While there wont be much in the way of new “stuff” on TV in the month of January, at least late night got a bit of good news. David Letterman will return to the airwaves on January 2nd after having struck a deal directly with the WGA.
Just over a week ago the other late night personalities announced that they would all be back in the new year, if only to give their people the ability to earn a paycheck and not have to look for new jobs.
But for Letterman and his company Worldwide Pants, which owns Dave’s show, this deal with the Writer’s Guild will put him in a huge position to destroy the competition if they stand pat.
According to Deadline Hollywood Daily (Nikki Finke’s sources are amazing), with this deal, Letterman will not only benefit from having REAL writers doing his comedy segments, but he’ll also be getting guests that wont cross the WGA picket lines to go on other shows.
That’s a huge advantage. One big enough that it could end up pushing Universal/NBC to make a deal for their late night guys, like Jay Leno.
According to a source in Nikki’s blog, this was easier for Dave to do since he owns his own show, and while it hurts Leno big time, “it’s not Jay’s writers’ fault that Dave’s lawyers made a deal for him to own his show and Jay’s lawyers made a deal for him to be an NBC employee.”
I find it hard to fathom being involved in this strike and knowing that some of the writers who you have been alongside on picket lines for over a month are now going back to work, while you stand there without a weekly paycheck.
If you want to read more about the fascinating details of how this came to be, the sticking points that Worldwide Pants had to get past and lots of other inside notes, check out Deadline Hollywood Daily.
As for me, I’m just happy that Dave will be back soon. I DVR his show every night and watch it after work when I get home, so I’ve missed him.