With a historic double-whammy of two concurrent Hollywood walkouts — now actors and writers are striking against studios, networks, and streamers — viewers likely won’t see much scripted content on network TV this fall. But what about unscripted content, including reality shows like Dancing With the Stars and The Masked Singer?
According to Deadline, the unscripted TV lineup won’t take as much of a hit from the newly-launched actors strike: Reality shows, variety shows, and game shows are covered by the SAG-AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting, which is different from the film and TV collective bargaining agreement at the center of the SAG-AFTRA walkout.
That differentiation means, as examples, that ABC can forge ahead with Dancing With the Stars and its primetime versions of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, NBC can continue filming new seasons of The Voice and America’s Got Talent, and Fox can proceed with The Masked Singer and the new game show Snake Oil. (Daytime dramas are also covered by the SAG-AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting and will also continue filming during the actors strike, per People.)
It remains to be seen, however, whether actors currently signed on to host and compete in unscripted series will still do so during the SAG-AFTRA strike. (Some big names showed solidarity after the WGA strike started in May: Mayim Bialik, for instance, stepped away from her job co-hosting Jeopardy!, while Ken Jennings continued, to the dismay of some.)
“It’s about optics,” one source told Deadline.
Another source, described as a high-level unscripted TV executive, added: “So far, the strike hasn’t affected unscripted, but what we can’t predict is whether or not some SAG-AFTRA members will strike in solidarity. I sure hope not, but it’s early. We’re holding our breath.”