With both rumors and full-on news suggesting that the WGA strike could come to an end by this weekend, people are discussing what that means. For Slate, Kim Masters cuts to the chase and wonders aloud, “when will our favorite TV shows return?” From her column:
Of course, this labor stuff is a morass, and it may not be over even when it’s over. The central question is obviously how good is the deal? Assuming it passes muster with the writers, will it be good enough to satisfy the Screen Actors Guild? If not, what then? SAG and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists are fighting—again, still. AFTRA seems likely to go into negotiations on its own as soon as March. Will AFTRA be an easier tumble than SAG—or, in AFTRA-speak, “more reasonable” than those wild-eyed SAG radicals? If AFTRA makes a deal, will SAG be able to keep fighting?
All this is too dreadful for us to contemplate at this time, so let’s return to a seemingly simpler question: Once the writers get a deal sealed enough for work to resume, when do the shows come back? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but network executives say four to six weeks for dramas and three to four weeks for sitcoms.