Saturday, December 29, 2007

David Letterman Returns With Writers/Advantage

The David Letterman owned production company, Worldwide Pants, has made a side agreement with the WGA that will allow his late night show to return next month with full writer support. This agreement between 'Worldwide Pants' and the WGA gives David Letterman a distinct advantage over Jay Leno who also will be returning next month, but without WGA support. According to contract rules, Jay Leno will not be able to write his own material and jokes if those duties were preformed by WGA members before the strike. That means that the Tonight Show with Jay Leno is going to look very different from what fans are use to, while the Late Show with David Letterman will return in it's usual format.

I believe this agreement between David Letterman and the WGA union will work to Letterman's advantage because hungry late night television viewers are more than ready to get back to their normal late night viewing and not something new Jay Leno will have to create in order to satisfy union rules. All of the late night television hosts have been very supportive of WGA members with David Letterman being the most supportive because he has taken sides in this dispute where his support is completely on the side of the striking writers and against his own television network, CBS. In the beginning, Jay Leno showed up at the picket lines of WGA members to deliver some donuts, but since that time I have heard little from him in the way of support for a union which he is also a member.

In the early days of David Letterman's move to CBS late night, he dominated the ratings for many months, but somewhere along the way his ratings started to slip until Jay Leno took the lead and never gave it back. Now with David Letterman's new agreement with the WGA he is definitely in the drivers seat to rebuild his lost ratings as Jay Leno searches for new ways to do his show without union writers. The major difference between Jay Leno and David Letterman in this matter is that David Letterman owns his show and Jay Leno does not. That power of ownership is a definite advantage for Letterman and it will be interesting to see how well he plays this trump card that fell right into his lap.

Experts still believe that the WGA strike will last for many more months and if that is true it will not just be late night television that will suffer, but regular people that will be missing out on their favorite prime-time television shows and also the Golden Globes and Academy Awards could be canceled if other side agreements, similar to David Letterman's, are not made before they are to air early next year. Right now the entire entertainment industry is in shambles because of this strike that shows no sign of ending anytime soon.

Read more about Hollywood Issues:

Rebecca De Mornay Latest DUI Star Arrest
WGA Union – No Globes/Oscars This Year
Jay Leno/Conan O'Brien Return Without Union Support
From Riches To Rags – NBC Television Network
Prepare For Non Stop Reality TV As Writers Strike Continues

Daily Archives: | 02, 04, 07, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28

Hutch Report Archive