WGA Strike: ‘Power Book II: Ghost’ & ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Temporarily Shuttered By East Coast Scribes

EXCLUSIVE: The WGA East has hit the pause button on two more shows in New York today.

Power Book II: Ghost and the latest Pretty Little Liars installment temporarily shuttered production Thursday as East Coast scribes and their supporters took to the picket lines.

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The first spinoff in Starz’s Powerverse was attempting to shoot in NYC’s Tribeca neighborhood, but everything has come to a standstill. HBO Max’s Pretty Little Liars: Summer School, the fourth show in the PLL franchise was filming in the town of Newburgh, outside the Big Apple.

The latest productions to face the WGA East’s swift moving Rapid Response Team, Ghost and PLL: Summer School have not yet formally shut down for the day, I hear. In the past, shows like Billions have halted filming for a few hours due to the Writers Guild labor action, and then resumed later.

That still may happen in the cases of Ghost and PLL as the working day inches to a close on the East Coast, or not.

On location in the loft rich Tribeca and just off Canal Street, the Michael Rainey Jr-led Ghost was shooting the seventh episode in its forthcoming fourth season on Thursday, I’m told. The Courtney  Kemp-created series, which has its Season 3 finale on May 26, uses Steiner Studios in Brooklyn as its home base – a facility the WGA East instructed members and supporters to picket today from 12 – 3 PM ET. Now signed to a deal with Netflix, Ghost EP Kemp was seen out with other picketers in front of the Paramount gates in LA on May 10.

Out in the Hudson Valley today, the Bailee Riley fronted PLL spinoff was renewed for a second season last fall by the streamer soon to be known as Max. With that renewal, the show underwent a title change of its own from Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin to Pretty Little Liars: Summer School. Casting calls have PLL: Summer School shooting in Newburgh from last month to July.

Neither Starz nor HBO Max could be reached for comment on the status of Ghost or Pretty Little Liars when contacted by Deadline today.

Following on the heels of Billions and Daredevil: Born Again pulling the plug due to picketing yesterday, the WGA East have also set their sights on CBS and Dick Wolf’s FBI: Most Wanted Thursday over in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood. Up in Maplewood, New Jersey under the working title of Thriller, Ryan Murphy’s latest American Horror Story installment is also being targeted by the writers.

Overall, while the larger WGA West takes the streets in front of studios in and around LA, the WGA East have been concentrating their efforts on shows in production as a sign of strength. To that end, supporters in unions like SAG-AFTRA and the Teamsters have proven high-profile and effective allies so far as the guild’s nationwide strike nears the end of its second week.

Batting a pretty steady success rate, expect more shut down and pause moves by the WGA East next week and further down the line.

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