CBS Studios suspends deals with Dr. Phil and more


CBS Studios has announced the suspension of term deals with prominent figures in the entertainment industry, including talk show host Phil “Dr. Phil” McGraw, producer DeVon Franklin, and executive producer Lis Rowinski. This move comes in response to the ongoing Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, which began on May 2, 2023.

While CBS Studios declined to provide a comment on the situation, a source familiar with the matter shared some insights, according to Variety. The source revealed that non-suspended deals with other individuals are still active in alternative, unscripted, or animation projects either within CBS Studios or in non-WGA activities. The studio has committed to covering the salaries and benefits of assistants on the term deals throughout the strike or until the end of 2023, depending on which comes first.

CBS Studios has several notable overall deals with prominent talents, including Alex Kurtzman and Secret Hideout (responsible for Star Trek), Michelle and Robert King (producers of Evil), Fulwell73 (James Corden’s production company), and Stephen Colbert. MTV Entertainment, the sister studio, has a substantial deal with Taylor Sheridan, the creator of Yellowstone.


This decision follows a similar move by Warner Bros. TV, which suspended deals with several top producers, including Greg Berlanti, Bill Lawrence, John Wells, Chuck Lorre, Mindy Kaling, and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot. Notably, Wells and Lorre had their deals paused earlier in the strike.

Both CBS Studios and Warner Bros. TV are owned by major media conglomerates represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The AMPTP is responsible for negotiating a new agreement between studios and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) as the strike continues.

For Reel 360 News’ full strike coverage, click here.

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