frenzy,” says one longtime unscripted showrunner, who recalls studios and networks asking 16 years ago, “‘How can we get stuff on TV?’ They just threw money at the problem so everyone was working like crazy and making massive amounts of money. This time no one’s doing anything that crazy.”
This time around, say several industry insiders, networks and streamers are