Transcript: Nightmare Scenario of January 2024
Why a next-year end to the strike looks possible, what the Charter-Disney debacle has to do with it, and Richard Rushfield's TIFF report
Sean McNulty (00:07):
Welcome to The Ankler podcast. This is Sean McNulty from The Wakeup newsletter here at The Ankler on Friday, September 8th. I'm joined from Los Angeles by Elaine Low, of course. And we'll have an appearance from our man in Toronto. Elaine, Richard went to the premier of A24's Dicks with a party at Hooters last night, and I'm sure you're just as intrigued as I am by that sentence.
Elaine Low (00:28):
Oh, I want to hear the full report, Richard.
Sean McNulty (00:32):
Richard, we have high expectations for this. We're going to get to in a second, so hold off. But just know that that's what you're being led into here, Richard so.
Richard Rushfield (00:41):
I'll deliver, yes.
Sean McNulty (00:42):
Okay, good, good.
Richard Rushfield (00:43):
A story from Hooters.
Sean McNulty (00:46):
As well as all of the first day action up at TIFF, Toronto Film Festival, which kicked off yesterday. But overall here, Elaine, a little over two weeks ago, mid-August things seemed like they were kind of looking up here. We had the AMPTP and WGA were talking quietly with great hopes that it may be a deal, could even be reached by Labor Day, first week of September. That clearly is not.
Elaine Low (01:10):
Oh, we were so young then, Sean. So young.
Sean McNulty (01:11):
So naive. The US Open had just started to land, so you were super excited. You still are, of course, by the US Open.
Elaine Low (01:18):
Sean McNulty (01:18):
Elaine Low (01:20):
About to go into withdrawals after this weekend, but yeah.
Sean McNulty (01:21):
Yeah, we're not there yet. Exactly. You were excited. ESPN was excited because college football was only a week away and they were excited about their prospects for the fall.
Elaine Low (01:29):
Sean McNulty (01:29):
So we now have a much different position here as we enter the second weekend of September, kicking off with what looks like basically an entire fall film festival season without stars. I mean, at this point, a SAG deal by early October, mid October is not really going to be in the cards here, right?
Elaine Low (01:46):
Hard to see that happening. I mean, listen, if the writers’ deal is the one that's going to get done first, and mind you, they haven't officially spoken as far as anyone's aware since August 22nd, that still requires members to ratify it and then for them to go to SAG. I mean, it's like how could we possibly have this all done in the next month?
Sean McNulty (02:06):
Right. Six weeks would probably be a big stretch at that point to have two deals done and back there. So fall film festival season will round out as it's been going. So we'll touch on Richard in a second for some color on how it's going in Toronto. But we now have a battle for the future of cable television between Disney and the number two cable provider in the U.S., Charter. That's definitely more important than maybe is being understood out there. We'll dive into that in a few. And a strike, I heard that some bandied about being... January 2024 being on the radar this week, Elaine is possibly even... There's no hope for anything near come on the horizon. Is that a one-liner at this point?
Elaine Low (02:46):
Listen, we've talked about this before. If writers rooms go back in October, then we're looking at production going back in January at the earliest. But if there's anything later than that, it's like it's a dead zone November and December around here. So if they don't go back by October, are they really going to go back in November, if let's say a deal gets done and ratified by October, can you really see that happening? Or are we at this point looking at calendar '24?