Writers On Daytime Soaps Return To Work After Strike

With the WGA strike officially over, the writers rooms are returning to normal in daytime.

Deadline has learned that union scribes are back in the room at ABC’s General Hospital and CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful. The soaps never stopped churning out scripts after the WGA hit the picket line in May. But instead of WGA writers, GH, B&B and the others had to rely on financial core (fi-core) writers and other non-members to keep the drama going.

Fi-core scribes are those who resigned their WGA membership while benefiting from the guild’s contracts with the studios. Producers and executives also helped with the writing in some cases.

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“The shows don’t stop,” Days of Our Lives head writer Ron Carlivati said in an interview from the picket lines earlier this summer. “They replaced us in 2007 when I worked at One Life to Live, and I can only assume they’re replacing us right now. I’m being replaced on day one by other people.”

During the 2007-08 WGA strike, a total of 28 writers went fi-core per the guild; almost all of them worked on daytime dramas. There were eight soaps at the time that kept going during the work stoppage.

The SAG-AFTRA’ strike does not apply to SAG-AFTRA members working on soaps. Those actors are employed under the SAG-AFTRA National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting (aka Network Code). It is different than the film and TV collective bargaining agreement that SAG-AFTRA is currently negotiating with the AMPTP.

Negotiated between SAG-AFTRA and the Big 4 broadcast networks as well as other producers, the National Code covers soaps as well as morning news shows, talk shows, variety, reality, game shows, sports and promotional announcements. The current Code agreement, reached a year ago, goes through July 2024.

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