NBCU abruptly ended its studio deals with high-profile producers on Monday, including “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels and Dwayne Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions, who brought “Young Rock” to the network.
The move came the same day as similar cuts at CBS, where talk show host Dr. Phil’s deal was also put on hold.
In addition to “SNL,” Michaels produces the Pete Davidson Peacock sitcom “Bupkis” through his company Broadway Video. He moved shop to NBCU in 2018 after 30 years at Paramount Pictures.
Dick Wolf, whose hit “Law & Order” franchise is at NBC, has not had his pact with the network suspended as of Monday, according to Deadline. Wolf is also working on unscripted content for NBC.
Other producers at Universal Studio Group who have already been suspended include “30 Rock” creator Tina Fey and Sam Esmail of “Mr. Robot.”
Mike Schur, whose many NBC projects include “The Office,” “The Good Place,” and “Parks and Recreation,” is also reported to have had his pact with the network put on hold.
As Schur, who’s also a WGA negotiator told TheWrap in July, the AMPTP has been using the “exact playbook” from the WG strike of 2007 – 200. “Those kinds of scare tactics just don’t really work anymore,” he said.
Among the studios’ strategies he cited were attempts to divide the unions, keep them from “teaming up in any meaningful way,” plant “rumors in the press about how everyone’s going to lose their homes” and how they can “wait forever” for the laborers to give up.
Last week, Warner Bros. Discovery started the suspension ball rolling by mothballing producers Greg Berlanti, J.J. Abrams, Bill Lawrence and Mindy Kaling, who were all still delivering “non-writing” services.
Berlanti responded by pledging to donate $150,000 to both the Entertainment Community Fund and Motion Picture & Television Fund and starting another $500,000 strike relief fund to support staff below-the-line workers on shows from his own production company.
TheWrap has reached out to reps at NBC for comment.
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