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October 6, 2015

Late night hosts may return in January

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 14th 2007 11:05AM

Tonight ShowLooks like the late-night talk shows may be coming back sooner rather than later, and this regardless of what happens with the strike. Variety admits that nothing official has been said and no one will comment one way or another, but insiders are saying the time may be nearing. Carson returned after two months of the '88 writers strike. With ratings taking a nosedive, January 7 has been pegged as a possible return date for the NBC hosts (Leno and O'Brien), with the others starting the same time or soon thereafter.

They initially shut down production in deference to their writers and stayed dark to help the writers maintain some leverage in negotiations, even going so far as to pay non-writing staffers out of their own pockets. But, when reruns of Spike TVs MANswers are beating your reruns, and your ratings are half what they were (as is the case with the NBC pair), it's time to rethink everything.

It's a tough spot to be in as no host wants to be the first to go back on the air, but their writers have said they'd understand if they did. The two month work stoppage has hurt everyone, but it was a show of solidarity and support that will be remembered and appreciated. Of course, they still could decide to keep the lights out and the reruns on. I know one group that wouldn't mind at all.

Bashir: "Good evening, I'm Martin Bashir."

McFadden: "And I'm Cynthia McFadden. Tonight's top story--"

Moran: "Is that Nightline is the number one show in late-night! Woo-hoo!"

McFadden: "Uh ... no, actually--"

Moran [streaks in front of McFadden with his shirt off, stops in front of her and faces the camera, holding a plastic cup of beer]: "We're number one, baby! Number one!" [runs off stage right]

Bashir: "Somebody tapped the keg a bit early, if you know what I'm sayin'."

McFadden: "We have a newscast still--"

Bashir: "What, some crap happened, some people died, blah blah blah. It's the same as every other day. We haven't been on top since '95! I say celebrate. [pulls out a bong] Smoke 'em if you got 'em, am I right, Cin, am I right?"

McFadden [trying to do a newscast still]: "Well, the President today--"

Moran [running by again, this time with no pants on either]: "Is an idiot, Cindy! And he'll be an idiot tomorrow, too!" [trips and falls]

McFadden [standing]: "Oh my god, Terry! Are you alright!"

Moran: "I think I need mouth-to-mouth."

McFadden: "Well, I hardl--"

Moran: "Not you, sweetcakes." [sing-songy] "Oh Martin! ... The way you made Michael Jackson cry ... You're a genius, man! A genius!" [starts sobbing]

Bashir: [coming down toward Moran] "Come on, put your pants on, Terry."

Moran: "Did they see my Koppel boxers, did they show up." [still lying there, pointing to his boxers and the camera.] "That's a tribute to you, big guy! We did it all for you!"

McFadden [sitting at desk, head in hands]: "Can we just cut early, then?" [looks stage left] "No? This is it? Live television, ladies and gentlemen!" [eyes Bashir's bong, just to her right] "Well, smoke 'em if you got 'em."

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So we are supposed to feel sorry for a bunch of useless writers and the celebrities because they are greedy and demanding like toddlers in a temper tantrum. Personally I hope SAG destroys everything they can. They should stay on strike until year 3020. TV has been in a coma since the mid 1990's and since that time I have not paid them a dime. Movies as well-when was the last classic movie made? Titanic? If writers want to hold out for more cash for crappy shows and movies I say let them hold out until everyone is unemployed and working at walmart or target. Actors and those who surround spoil and kiss their ass shouldn't be paid as much as they are. Since when is being an assistant to a toy poodle for a beaver shaved pop tart worth 75 grand a year? Or to pay crappy actors for crappy work in the 10-20 mil range? If they are so concerned about things other than themselves then why is it you only see them partying, doing drugs and being a red carpet prostitutes? I hope Hollywood crumbles and falls. They've lost tons of viewers for good to overseas media outlets who don't suck. Americans love to shoot themselves in the foot over greed.

December 15 2007 at 3:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hey Dave,

I know ratings are slipping & they're doing so b/c nothing new is out there & their names aren't out there - but if they're broadcasting good stuff on their sites, at least people won't shift to other territories by January & forget what attracted them to O'Brien/Lettermen in the 1st place - Which means they're still getting cashflow & noteriety from another area -

December 14 2007 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hope they don't come back. If they need to raise scratch/stay in the public eye, I'd prefer they do what the SNL/30R peeps did - just have paid shows at local places & mebbe broadcast it on-line. However, they were all comedians/professional writers at one point, so assumedly they can do their own stuff.

December 14 2007 at 12:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Anita's comment

Hey anita,

yeah what the 30rock/snl gang did was nice but thats really not what we are talking about here. They all got together to raise money for... (I cant remember if the money they raised went towards the writers fund or towards others that were put out of work) not because they saw the ratings (=cashflow) of their network was slipping. Conan can do all the local/secret shows he wants, raise enough money in the tipjar to send every writer/staffers kid to private school, than broadcast it all over the internet... it still isnt gonna do dick for the networks and their ratings.

December 14 2007 at 12:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Funny, Jason! Thanks for the creative effort. It adds a lot. I can get the news story anywhere, but I appreciate also getting a few laughs from the "Nightline" fantasy.

December 14 2007 at 12:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How can they create the show without the writers? Presumably they are necessary or they wouldn't be employed at the show in the first place.

December 14 2007 at 11:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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