Soaps being written with skeleton crews


The NY Times notes in a recent story it is a mystery how daytime soaps are being written, considering nearly all of their writers are WGA members on strike.

“A handful of writers for All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital on ABC and The Young and the Restless on CBS, have officially crossed picket lines to return to work in recent weeks, invoking a guild designation known as financial core, or financial need. But they are the exception.”

The scripts are being crafted by mostly uncredited, ragtag staffs variously made up of network executives, producers, secretaries and, some union members insist, scabs who are either writing in secrecy or slipping plot points to management, the story said: “Consider that “The Young and the Restless,” which before the strike carried a writing staff of more than a dozen, now lists just three writers in its closing credits, each a guild member granted financial core status.

“There’s just no way three people can be doing that job,” Sandra Weintraub, a striking writer who has written for the show for more than three years, told the paper. “With the Internet, people don’t ever have to cross a picket line. So we’ll never know.”

TVBR observation: Makes you wonder if this might be attempted with primetime scripted programming. No one on this side of the executive suites know for sure what the studios and networks may have planned for upcoming show debuts, and who may be writing them. Looks like midseason is pretty much toast, but if this strike goes on, we may be seeing new shows written by some seriously motley crews! Behind the scenes recruiting has probably been quite active.