Potential Actors Strike Won’t Impact Daytime Soaps Due to Separate SAG-AFTRA Contracts

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Potential Actors Strike Won’t Impact Daytime Soaps Due to Separate SAG-AFTRA Contracts

A potential Actors strike won't impact the daytime soaps should SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP fail to make a deal on a contract. Find out why.

By Errol Lewis Leave A Comment
WGA Strike, Writers Guild of America, WGA, Strike, #WGAStrike
Courtesy of Sara Bibel (@deepsoap)/Twitter

Receiving a 97.91% approval rate from those who voted (47.69% of eligible voters cast ballots), SAG-AFTRA members earlier this month overwhelmingly supported a potential Actors strike should one be called by union leaders but don’t count on daytime soap actors to be on picket lines in the same fashion as WGA members whose contract expired on Tuesday, May 2.

In a post reminding the industry of the distinction between SAG-AFTRA contracts, Deadline points out that the union is currently negotiating with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) over a new TV/Theatrical Contract that does not impact daytime television, which falls under the National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting, also known as the Network Television Code. The current TV/Theatrical Contract concludes on June 30 and should a deal not be met, SAG-AFTRA has been authorized by its members to strike, effective July 1. 

For soap opera actors, their most recent contract was signed in 2022 (retroactive to July 1, 2021) and covers morning news shows, talk shows, serials (soap operas), variety, reality, game shows, sports and promotional announcements. Current programs covered by the contract include the likes of “Good Morning America,” “Tamron Hall,” “The Young and the Restless,” “Jeopardy,” “Saturday Night Live,” “The Voice,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” the Academy Awards and the Super Bowl, among a host of others. The contract runs through July 2024.

In line with what Soap Opera Network reported earlier today (WGA Strike: ‘General Hospital’ Picketed, Allegations of “Scab” Writing In Progress at Daytime Drama Series), Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva reports that all four daytime soaps remain in production and are “currently working on new scripts.” She also points out that some of the people who claimed “Fi-Core” status during the 2007/2008 WGA strike remain active writers on daytime soaps. 

Joining the “Fi-Core” list this year according to an official list published by the WGA includes Sheri Anderson, a former head writer and current story consultant at “Days of our Lives,” Mark Pinciotti, a producer at “The Bold and the Beautiful,” and Michael Minnis, the co-head 2writer of “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

When the strike is over, WGA writers returning to their writer’s room will have to adjust their storylines based on the direction taken by the “Fi-Core” writers, which could confuse viewers when material potentially shifts around suddenly when the changes take effect on the air. In the case of “Days of our Lives,” the impact won’t be felt for some time as the show currently tapes six months ahead while “General Hospital,” “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “The Young and the Restless” are roughly four to six weeks ahead, taping wise. Writing-wise, the material generally goes several weeks before taping commences.

To help combat the strike even if slightly, all of the daytime soaps will be taking their traditional summer breaks with some extending it wherever possible to help mitigate any delays in production as they await a resolution to the WGA strike. Deadline reports that with the exception of “The Young and the Restless,” both “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “General Hospital” will be taking off the month of July while “Days of our Lives” will begin its three-week hiatus starting this weekend. No matter what happens, however, all current cast members will be expected to return to work once the extended breaks are over even if there is a SAG-AFTRA strike in progress.