Dr. Phil and More CBS Studios Deals Suspended Amid Strikes; Salary and Benefits for Assistants Covered Through End of 2023

CBS Studios has suspended term deals with talkshow star Phil “Dr. Phil” McGraw, BET+’s “Kingdom Business” producer DeVon Franklin and “Nancy Drew” executive producer Lis Rowinski due to the ongoing Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike.

Representatives for CBS Studios declined to comment on the suspension of these deals Monday.

A source close to the situation tells Variety non-suspended deals are still involved in active alternative, unscripted or animation projects at CBS Studios or other non-WGA activity. The insider says CBS Studios will be covering salary and benefits for assistants on the term deals through the end of the strike or the end of 2023, whichever comes first.

Among the top talent that CBS Studios has non-suspended overall deals with are “Star Trek” boss Alex Kurtzman and Secret Hideout, “Evil” producers Michelle and Robert King, James Corden’s Fulwell73 and Stephen Colbert. Sister studio MTV Entertainment is the home of a hefty deal with “Yellowstone” mastermind Taylor Sheridan.

The pause on CBS pacts comes a week after rival studio Warner Bros. TV suspended deals with some of its top producers, including Greg Berlanti, Bill Lawrence, John Wells, Chuck Lorre and Mindy Kaling, as well as J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot shingle. It should be noted Wells and Lorre had their deals put on ice early in the strike, which began May 2. Actors guild SAG-AFTRA joined the WGA on the picket lines July 14.

CBS Studios is owned by Paramount Global and Warner Bros. TV by Warner Bros. Discovery, two of the mega media companies represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the organization that is in charge of negotiating a new studio-writer deal with the WGA.

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