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“The Chosen” Series Resumes Season 4 Filming After Strike Threat

(ZENIT News / Washington, 07.20.2023).- The successful series “The Chosen” has overcome a critical obstacle as a labor strike threatened to jeopardize the filming of Season 4, based on the life of Jesus Christ.

On Friday, July 14, Dallas Jenkins, the director, and co-writer of the series, sent an email to viewers informing them that “The Chosen” had not yet obtained an exemption to continue filming during the strike by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). The situation was concerning as only two weeks of filming remained. Jenkins made a plea to the labor union in an Instagram post, urging them to approve the exemption and allow the actors to return to work and conclude the season they were eager to finish.

After a day of filming without the cast, on Sunday, July 16, the show’s official Twitter account announced that they had finally been granted an exemption and would resume filming on Monday, July 17. The account also emphasized that Season 4 is entirely funded through donations, and “The Chosen” has worked diligently to comply with SAG-AFTRA’s requests and the provisional agreement.

“The Chosen” secured the exemption due to its non-affiliation with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the group representing renowned studios in contract negotiations. While the cast members belong to the Screen Actors Guild, “The Chosen” chose not to associate with AMPTP due to its limited scope. By accepting the exemption, “The Chosen” agreed to be retroactively bound by the contract terms agreed upon between AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA once the strike concludes.

“The Chosen” has become an online phenomenon, amassing over 520 million views worldwide through crowdfunding for its previous seasons. The earlier seasons are available for free on the show’s website and app, and they can also be found on major streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon. In May, Lionsgate acquired distribution rights, and recently The CW, a national TV network, began weekly broadcasts of the first three seasons.

The filming of Season 4 in Utah marks a significant milestone as “The Chosen” became the first TV series to secure a provisional agreement to film during the strike, according to the program’s information.

“We are thrilled to be back at work, especially with just two weeks remaining. We are so close to finishing, and everyone was eager to complete the season,” Jenkins stated to Religion News Service.

While an official release date for Season 4 is yet to be announced, it is estimated to premiere in early 2024. Jenkins explained that the first four episodes have already been filmed, and these last two weeks will allow them to complete episodes 5 to 8. The series creator expressed gratitude for avoiding any production delays, as some of the most emotional and impactful moments are yet to come.