Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Apple TV+ ‘Severance’ production suspended amid writers strike

Apple TV+ renewed its sci-fi show Severance for a second season last year, even before the season finale of the first season aired. However, the show had been facing “backstage drama,” according to a recent report, and now things have gotten worse. Amid the ongoing writers’ strike, the production of Severance’s second season has been completely suspended in New York.

Severance season 2 production paused due to strike

As reported by Deadline, members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) picketed York Studios in New York, where Severance is produced. Members of the IATSE and Teamsters reportedly refused to cross the picket line. As a result, the second season of the show – which doesn’t yet have a date for its premiere – is expected to be further delayed.

On May 2, the WGA called for a strike in the US after failing to reach a new deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). Screenwriters are asking for better pay and for major studios to ensure that they won’t replace screenwriters with generative AI like ChatGPT to produce the script for movies and TV shows.

But Severance isn’t the only Apple TV+ show affected so far. Deadline mentions that the comedy show Loot, starring Maya Rudolph, has also had filming of its second season suspended in Los Angeles. Other popular shows like Netflix’s Stranger Things, HBO Max’s Hacks, and Showtime’s Billions have also had production shut down.

But when it comes to Severance, the writers’ strike is only one of the problems surrounding the production of the show’s second season. Puck News reported last week that production of Severance’s season 2 is facing “significant delays” due to conflicts between co-showrunners Dan Erickson and Mark Friedman. Sources said that Erickson and Friedman “ended up hating each other.”

Other controversies surrounding the show’s second season include “script issues” and “ballooning per-episode budget.” Internally, Apple TV+ wants to produce two more seasons of the show. Severance stars Adam Scott, Patricia Arquette, Britt Lower, John Turturro, and Christopher Walken. The show is directed and produced by Ben Stiller.

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