British Columbia's television industry is in crisis as repercussions from the U.S. writers' strike make their way north. One show has already shut down and at least five more are expected to prematurely stop production in the coming months.
NBC's Bionic Woman, starring Michelle Ryan, was supposed to run through to Dec. 12, but it shut down last Friday, said veteran publicist Bill Vigars, whose Canadian production, Search and Rescue, is unaffected by the strike. Meanwhile, the fourth season of Battlestar Galactica is stopping production tomorrow, and will remain out of commission until further notice, because it ran out of scripts, a source close to the show said. At least 200 people will be laid off in the aftermath.
"It's a crisis," Mr. Vigars said. "Each one of those shows is probably [losing] 150 people," not including the ancillary industries that will be affected as a result.
And those Canadian writers in LA racing back to work on shows up here and show us all how it's done?
Maureen Parker, executive director of the Writers Guild of Canada, said there have been a number of requests from Canadian writers living in the U.S. for a long time to come home to work on productions here.
But to do so, the Writers Guild of America requires Canadian writers to get a waiver of working rule No. 8, and they're not granting them at this time, Ms. Parker said.
Golden opportunity? Meh...not so much.