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Studios begin reinstating overall deals with major showrunners following strike

After moving to suspend deals with some of its most high-profile creatives and producers, Warner Bros Television (WBTV) has started to restore those deals following the end of the US writers’ strike.

Greg Berlanti

C21 understands that WBTV notified those with overall deals yesterday that they would be reinstated, effective today.

Around three weeks ago, WBTV became the first to pause deals with major showrunners such as Greg Berlanti (Arrow), JJ Abrams’s prodco Bad Robot Productions (Lost), Mindy Kaling (Never Have I Ever) and Bill Lawrence (Ted Lasso).

The decision to pause those pacts came several months after studios implemented an initial raft of suspensions at the onset of the writers’ strike in early May, which largely impacted writers with overall deals.

While WBTV is among the first to begin notifying creators and producers of the resumption of their overall and first-look deals, other studios (including Universal Studio Group, Apple, CBS Studios and Lionsgate) are expected to follow suit.

Disney was also in the process of following suit, according to US reports.

Among those impacted by their suspensions were actress and producer Gina Rodriguez and This Is Us stars Justin Hartley, Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore, all of whom have deals in place with 20th Television. Meanwhile, Hiro Murai, exec producer of The Bear and Billy Porter (Pose) had deals with FX Productions.

However, the market for first-look and overall deals is likely to look very different in a post-strike Hollywood.

When studios and streamers raced to snap up talent as the streaming wars escalated, a lot of money was thrown at a lot of writers, producers and showrunners. The bubble has burst on that era of spending and, while studios and streamers are still willing to fork out major money on top-tier talent, they are now being more judicious about signing lucrative overall deals with mid-level and even upper-tier talent.

The Hollywood Reporter was first to report the news of the WBTV reinstating deals.


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