Strike Notes: Late Night TV

WWP.jpgLeno, Letterman, and the rest of the late-night shows return to the air tonight. Letterman’s The Late Show and Craig Ferguson’s The Late Late Show are the only shows that will have WGA writing staffs. The others will… honestly, I have no idea what material they will use. The hosts are WGA members, so they cannot write their own monologues. I guess they’ll be improvising, and won’t that be fun?

David Letterman’s company Worldwide Pants negotiated a deal with the WGA and agreed to all the terms the WGA planned to offer the AMPTP the last time they walked out of negotiations. Since late-night doesn’t do much re-run business I’m not sure how big a deal this is financially, but the writers will receive a portion of online revenue and that — as well as the example to the rest of the companies — is huge. CBS is allegedly furious, but since Letterman owns his show they have to allow it (or let some other network have the shows, I guess). Hopefully NBC and the other networks will see falling ratings and will match the competition by making deals for Leno and the rest of the shows. (I’m not being vague on purpose, but I haven’t watched late-night television in a really, really long time and I don’t think I’ve ever seen any shows but Leno and Letterman.)

I hope the rest of the WGA writers get to go back to work soon. In the meantime, I am really happy for Letterman’s guys.

4 thoughts on “Strike Notes: Late Night TV”

  1. Its looking like the Golden Globes will also receive a waiver.

    Both horrible moves by the WGA. As usual, the highest paid writers benefit with work. The rest are asked to continue to strike and keep up the resolve.

    One for all and all for one is a thing of the past.

  2. Keep in mind that a waiver is a totally different thing. A waiver is a one-time deal that does not allow for any new benefits for writers. The Letterman deal is exactly what the WGA wants from the AMPTP, and making deals with smaller companies is (in my opinion) a great step toward making deals with the big ones.

    Yes, some writers get to work. And yes, that totally fucking sucks for the writers who do not get to work. But it is a good move in the long-term.

  3. I caught a bit of the news which showed Leno saying something to the effect that 12 writers were keeping 100+ non-writers from working and that just seemed liked the shittiest excuse for scabbing ever. Not that I expected much worker solidarity from the wealthy, but he actually knows them. Even the grocery worker strike of 2003 had better allies, even though they didn’t have expansive garages filled with cars that could be cashed in for a solidarity fund. Boo, Hiss.

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