Hollywood’s crippling strikes are set to really hit home, with studios running out of new films and TV shows by Christmas.
One senior Hollywood executive warned of an “absolute collapse” of the industry.
Production is at a standstill on virtually all scripted movies, drama series, sitcoms and chat shows.
It has left viewers worldwide facing a blackout of their favourite shows.
New seasons of television hits – including Yellowjackets, Stranger Things, Family Guy, The Handmaid’s Tale and Abbott Elementary – are all on indefinite hold.
Game Of Thrones fans also face frustration over long-awaited HBO prequel series A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight.
The show’s creator, author George RR Martin, has backed his striking writing team with a message of solidarity in which he declared: “No one wanted this but the studios and the networks and the streamers gave us no choice.”
A raft of high-profile cinema films – including the eighth instalment in Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible franchise – have also been shelved indefinitely. Even movies finished before screenwriters went on strike four months ago – followed in mid-July by 165,000 members of actors’ union SAG-AFTRA – have seen release dates pushed back to not inflame the dispute.
Poor Things, a surreal sci-fi fantasy starring Emma Stone, was originally slated for release in the UK this Friday but will now not hit cinemas until January.
And last Wednesday, Challengers – a much-vaunted sports romance starring Zendaya – was pulled as the opening attraction at the annual Venice Film Festival and will now premiere in April.
A senior studio production source said: “The whole entertainment industry is in turmoil.
“But the bottom line for viewers is they’re about to start noticing their favourite shows aren’t returning to TV.
“By Christmas, I’m afraid fresh pickings are going to be slim to non-existent.”
Barry Diller, a former CEO at 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures, warned: “If it doesn’t get resolved until Christmas or later, there will simply not be as many programmes made next year and subscriptions will get pulled.
“That would result in less money for the movie and television studios to invest in further offerings. This will actually have devastating effects if it is not settled soon.”