On Friday, Sony Pictures was the first of the major film studios to shake-up their release slate in the wake of the SAG-AFTRA strikes that began two weeks ago.
Many are wondering when others will follow suit. Whilst much of the focus has been on potential film delay talk and on free-to-air TV network schedule shifts, a new piece at THR indicates conversations around potential delays of streaming and cable premieres for the rest of this year are also taking place.
That talk isn’t so much in regards to the programs that have halted production and obviously can’t go to air, but rather those shows which are already finished and essentially ready for airing.
With no end insight for the strikes, television executives have to deal with two dilemmas. The first is having to ration out what content they have in the can over a period of uncertainty that could last as short as a few weeks or go as long as into next year.
Secondly they have to release said content without the help of any promotion by its stars or writers. As a result, the trade reports that discussions are already underway about potentially moving numerous fully shot (but undated) series to early 2024.
In several cases, especially with star-driven series, the actors have reportedly asked that their shows be held back so that they can be involved in the promotion of the shows.
Netflix, which is believed to be the most stocked up, is said to be in discussions to hold back as many as five series that have yet to be dated. Other shows said to be in the can include FX’s new seasons of “Feud” and “Fargo,” Apple TV+ series “Bad Monkey and “Palm Royale,” Showtime’s “The Curse” and “Fellow Travelers”, the Paramount+ “Frasier” revival” and the AMC+ “Orphan Black” spin-off.
As the trade says, no decisions have been made as yet, with hope the strikes could end quickly. Some are waiting for what their competitors do suggesting once someone jumps, others will follow. It’s not an easy decision either as holding a show a few months can impact its potential audience.