For the first time in nearly 20 years, members of the writers' union, Writer's Guild of America are on strike. The last strike, in May of 1988, lasted five months, costing the industry more than half a billion dollars.
Some shows, such as NBC's “The Tonight Show” and Comedy Central's “The Daily Show”, which are written as events happen will have to shut down immediately, but most major TV series producers have a stockpile of scripts that will allow them to keep producing episodes until early next year.
Meanwhile, feature film producers will continue working through their own stockpiles of material.
Talks broke down last week, and attempts to reach a resolution resumed unsuccessfully over the weekend. But as of Monday morning, picket lines are replacing punchlines, as with strikers in red t-shirts carry signs reading “Writers Guild of America on Strike” outside all of the major production facilities, both in LA and New York, where shows like “Saturday Night Live” and “Late Night with Conan O'Brien” are produced.