EXCLUSIVE (Updated with Jen Statsky’s comments): Filming on Season 3 of HBO Max/Universal TV hit comedy series Hacks, starring Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder, has been halted due of the writers strike, Deadline has learned. According to sources, production will be on pause for the duration of the work stoppage.
It is hard for any scripted series to shoot without writing showrunners on set. This is especially true for Hacks as writing is at the heart of the show — it centers on an aging comedian Deborah Vance (Smart) and an up-and-coming writer Ava Daniels (Einbinder) who are writing together. Hacks was created by Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello and Jen Statsky, who serve as showrunners. According to WGA rules, members cannot provide any writing services, including script revisions during filming, while a strike is going on.
UPDATE: Statsky, who won an Emmy alongside Downs and Aniello for writing the Hacks pilot episode, retweeted Deadline story with a note explaining the decision to pause production.
“We are devastated to not be with our incredible crew and cast right now, but there was no other option here,” she said. “Writing happens at every stage of the process – production and post included. It’s what makes shows and movies good. It’s what makes them possible.”
Production on Season 3 of Hacks, which started shortly after Thanksgiving and resumed after the holiday break in January, was previously paused in February when Smart underwent a successful heart procedure. It resumed in mid-March.
Hacks has been a commercial hit and awards juggernaut, amassing 32 Emmy nominations and 6 wins for its first two seasons, including two statuettes for Smart.
The series also stars Carl Clemons-Hopkins and Jane Adams as well as Christopher McDonald, Kaitlin Olson, Paul W. Downs, Poppy Liu, Rose Abdoo, Mark Indelicato, Meg Stalter, Angela E. Gibbs, Luenell, Johnny Sibilly, Joe Mande, Ally Maki and Lorenza Izzo.
Hacks is produced by Universal Television. It is exec produced by Downs and Aniello via their Paulilu banner, Statsky via First Thought Productions, Michael Schur via Fremulon, David Miner for 3 Arts Entertainment and Morgan Sackett.
Editor’s note: The story was originally published May 4 at 4 PM PT.