Producer Universal Media Studios is suspending regulars on NBC’s Bionic Woman, The Office and 30 Rock. Actors will be on half-pay for five weeks, citing the force majeure provisions in their Screen Actors Guild contracts.
While deals with actors allow for the force majeure — or “greater force” — option right after production is suspended, such a contract clause could be invoked for writers very soon if the strike continues. Most writers’ production deals trigger the termination clause four to six weeks into a stoppage, but in some, the cushion is said to be only two weeks.
That means that as of Monday, studios could start terminating their overall pacts with writers.