UPDATED: More than three months into the writers strike, Warner Bros. Television has moved in to suspend the remaining overall deals with some of its top creators. The list includes Greg Berlanti Productions, Bill Lawrence’s Doozer Productions, and Mindy Kaling’s Kaling International, sources said. I hear the calls were made last night. JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot also is in the process of being notified, sources said. John Wells’ Productions’ pact was suspended in June, I hear. Chuck Lorre Prods.’ deal was suspended in the first wave in May, according to sources.
The development comes exactly three months after WBTV and other studios started sending out letters to writer-producers under overall and first-look agreements who don’t have series in production or post-production, informing them that their deals are being suspended.
It is understood that at the time, WBTV did not suspend some of its top talent, especially those who had active projects. That is happening now.
For most of the top showrunners — at WBTV and other studios and streamers — the arrangements are believed to be of a suspend-and-extend nature, meaning that they will get the time of the suspension added to the end of their term. The concern is more for the lower and mid-level pacts which may lapse by the end of the strike.
Unlike the 2007-08 WGA strike, there have not been overall deal terminations (force majeure) yet, with studios opting to stick with suspensions where they don’t have to pay for the duration of the work stoppage. Some of reasons lie in the fact that studios had already pared down their rosters in the past year or so.