In late 2007, “How I Met Your Mother” co-creator Craig Thomas faced an unusual situation. After penning the script for Episode 11 of the CBS comedy’s third season alongside fellow inventor Carter Bays, he found himself handing off the pages they’d written. The scenes were to be filmed without his existence on situated — or any of his writing faculty, for that matter.
“We tried to get the script as tight and manageable as possible with the knowledge that there would be no writers on set to punch up any of the jokes or set any of the words, ” he explained. “At a certain time of the night, we just had to made send and the script went to our producer and director and we said,’ Have a great shoot week. We’ll be picketing outside of the lot.’”
Thomas and Bay were two of roughly 12,000 TV and movie and television services and facilities writers who were striking on behalf of the East and West unions of the Writers Guild of America, a strike caused by stalled peace negotiations with the Alliance of Motion picture and Television Producers that all but ground scripted television like “HIMYM” to a halt in late 2007 and 2008. ( Members of HuffPost’s union are represented by WGA East .) em>
The organizations were in the midst of negotiating a new three-year contract. But after the AMPTP, the trade association affiliated with corporations like CBS and NBCUniversal, failed to achieve the demands of the guilds, novelists embarked on a 100 -day stalemate.
During that time, guild writers no longer took job. In words of television, that intended there were no new scripted episodes available for purposes of the networks to air besides those commissioned before the ten-strike. More than 60 TV presents shut down as a result, and ratings and ad sales plummeted. By December 2007, most scripted series were off the air and not set to return for months. The CW’s “Gossip Girl” and “One Tree Hill” faced shortened seasons; NBC’s “Heroes” only completed 11 episodes of the 24 expected for Season 2, and was off the air for nine months; the third largest season of Fox’s “Bones” was cut short as the depict went on a four-month hiatus. Late-night programming all but disappeared( until hosts like Conan O’Brien, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert fought to return without novelists citing the financial fights of their non-writing personnel ), and award proves like the Golden Globes were canceled.
In total, the ten-strike cost the state of California over$ 2 billion and 37,700 jobs, according to nonprofit economic think tank the Milken Institute.
For a prove like “HIMYM, ” the prospect of a lengthy intermission was daunting.
“Everyone had to stop[ running] and that was scary, as the depict was just gaining some momentum, ” Thomas said.