Letterman coming back?

by Paul William Tenny

There isn't generally speaking a lot going on with the writers strike. SAG wrote a letter to the WGA membership telling them what they already knew: SAG wants them to win this battle so that they don't have to next summer. It may not matter if the DGA undercuts both of them so they can get a doggy biscuit from management, so we'll have to see if they get a chance to show how far their commitment really goes.

If you're a Letterman fan, though, there's good news for you.
Sources tell me the Writers Guild Of America is intending to grant David Letterman's independent production company Worldwide Pants an "interim agreement" that allows the Late Show host and his writers to return to the airwaves during the strike because it doesn't involve CBS.

This trumps NBC's announcement coming Monday that Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien will be returning by January 7th. Presumably, ABC's Jimmy Kimmel won't be far behind.

This doesn't mean Leno and the others will come back with their writers, just that they'll cross the picket lines so they can keep making money while their writers continue to struggle, fighting for a new media deal that would probably pay them in their careers what Leno and the other hosts make in a single week.

Most of these guys are WGA members themselves so it'll be interesting to see how much backlash they eat from crossing those picket lines. It'll be nice though to know that a lot of the below-the-line workers that have been laid off will get their jobs back. It really sucks that they're stuck in the middle, but that's really a result of a virtual lockout by management than it is the writers striking.

As mentioned, SAG sent a letter in support of writers which was nice, but mostly pointless.

It'd be nice to see congress begin investigating the obviously anti-competitive collusion amongst the AMPTP companies, but even with a Democratic House and Senate, it'll never happen. President Bush will call them mean names and they'll cave, as usual.

Kind of like how the Writers Guild of America used to be.

in Labor, Television


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