WGAE, ITV Reach Accord on 'The Chase'

'The Chase' writers were on strike, but an agreement has now been reached
'The Chase' writers were on strike, but an agreement has now been reached

The writers on ABC's version of British quiz show, The Chase, are heading back to work. They had gone on strike a dozen days ago after the union and the show's producer, ITV Entertainment, failed to strike a deal to unionize under the Writers Guild of America Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA).

WGA East said an agreement has now been reached with ITV Entertainment.

"ITV Entertainment and the WGAE are pleased to have come to terms for writers on The Chase to be represented by the WGAE and for the show to be covered by the Minimum Basic Agreement," the union said, which covers things like pension, health benefits, and residuals.

"We are in agreement that fair and positive work practices are essential to our industry and that, especially during the ongoing battle of the pandemic, the priority is to keep production going and to ensure that people can do their work and build sustainable careers," said the union. "We are glad to have come to terms and that the process is completed.”

They two sides had been negotiating, but the strike appeared to be primarily over the fact that the guild wanted the MBA to cover all seasons of the show. "Accepting anything less would undermine the writers of future seasons; the Guilds’ jurisdiction over quiz, and audience participation and game shows; and all Guild members," WGA said at the time of the strike.

A source confirms that the MBA does cover future shows, so the union did not, in fact, accept anything less. The MBA is the basic agreement negotiated between WGA and the producers association for quiz shows including Jeopardy, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Weakest Link.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.