Television

Dispatches From The WGA Picket Lines, Day 18: David E. Kelley, ‘Cobra Kai’ Creators, Rep. Adam Schiff & (Happily) More Food

There was come old-school writer cred on the picket line outside the Fox lot in Century City today. David E. Kelley, he of the 11 Emmys and 30 nominations, is a veteran of multiple WGA strikes going back to 1988. Introducing himself as “David E. Kelley, old writer,” the Love & Death creator — whose many credits also include Big Little Lies, Big Sky, The Lincoln Lawyer, The Undoing, The Practice, Ally McBeal, and Picket Fences — told Deadline why he’s striking this time.

“All the strikes have had merits on the writer’s behalf, but this one more than any other,” said Kelley, holding a picket sign with “Sow Me The Data” handwritten on it. “This is a real unprecedented time, especially when it comes to sharing the data. When one side is not wanting to be forthcoming, that kind of tells you all you need to know.”

Streamers’ lack of transparency on series’ performance is among the issues writers are pursuing as it impacts everything, from pickup decisions to residuals and profit participation.

Also kicking up a ruckus at Fox today were Cobra Kai creators Hayden Schlossberg, Josh Heald and Jon Hurwitz.

“It sucks because we should be shooting right now, but we’re not because a strike is happening,” Schlossberg said of the Karate Kid spinoff series that’s been renewed for a sixth and final season at Netflix. Added Heald: “We were supposed to go into production the day that the strike began in Atlanta. We had visited the set the day before, but when the strike was called, we pulled back and have been on strike ever since.”

Hurwitz added: “There’s a good reason for this. At this point, many of you know the issues we’re talking about: It’s about the future of the writing career and about people getting paid appropriately for what they do. It’s also about the threat of the big bad robots.”

And the guys brought along some pretzels:

Veteran TV producer Steve Paskay (America’s Funniest Home Videos) came to the picket line carrying an old sign from the 1981 WGA strike.

Elsewhere today, “the Star Trek family from shows past and present” beamed down to the Paramount lot in Hollywood and Netflix offices in New York, boldly looking for a new contract:

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who is running for a Senate seat, turned up at the picket line outside Paramount to rally the picketers:

Drew Carey is offering striking writers some free chow at a couple of L.A. area eateries for the duration of the strike — but bring your WGA card:

The Schmigadoon! cast kept with the Apple TV+ series’ theme and set their words about the strike to music. Hear how the likes of Alan Cumming, Kristin Chenoweth, Tituss Burgess, Jane Krakowski, Ann Harada and Jaime Camil feel about (hint: pay the writers!):

Writer and WGA captain Chandra Thomas thanked some former BU Terriers for their support on the line:

Scabby loomed large over a group of picketers at Netflix HQ:

Some more scenes from the picket lines:

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