General Hospital isn’t letting the Hollywood writers strike keep it from churning out new episodes.
The ABC daytime soap is now employing temporary writers — that is, writers who have agreed to work despite the strike — to pen upcoming episodes. Sources tell TVLine that so-called “fi-core” writers (or “financial core,” meaning they have rescinded their guild membership to pursue work) were brought on last week to start generating scripts in anticipation of the pre-strike stockpile running out. (Daytime soaps famously tape far ahead.) But episodes based on these scripts aren’t expected to be filmed until next month, when the cast returns from a scheduled late-summer break.
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It is unclear at this time if daytime TV’s other three sudsers — Peacock’s Days of Our Lives and CBS’ The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful — have yet had to resort to this measure. When reached by TVLine, ABC had no comment.
General Hospital writer Shannon Peace, who is currently on strike as a WGA member, posted last Friday on Instagram that “my episode that aired Thursday, July 20 was my final until the strike is over… The writing team of GH will be watching alongside fans to see what happens… For the sake of the fans, I hope the show is in capable writing hands.”
Peace added that “the show will be penned exclusively by scab writers, which is heartbreaking… Daytime writers face a unique conflict during strikes. We hate to see [our] characters and storylines handed over to ‘writers’ who cross the picket line. But we’re also keenly aware that stopping production could spell the demise of soap operas.”
With that in mind, she encourages fans to keep watching despite the strike: “Still, my hope is that if you love GH, you’ll continue to watch. You can morally support the writers AND keep the show [on] the air!”
The WGA has been on strike since May 2 after negotiations with Hollywood producer union AMPTP broke down over key issues like streaming residuals and the use of AI. The actors guild SAG-AFTRA joined them on strike earlier this month. So how can General Hospital continue to shoot during an actors’ strike? Performers on daytime shows work under a different contract than the main SAG-AFTRA contract that just expired: the Network Television Code, which also covers daytime talk show hosts. (Get more details in our handy TV-on-Strike FAQ.)
Will you still watch General Hospital with so-called “temporary writers”? Hit the comments to give us your take.
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