Leno,Ferguson, Letterman, Obrien may be back on TV sooner then later

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MJMANDALAY

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Latenight tries to stage comeback
Hosts may be back on air by Jan. 7th

With latenight ratings continuing to plunge, the betting in network circles is that several hosts will be back on the air by Jan. 7, if not sooner.
Nothing's been officially decided, and nobody will comment. But with the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers so broken up, people familiar with the situation said several hosts are nearing the conclusion that it's time to return.

Latenight hosts have stayed off the job since the strike began out of deference to their scribes. And while talks were ongoing, they didn't want to take away any leverage from WGA negotiators by returning. They even went so far as to begin paying their nonscribe staffs out of their own pockets.

So who will come back first? There's some talk that the Big Four hosts -- David Letterman, Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Craig Ferguson -- may all return around the same time. While informal discussions between the NBC and CBS camps have continued via backchannels throughout the strike, absolutely nothing like that has been agreed upon.

Latenight insiders, however, believe Leno and O'Brien are most likely to return in early January, no matter what Letterman decides. NBC has to be concerned about the plunging ratings for both shows, which in recent weeks have lost nearly half their audience.

ABC's Jimmy Kimmel has actually done OK in repeats, a reflection of the show's audience growth in the past year and a sign regular Leno and Letterman viewers may be checking out the "new" guy. Getting a read on his intentions has been more difficult, though some latenight observers believe he may also be preparing to go back soon.

Biggest fear in latenight circles is that the WGA will denounce hosts who come back. Carson Daly, who's not even a WGA member, took a tongue-lashing from the guild and has had to endure at least one disruption of his show by disgruntled scribes .

Those worries -- and a desire not to be the first host back -- explain why nobody has returned to the air this week, even though talks have broken down. Some latenight insiders fear the hosts may yet still decide to stay off the air.

Writers for both Letterman and O'Brien have been quoted as saying they'd understand if their hosts returned to work, particularly since they stayed off the air for nearly two months.

Meanwhile, the latenight laugh blackout continues to help ABC's "Nightline." For the second consecutive week, the ABC News broadcast beat both Leno's and Letterman's shows -- the first time that's happened since 1995.
 
Jun 30, 2005
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sooner THEN later? so they are coming back...and then leaving and then coming back again...oh sooner THAN later...

yeah..I'm an asshole :)


What i find amusing is they are quickly realizing how irrelevant these shows are...they are a novelty. If they are there then people watch them..if they are gone nobody misses them enough to give a shit. There is nothing more frightening to these hosts than realizing that they are not really missed.
 

thekidslepthere

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First of all, I'd take this article as bullshit. We saw this same rumor a month ago, that didn't turn out to be true. The networks/studios have hundreds of publicists sitting around doing shit for six weeks, of course we're going to see these baseless rumors turn up. The first one of these guys to go back before any real movement in the writers strike will look like a villain to millions of union supporters. It's not worth all the bad press.

What i find amusing is they are quickly realizing how irrelevant these shows are...they are a novelty. If they are there then people watch them..if they are gone nobody misses them enough to give a shit. There is nothing more frightening to these hosts than realizing that they are not really missed.
These shows might be a novelty and people might watch any host in the slots, but people do watch when they are new, then people tune in to the shows the guest are promoting or buy movie tickets to their new flicks.

Look at the box office results for the past six weeks, besides "Enchanted" nothing has opened big. The late night shows are such an integral part of promoting movies, the studios don't know what to do. The stars go on, the clips are then shown on "Extra", "Entertainment Tonight", and the morning shows, then if they say something interesting all sorts of radio hosts pick up on it.

NBC has already given their advertisers $50 million back because of tanking ratings. A big chunk of this is from late night being down 40%. Just follow the money, when the hosts come back, the viewers come back, and ratings go up for them and what they're promoting. It's because of this that the big three hosts have no reason to go back early. These networks right now are sinking ships trying to bail out as much water as they can.
 

thekidslepthere

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OK I'll admit I made a mistake in my last post, but I never thought that Letterman might get a waiver from the WGA to go back to work...

Late Night Breakthrough; Dave Cooks Up WGA Deal That Jay & Conan Won't Like

NBC sources tell me that the network will announce on Monday that Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien will be returning. Presumably, ABC's Jimmy Kimmel won't be far behind. "A major announcement will be made by more than one network on Monday," an insider noted. "Bear in mind that all the late night show writers have given their tacit support to the shows returning, given the livelihood of the non-WGA staffers." (Huh?) But the real story is The New York Times' big scoop today courtesy of Bill Carter (best known as Les Moonves' errand boy) that "in what may be the first significant break in the Hollywood writers’ strike" David Letterman is pursuing a deal with the WGA that would allow him to return to his Late Show on CBS in early January "with the usual complement of material from his writers, even if the strike is still on".

"Executives from the company said today that they are hopeful they will have an interim agreement in place with the guild as early as this coming week. That could put Mr. Letterman at an enormous advantage over most of his late-night colleagues who may not be able to return the air with writers," Carter writes. "Mr. Letterman is in a singular position among the late-night hosts because his show is not owned by the network but by Mr. Letterman’s independent production company, World Wide Pants (as is the show that follows it on CBS, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson). That has allowed the company to pursue a separate negotiation with the Writers Guild."

This clearly is part of the WGA's new "divide and conquer" strategy (see my previous, WGA Starting Monday Will Say To Moguls: "Let's Make An Individual Deal". Though it's working with Letterman, it'll be a much tougher sell with the Hollywood moguls.

UPDATE: Late Show head writer Bill Scheft just told me he knew nothing about Letterman's attempt to obtain the WGA waiver. "I got the update letter today from the WGA about separate deals and then thought, 'If we were smart, we'd be first on that line,' he said. "They should give Dave the waiver just for singlehandedly keeping six shows off the air for two months."

I asked Scheft how he feels knowing there's even a possibility he could return to work in a matter of days, not months. "Nikki, you have no idea. Very emotional just to think about it. Every single day on the picket line, every day, people from the staff come and visit us. My goal is always to get through the visit without sobbing. A goal not always reached."
I think this really means that since Letterman owns his shows, he can agree to pay what ever the residual formula is that's in the final contract, maybe that's what he'd doing?

As for Leno and Conan going back to work with out a WGA waiver, I don't think many people will approve of it.
 

MJMANDALAY

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OK I'll admit I made a mistake in my last post, but I never thought that Letterman might get a waiver from the WGA to go back to work...



I think this really means that since Letterman owns his shows, he can agree to pay what ever ther residual formula that is in the final contract, maybe that's what he'd doing?

As for Leno and Conan going back to work with out a WGA waiver, I don't think many people will approve of it.
Nice Work There
Also Props on manning up, we all make mistakes
 
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