UPDATED with ITV Entertainment’s statement: WGA has issued a strike notice against ABC’s game show The chasing, from ITV America.
“In accordance with Job Rule 8, no member of the Writers Guild will accept employment in The chasing, effective immediately, ”the union wrote in a letter to members. “ITV America has refused to apply the full terms of the Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) to all seasons of The chasing in the future, and writers in The chasing, and the Guild in general, refuse to accept a deal that would undermine the writers of future seasons. “
ABC The chasing, a remake of the British game show, features the stars of Danger! The best of all time, James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Hosted by Sara Haines, it recently aired its initial order for nine episodes. It has not been renewed for a second season, although there may be additional episodes produced from season 1.
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Last week, the WGA East and the writers of The chasing demanded that the program be covered by the guild’s Minimum Basic Agreement. The union said it “negotiated in good faith some terms to address the specific concerns raised by ITV in relation to the current season.”
According to WGAE, ITV told the union on Monday that it did not agree to apply the MBA to The chasing, and “the writers informed the company that they would go on strike this morning if the company did not change its position.”
The WGA insists that your contract must cover all seasons of the show. Accepting something less would undermine future season writers; the guilds’ jurisdiction over contests, audience participation, and game shows; and all the members of the guild. “
“After the WGAE approached ITV a week ago, we began negotiations in good faith and proposed a package for writers that includes generous pay raises and upscale and health benefits through the WGA,” ITV Entertainment said in a release. Despite that proposal, the WGAE refuses to make a deal and insists on terms that would financially paralyze the show. We remain open to continue discussions with the union. ITV offers world-class health benefits to all employees, whether they are unionized or not. “
The WGA represents writers in other competitions and entry programs, including Who wants to be a millionaire, weakest link Y Danger!
The show sees contestants competing against a professional competitor, known as Chaser, whose goal is to prevent contestants from winning a cash prize. Holzhauer, Jennings and Rutter will take turns as Chasers. Contestants must answer general knowledge questions in a series of head-to-head and cash-generating rounds before attempting to win a cash prize in the final chase. It is produced by ITV America’s ITV Entertainment.
David Robb contributed to this report.