Writers’ Guild goes on strike

TVWith nearly all of its members voting in favor of a work stoppage, unionized Hollywood writers go on strike for five months, crippling the TV and movie industry. Several shows’ fall premieres are delayed significantly, and many television series and movies have to commence production on partially-finished scripts with no opportunities for rewrites (including Tim Burton’s Batman and the James Bond movie Licence To Kill). In the unusually long “off season,” attempts are made at reviving prime-time variety shows, and fledgeling network Fox rushes several “unscripted” series, including Cops and America’s Most Wanted, into production to fill the gap; these prove to be surprise hits, giving “reality” TV a permanent foothold on many network schedules. Many returning shows do not air new episodes until November or December, if they even generate new material before the end of 1988.