Why A Writers Strike Would Hit The Walking Dead Really Hard

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Many of the biggest shows on television are currently gearing up for big dramatic season finales in May, but there's plenty of drama going on behind-the-scenes in showbiz nowadays as well. The Writers Guild Of America that represents writers in both film and television is threatening to strike if the Alliance Of Motion Picture And Television Producers does not meet a list of demands. The strike would mean that production on many series would be forced to halt due to a lack of writers. As it turns out, AMC's smash hit The Walking Dead is one show that could be hit really, really hard by a strike.

The current contract between the WGA and AMPTP is set to expire on May 1, and the membership of the WGA officially voted to authorize a walkout if demands aren't met. In what is incredibly bad timing, The Newnan Times-Herald reports that The Walking Dead officially begins production in Georgia on Season 8 on the very same day. If the two parties fail to come to an agreement and the strike actually happens, Season 8 almost certainly will get off the ground on schedule.

We do know that at least one script has been completed, and there could very well be a few others already finished, but The Walking Dead and many other shows often make script changes during filming. If a strike goes into effect, such script changes wouldn't actually be allowed. The Walking Dead would be stuck with scripts as they are, with no room for changes to accommodate any shifts in production, and even those scripts would be bound to run out.

Of course, there's always the chance that the WGA and AMPTP will work something out so that a strike doesn't happen or a strike wouldn't last for very long, but at least one of those parties will probably have to do a lot of compromising to come to terms by May 1. The writers are reportedly looking for a $535 million new contract, whereas AMPTP wants a deal closer to $180 million. That's a huge discrepancy, and we can only hope that they can iron out a new deal sooner rather than later. Given that the 2007-2008 writers strike lasted for 100 days, my fingers are definitely crossed for compromise.

The good news on the zombie apocalypse front is that The Walking Dead spinoff Fear the Walking Dead may not be serious affected by a writers strike. The series went into production back in January for a June 4 season premiere, so the majority of filming may actually be done by May 1. AMC will still have new zombie material ready to go, but given that Fear the Walking Dead has never been able to hold onto the same kind of ratings as the mothership, we can bet that everybody over there is hoping for a new contract.

We can only wait, hope, and see. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in TV news, and don't forget to check out our midseason TV premiere guide and our summer TV premiere schedule to discover all your viewing options now and in the coming weeks. Be sure to drop by our rundowns for cable/streaming and broadcast TV renewals and cancellations.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).