Writer’s Strike, Director’s Strike, Actor’s Strike, and Maybe Viewer’s Strike?

First the Writer Strike, then an averted Director’s Strike and now a possible Actor’s Strike. Hollywood has had its share of strikes based largely on economics, compensation, and artificial intelligence concerns but what about the viewer? Viewers have seen making Hollywood content decisions based on finance and either not churning out finished product or churning out inferior product. Why don’t we have a “Viewer’s Strike”?

In response to mounting reports and rumors, the creative teams behind the upcoming straight-to-HBO-Max films Batgirl and Scoob 2: Holiday Haunt confirmed this week that both had been canceled and locked away to apparently never be released in any way, shape, or form…Shortly after that report went live, well-placed industry rags blamed Batgirl’s cancellation on a different issue: accounting and taxes. Deadline pointed to a limited-time opportunity for new WB corporate owners Discovery, which initiated its $108 billion acquisition of Warner in May 2021, to write off both Batgirl and the CGI animation feature Scoob 2: Holiday Haunt as a “purchase accounting maneuver.” (Machkovech – Aug 3, 2022)

Hollywood’s recent moves to prioritize finance over viewers began with the “tax write down” of Batgirl and the Scoob! Sequel as announced by ArsTechnica. Both films were shelved when they were in post-production but seemed like an isolated incident. They were not as isolated as it seemed and television would soon take a cue from it’s big screen counterpart.

Of the 13-member series-regular cast of CBS’ comedy Bob ❤️ Abishola, only the two leads, Billy Gardell and Folake Olowofoyeku, will remain series regulars next season. The others can recur in as few as five episodes in Season 5. (Andreeva, N. 2023, April 27)

The renewal of the CBS comedy Bob Hearts Abishola was announced but with a cast reduction according to Deadline. The cast was announced to be simply “Bob” and “Abishola” without any of the supporting cast. A cast is only as good as it’s supporting cast. Someone has to be there to surrogate as the viewer, as the viewer questions, and move the plot along. But Bob and Abishola would not be alone, figuratively and literally speaking.

Change has been inevitable for this version of the Man of Steel, as it was recently announced that Superman & Lois would come to an end through a fourth and final season. The episode count was reduced just to allow the series to bring its story to a close without leaving the characters with incomplete journeys. But now, it looks like th scale of the season will be even smaller than originally thought, as Deadline reports that some of the supporting cast members won’t be returning for the show’s conclusion, setting the stage for a very small departure for the beloved series where they can only appear in geust roles depending on their availability. (Peralta, D. 2023, June 15)

Superman and Lois over on the CW announced a late renewal but also with a cast reduction according to Collider. The reduction isn’t as bad as Bob Hearts Abishola but it’s just Superman, Lois, and their kids as well as Lex Luthor. Once again, who will surrogate as the viewer, ask the questions, and move the plot along? What could happen next?

The USS Protostar is about to shut its lights down, as Paramount+ has canceled Star Trek: Prodigy after a single season of adventures. The animated series focused on a crew of young aliens that returned to Earth five years after the events of Star Trek: Voyager, when they found the ship that would eventually take them into the stories that would define the rest of their lives. According to Deadline, the previously announced second season will complete their post-production and be shopped to a new home, as the creators seek to give the crew of the Protostar a way to continue their adventures. (Peralta, D. 2023b, June 23).

The next phase of this included Star Trek: Prodigy being cancelled as reported by Colliderr and shelved on Paramount+ for financial reasons. If this continues we could see Season 3 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds be Star Trek: Strange New World (singular) with just 2 people running the entire starship Enterprise. The future isn’t looking bright. There has to be a solution or a voice for the viewer.

At some point we have to look at this and see that the viewers need to have a voice. Actors, directors, and writers all have a voice over the concerns regarding the production and distribution of entertainment, why not the viewer? If not a viewer strike, then what? Viewers need to be taken into account before there simply aren’t enough cast members left in most show to make sense of the shows.

Works Cited

Sam Machkovech – Aug 3, 2022 7:24 pm UTC, Nathan2055 Ars Centurion et Subscriptor jump to post. (2022, August 3). WB Discovery Merger Strikes Down “nearly finished” live-action batgirl film. Ars Technica. https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2022/08/batgirl-scoob-2-leads-confirm-cancellations-as-casualty-of-wb-discovery-merger/

Andreeva, N. (2023, April 27). “Bob ❤️ Abishola” reduces most of series regular cast to recurring in possible glimpse of future. Deadline. https://deadline.com/2023/04/bob-abishola-reduces-series-regular-recurring-glimpse-future-1235338560/

Peralta, D. (2023, June 15). “Superman Lois” axes half its cast after season 4 renewal. Collider. https://collider.com/superman-and-lois-season-4-cast-fired/

Peralta, D. (2023b, June 23). “Star trek: Prodigy” cancelled after one season at paramount+. Collider. https://collider.com/star-trek-prodigy-season-1-cancelled/