Monday, December 17, 2007

Leno and Conan to return without writers; Letterman wants to strike side deal

It looks like the writers strike is taking an interesting turn.

Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien will be returning to the air in the new year without their writers (lets see how that works out) . Plus David Letterman is actively pursing a side deal with the writer's union to bring his staff back to the show based on statements from the Writer's Guild that they're ok with striking deals with individual studios and since, unlike Leno and Conan, Letterman owns his own show under his Worldwide Pants production company label (as well as The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson which follows Late Night) that takes care of that.

What pops in my head is what Jon Stewart will be doing. His show is owned by Comedy Central/Viacom and his left leaning audience wouldn't take to kindly to the beloved saint of the left (or, more aptly, their saint against Bush) crossing picket lines to start his show again. He's gotta keep his face out their to protect his own career however it may also be career suicide to cross the lines and return to his show (even if that'd be possible to do with how reliant he is on scripted material).

My suggestion? He's accrued a fair bit of respect as a commentator so perhaps he should start knocking on the doors at CBS News (Evening News, 60 Minutes etc) or give his buddy Bill Moyers at PBS a call to branch out into something more hard news related.

NPR has an interesting report featuring the President Late Night Programming for NBC, Rick Ludwin, as well as commentary by NPR's Kim Masters (sans any commentary about Jon Stewart).

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