Advanced Television

Data: Majority of US support Hollywood strikes

September 27, 2023

Americans are broadly aware of Hollywood writers and actors going on strike, with 74 per cent of adults saying they have heard of it, according to data presented by Samba TV. Baby boomers and silent generation adults are most aware compared to other generations. 

The majority of all generations support the strike, including 4 in 5 Gen Z and millennials and 2 in 3 of those in Gen X or above. Millennials follow the strike the most, with 3 in 5 saying they followed the strike at least once a week.

Two-thirds of adults across all generations believe it is likely that their favourite shows will be delayed or cancelled due to the strikes.

Two-thirds of adults believe the strike is important if content is delayed or cancelled. Gen Z and millennials are most likely to say it is important (74 per cent and 80 per cent, respectively).

“With the WGA strikes resulting in a tentative deal and all eyes now on SAG-AFTRA, the impact on viewers is already being felt. While the majority of generations support the strike, they also are expecting major slowdowns with their favorite shows. We believe that no matter what, the industry will emerge with more transparency that will benefit the publishers, writers, talent, and viewers alike,” commented Samba TV Co-founder and CEO Ashwin Navin.

Impact to Late-Night (Samba TV Data):

During the four months of 2023 preceding the WGA strike start date on May 2nd, 3 of the 5 US networks airing the most popular late-night shows (HBO, Comedy Central, and ABC) tracked year-over-year increases in average daily reach during the late fringe daypart compared to 2022. Looking at the months after the strike began, only 1 of those 5 networks (HBO) tracked a year-over-year increase in average daily reach during late fringe. This indicates that the lack of new episodes had a negative impact on viewers watching those networks during the late fringe daypart.

Comedy Central, ABC, CBS, and NBC all tracked double-digit decreases in average daily reach during late fringe between May 2023 and July 2023 (after the strike began) compared with the prior year. The three broadcast networks each saw declines between about 46 per cent – 50 per cent, impacted by Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy Kimmel shows all ceasing new airings. Each of those three shows generated an average episode reach between 680k-780k during 2023 before going off air.

“The ongoing  strikes have had a catastrophic impact on late-night TV viewership. Without jokes and new material, many of the top late-night shows have gone off the air. As a result, four of the five leaders in late night have seen double-digit decreases in reach during the late fringe time slot, with some losing as much as 50 per cent of their audience during those hours. It remains to be seen how late night will rebound to its previous relevance,” added Navin.

Categories: Articles, Consumer Behaviour, Content, Research

Tags: , , ,