Writers Go on Strike at ABC's 'The Chase'

ABC's 'The Chase'
ABC/Ron Batzdorff

ABC's 'The Chase'

The strike was initiated at 9 a.m. ET "after the companies refused to agree to cover writers’ work under the Writers Guild of America’s Minimum Basic Agreement," according to a statement from The Writers Guilds of America, East and West.

Writers for the ABC game show The Chase are going on strike.

The strike was initiated at 9 a.m. ET "after the companies refused to agree to cover writers’ work under the Writers Guild of America’s Minimum Basic Agreement," according to a statement from The Writers Guilds of America, East and West.

The guilds told their members Wednesday that "Working Rule 8" is in effect for the show, which is produced by ITV America for ABC. Working Rule 8 states that "No member shall accept employment with, nor option or sell literary material to, any person, firm or corporation who is not signatory to the applicable MBAs."

The guilds and ITV have been in negotiations in recent weeks, with the union insisting that the MBA be applied to the show, as it is for other game shows like Jeopardy! and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? The MBA includes things like health and pension benefits, as well as residuals.

The guilds say that ITV told them Monday that the MBA would not apply to the show.

"After the WGAE approached ITV one week ago, we began good faith negotiations and proposed a package for the writers that includes generous, over scale pay increases and health benefits through the WGA," said ITV America in a statement. "Despite that proposal, the WGAE is refusing to make a deal and insisting on terms that would economically cripple the show. We remain open to continuing discussions with the guild. ITV offers top-tier health benefits to all employees, whether union or non-union."

The Chase, which is in its first season, features a team of contestants competing against trivia experts, with Jeopardy! champions Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter serving as the experts. Sara Haines is the host.

8:30 a.m. PT: Updated with a statement from ITV America.