LOS ANGELES Four major studios have canceled dozens of writers' contracts in a possible concession that the current television season cannot be saved, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
The move means the 2-month old writers strike may also endanger next season's new shows, the Times said.
January is usually the beginning of pilot season, when networks order new scripted shows. But the strike leaves networks without a pool of comedy and drama scripts from which to choose.
20th Century Fox Television, CBS Paramount Network Television, NBC Universal and Warner Bros. Television told the Times they have terminated development and production agreements.
Studios typically pay $500,000 to $2 million a year per writer for them and their staffs to develop new show concepts.
"I didn't see it coming," Barbara Hall, a writer and producer whose credits include former CBS series "Joan of Arcadia" and "Judging Amy," told the Times, which said ABC executives gave her the news Friday. "I am not entirely sure what their strategy is, all I know was that I was a casualty of it."
The newspaper said more than 65 deals with writers have been eliminated since Friday.