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If the strike ends in the ...

Question: If the strike ends in the next week or so, can the current TV season be salvaged? Answer: Depends on the network and the show. A source at one of the Big 4 tells me that should the strike end by mid-February, one best-case scenario being bandied about has established series going back into production and working through June, making more episodes for this season and some for next. Then they'll take a summer break before starting regular production on next season. The reason for this is twofold: They don't want to bail out on this season, but they also don't want to go to the expense of putting shows back into production for just two or three episodes. One industry observer describes this as "a smart plan," while acknowledging that there's another variable in all this: the actors. "The trouble is, a lot of actors schedule hiatus movies, or just elaborate vacations. And if they ask them to work through certain dates, that

Michael Ausiello

Question: If the strike ends in the next week or so, can the current TV season be salvaged?

Answer: Depends on the network and the show. A source at one of the Big 4 tells me that should the strike end by mid-February, one best-case scenario being bandied about has established series going back into production and working through June, making more episodes for this season and some for next. Then they'll take a summer break before starting regular production on next season. The reason for this is twofold: They don't want to bail out on this season, but they also don't want to go to the expense of putting shows back into production for just two or three episodes. One industry observer describes this as "a smart plan," while acknowledging that there's another variable in all this: the actors. "The trouble is, a lot of actors schedule hiatus movies, or just elaborate vacations. And if they ask them to work through certain dates, that could trigger some contract issues." Now, continue reading for the worst-case scenario.