Late-Night Talk Shows Set to Return After Writers Guild Strike Ends
Late-night talk shows are gearing up for their return to television after a hiatus due to the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, which began on May 2. Following a recent tentative agreement between the WGA and media companies, the strike has ended, allowing late-night hosts to resume production. The contract reached still needs to be ratified through a full membership vote, which is scheduled for early October.
The five network talk show hosts—Jimmy Kimmel of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Stephen Colbert of CBS’s “Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” Jimmy Fallon of NBC’s “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Seth Meyers of NBC’s “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” and John Oliver of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”—jointly announced their return. HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” will also make a comeback.
These late-night shows rely heavily on freshly written material for their nightly broadcasts, making them among the first casualties of the WGA strike. Maher initially announced on September 13 that he would restart production without writers but reversed course as negotiations resumed.
The return of daytime talk shows employing WGA writers, such as “The Drew Barrymore Show,” “The Talk,” and “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” is expected soon, although specific dates have not been announced. Additionally, NBC’s sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live” has yet to confirm a season premiere date.
While guest lineups for the returning shows have not been disclosed, it’s important to note that SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ union, is still on strike. However, talk shows operate under a different contract known as the Network Code, which allows union members to appear on them as long as they do not promote work for struck companies. This distinction will enable late-night shows to continue booking guests despite the ongoing strike by SAG-AFTRA.