Dancing with the Stars’ writers are on strike, maybe

The writers strike may end up producing more reality TV, but it’s also affecting at least one reality show directly. Dancing with the Stars‘ writers are on strike, meaning the “its hosts had to improvise without scripts,” BBC News reports. They will presumably do so again tonight and until the end of the season or the end of the strike, whichever comes first–unless they aren’t striking, as one newspaper reported.

The show is “covered by the Writers Guild, The Los Angeles Times reports, but The New York Times’ report directly contradicts that, saying the reality competition series’ “writers are not covered under the Writers’ Guild of America.” The New York Times says there was “tension at Television City” where the show is taped, “as about 120 striking writers marched next to people lining up to get tickets to the afternoon taping.”

An ABC spokesperson has yet to return a call about whether or not the writers are covered. Regardless, that the show even has writers is surprising because bumbling host Samantha Harris actually has writers. If the writers are on strike, maybe she’ll do better without being boxed in by whatever the teleprompter tells her to say.

Talk shows hit by writers’ strike [BBC]
‘Dancing’ with ad-libbing [Los Angeles Times]
Fans Still Line Up For Non-Scripted Shows [New York Times]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.