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9 TV Shows Going Off the Air Right Away Amid the Hollywood Writers Strike

Members of the Writers Guild of America stopped work on May 2, bringing the industry to a standstill.

As Hollywood writers fight for fair compensation, TV viewers will quickly notice the impact. On Tuesday, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) went on strike after the union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers—which represents major studios—failed to reach a deal after weeks of negotiation. The writers strike means that any members of the union ceased work immediately and began picketing.

The members of the WGA are seeking better pay. One major issue in these negotiations involves the difference in compensation for shows that are on streaming services versus shows that are on network and cable television. As reported by NBC News, writers on streaming shows are employed for less time to make fewer episodes, and they don't collect residuals as they would if a show were in reruns or syndication. For many writers, this means the difference between making a living wage and not being able to support themselves.

"The WGA Negotiating Committee began this process intent on making a fair deal, but the studios' responses have been wholly insufficient given the existential crisis writers are facing," reads a statement from the WGA to Vanity Fair. "The companies' behavior has created a gig economy inside a union workforce, and their immovable stance in this negotiation has betrayed a commitment to further devaluing the profession of writing."

As for what this means for TV viewers, some shows have already gone off the air, while others have stopped production on upcoming or currently airing seasons. Some shows still have finished episodes to air in the meantime—and will have to play catchup later—but a handful of daily and weekly shows are already on hiatus. Here are nine series that had to go off the air right away amid the strike.

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The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

The majority of the shows that immediately stopped airing new episodes are late night talk shows, which film daily and usually air new episodes every weeknight.

On Monday night's episode, before the strike became official, Stephen Colbert told Late Show viewers, "Without [our writers] this show would be called The Late Show With a Guy Rambling About The Lord of the Rings and Boats for an Hour. This negotiation affects our whole staff, of course, who work so hard to bring you this show every night, which is why everybody including myself hopes both sides reach a deal."

Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Jimmy Kimmel on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" in May 2023
Jimmy Kimmel Live / YouTube

Jimmy Kimmel Live! has also ceased airing new episodes for the time being. As reported by CNN, Jimmy Kimmel referenced the strike on his Monday episode, listing the guests who would be appearing on the show that week "unless something terrible happens."

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon commented on the strike at the Met Gala on Monday.

"I wouldn't have a show if it wasn't for my writers, I support them all the way," he told Variety. Asked if the show would go on hiatus if the union stopped work, he said, "If there is a strike, yeah, I think we will. We'll go dark."

Late Night With Seth Meyers

Seth Meyers hosting "Late Night" in May 2023
Late Night with Seth Meyers / YouTube

Seth Meyers showed his support for the union on his NBC late night show.

"I love writing. I love writing for TV. I love writing this show," he said (via Deadline). "I love that we get to come in with an idea for what we want to do every day and we get to work on it all afternoon and then I have the pleasure of coming out here. No one is entitled to a job in show business. But for those people who have a job, they are entitled to fair compensation. They are entitled to make a living. I think it's a very reasonable demand that's being set out by the guild. And I support those demands."

The Daily Show

Dulcé Sloan hosting "The Daily Show" in May 2023
The Daily Show / YouTube

The strike is affecting late night shows that air on cable TV, too. The Daily Show—which has featured several different guest hosts since Trevor Noah's December 2022 departure—is also no longer airing new episodes.

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Real Time With Bill Maher

Bill Maher hosting "Real Time" in April 2023
Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube

HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher is also going off the air. The show usually airs weekly on Fridays.

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

John Oliver hosting "Last Week Tonight" in April 2023
LastWeekTonight / YouTube

Similar to Real TimeLate Week Tonight airs weekly on HBO on Sundays and will be affected by the strike.

Saturday Night Live

Colin Jost and Michael Che on "Saturday Night Live" in May 2021
Saturday Night Live / YouTube

Another weekly show, Saturday Night Live, is no longer airing new episodes amid the strike. This week's episode was set to feature former cast member Pete Davidson as the host and rapper Lil Uzi Vert as the musical guest.

When Davidson was a guest on The Tonight Show on April 28 he addressed that his hosting gig might not even happen. "It sucks because it just feeds my, like, weird story I have in my head, like, 'Of course that would happen to me … They didn't want me to [host]. It's all about me,'" the actor said.

The Talk

The hosts of "The Talk" during an April 2023 episode
The Talk / YouTube

Some daytime talk shows are not impacted by the writers strike because they employ few, if any, members of the WGA. (For example, The View mostly consists of interviews and the hosts speaking to one another.) But, according to The Hollywood ReporterThe Talk will stop airing new episodes after the episodes already taped for this week and part of next week run out. That is, unless a deal is reached very soon.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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