Friday, December 28, 2007

Score one for the WGA

As the late night talk show hosts return to the airwaves, only two shows will have the benefit of scripted material. David Letterman on behalf of his company Worldwide Pants, which owns both his late night show and Craig Ferguson's show, has negotiated an agreement with the Writers Guild allowing his writing staff to come back to work.

According to an article in the Washington Post,

The agreement gives huge leverage to Letterman and CBS, which will now have the only late-night shows with material written by professional writers. That will include topical monologues and other bits, such as Letterman's signature top 10 list. Other talk shows are still scrambling to patch together material without writers. Under union strike rules, the shows' staffs can't write anything that the writers would have written.

In addition, Letterman and Ferguson will be the only shows that can regularly attract big-name celebrities without fear of a picket line. Out of solidarity with striking writers, TV and movie actors have been reluctant to appear on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and "Last Call With Carson Daly," the two talk shows that have gone back on the air. The writers' guild has objected to both. Neither Letterman nor Ferguson have announced guest lineups for their first shows next week.

Way to go, David Letterman! Let's hope this adds incentive for other production companies to break ranks and negotiate with the WGA and end this strike soon!

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