More budget cuts have hit All American: Homecoming and Superman & Lois for their upcoming season.
The cuts resulting from the renewals of both CW series has made its way to the writers’ rooms of these series and led to downsizing in the writing teams. “Superman & Lois” is set to reduce its writing staff from eight to five writers for its upcoming fourth season, while “All American: Homecoming” will go from nine writers to seven for Season 3. However, it’s important to note that there are no changes in the writers’ room sizes for the other two CW returning scripted series, including the flagship series “All American.”
This cost-cutting measure comes in the wake of the renewals of “Superman & Lois” and “All American: Homecoming” in June. Warner Bros. Television, the studio behind these shows, agreed to deliver the new seasons at a significantly lower license fee as part of The CW’s new lower-cost original programming model. To make these series financially viable under the reduced budgets, cast reductions were necessary, resulting in not all of the series regulars returning full-time.
The cast cuts were implemented in June and early July, before the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike. However, the trimming of the writers’ rooms had to wait until the end of the WGA strike, which concluded on September 27.
For “All American: Homecoming,” two series regulars, Peyton Alex Smith and Kelly Jenrette, will only recur for Season 3. Some other cast members are back but with reduced episodic guarantees. Additionally, the series’ episode order is decreasing from 15 in Season 2 to 13 for the next season, aligning with The CW’s new model of picking up returning series for up to 13 episodes per season.
“Superman & Lois” is known for its higher budget, mainly due to extensive special effects, and therefore, the cuts on this show were more significant. In Season 3, only four of the 12 series regulars will return: Tyler Hoechlin, Elizabeth Tulloch, Michael Bishop, and Alex Garfin. Additionally, “Superman & Lois” Season 4 will consist of 10 episodes, in contrast to the 13 episodes typically seen in other returning CW scripted series. These budget-related changes also resulted in the departure of three writers, including staff writer Adam Mallinger.
Adam Mallinger expressed his disappointment over the budget cuts, mentioning that he won’t be returning as a staff writer for “Superman & Lois” Season 4. However, he revealed that he has been assigned an episodic script to write as a freelancer. Another writer decided not to renew his option to be on staff but instead opted for the opportunity to direct an episode and write a freelance episode.
While the new WGA agreement’s writers’ room minimums are set to take effect in December, the reduced sizes of the writing teams for “Superman & Lois” and “All American: Homecoming” already comply with these requirements. The minimum number of writers for 7-12-episode seasons is set at five, and for seasons of 13 or more episodes, it’s six.
It’s worth noting that for the main series “All American” from WBTV and “Walker” from CBS Studios, the episode count reductions are 7 (from 20 in Season 5 to 13 for Season 6) and 5 (from 18 in Season 3 to 13 for Season 4), respectively. These changes are part of the broader cost-cutting measures being implemented across The CW’s programming lineup due to the new financial model.