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Warner Bros TV suspends deals with top creatives including Berlanti, Kaling, Lorre

SAG-AFTRA strikers picketing in LA this summer

Warner Bros Television (WBTV) has suspended its overall deals with some of Hollywood’s top creative talent as the dual strike in the US drags on.

The TV studio arm of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) has paused deals with Greg Berlanti (Arrow), JJ Abrams’ prodco Bad Robot Productions (Lost), Mindy Kaling (Never Have I Ever), Chuck Lorre (The Big Bang Theory), Bill Lawrence (Ted Lasso) and John Wells (The West Wing), according to US reports.

The move to suspend the overall deals comes four months after all the major studios notified writers and producers who didn’t have shows remaining in production that their first-look and overall deals were being paused.

That initial raft of suspensions – enacted before actors’ union SAG-AFTRA joined the Writers Guild of America (WGA) on the picket lines – did not cover all producers, including some of Hollywood’s most recognisable producer talent.

A suspension means the deals will be put on hold, rather than cancelled, and will resume once the strike ends and production resumes. In addition, the duration of the suspension will be added to the end of the deal.

While the WGA strike in 2007/2008 saw many overall deals cancelled outright, that has not, up until this point at least, been the case this time around. That is partly due to the fact many of the studios have already reduced their overall number of talent deals. At this stage of the strike, with studio heads publicly expressing a desire to get the industry back to work, it is unlikely they will opt to cancel any high-profile deals as they want to hit the ground running when the dual strikes conclude.

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