Will the writers strike affect soap operas like Days of our Lives and more?

The writers strike is nearing its one month anniversary and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. For a refresher on why the strike is happening, click here, but the short of it is that writers are looking for fair compensation, guidelines and safeguards on the use of artificial intelligence, and a guaranteed number of writers in writers rooms and access to the entire process of production and development (essentially job security).

Production on daytime and late night talk shows has halted. Films and television series have been delayed or filming suspended indefinitely. The whole of the industry is feeling the effect of this strike and daytime soap operas like The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, Days of Our Lives, and General Hospital could begin to feel it if it lasts well into the summer. Here’s what we know.

Will the writers strike affect soap operas?

It’s true that soap operas are insulated from strikes due to being written weeks to months in advance but that doesn’t mean fans won’t see a quality dip if the writers strike continues for an extended period of time. While the soaps will go on, the writers who plotted major storylines won’t be there to make changes if needed instead Financial Core writers will step in and quite possibly producers, assistants, and executives if the situation is dire.

Fi-Core writers are defined as writers who revoke their union status so that they can work while their colleagues are striking. They can do so through a loophole that also allows them to benefit from collective-bargaining agreements, but it’s a frowned upon practice and the names of writers who do this are shared publicly for the purpose of blacklisting them.

In an interview with Vulture, Days of Our Lives head writer Ron Carlivati weighed in on where the show was before he and the writers went on strike:

They have scripts of mine and my team right now; I’ve written the show through almost Christmas. A lot of it is taped already, and what I’ve written already is taping in a few weeks, so soon they will run out. But as they did in 2007, the shows have continued.

As mentioned above, any changes that have to be made will be done so not by the day-to-day writers on the soaps but scabs or anyone who can fill in to keep the program going. Quality isn’t a priority, staying on air is.

As for The Bold and the Beautiful members of the cast filmed in Italy for a storyline that’s set to premiere sometime in June. There’s been no word on when scripts will run out for the soap or if there will be any delays like those seen during the coronavirus pandemic. The same can be said for General Hospital  and The Young and the Restless in terms of production halts. We’ll keep you posted if this changes.