UPDATE: This post was written before the official end of the WGA strike on Sept. 27.
It looks like it’s finally over in the seemingly never-ending Writers Guild of America strike. On Sunday, the WGA announced a tentative deal with the AMPTP to finally end the 146-day strike that helped paralyze Hollywood. What does this mean for talk shows?
So, with this happening, when can your favorite late-night talk shows return, and what will they look like? Here’s what we know!
Since May, late-night television has been silent due to the ongoing WGA strike. While hosts technically could have the shows without writers, many agreed to put their shows on hiatus to stand in solidarity with their writers, with several hosts even paying fees.
In September, Drew Barrymore announced she would restart her show despite the WGA strike. Bill Maher soon followed suit, but after massive backlash, both backtracked to agree to hold their shows up until the strikes were settled.
While the deal still has to be finalized and voted on, it’s expected that the WGA Board and Council will vote to lift the restraining order soon. So when that happens, when can talk shows return?
How soon can the late night talk shows return after the strike?
According to Deadline, it’s expected that late-night talk shows can begin production as soon as the WGA gives approval. The first ones are expected to be Jimmy Kimmel with Late Night With Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert with The Late Show, Jimmy Fallon with The Tonight Show and Seth Meyers with Late Night.
Weekly shows such as Real Time with Bill Maher and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver are expected to follow suit. Then comes daytime talk shows from Drew Barrymore, Kelly Clarkson and others.
Two shows are in interesting situations. First, CBS’ The Late Late Show doesn’t have a host as James Corden stepped down in May just before the strike, and the network has yet to name a replacement. Likewise, The Daily Show had been using rotating hosts while trying to find a replacement for Trevor Noah.
So far, there are no exact dates for any of the shows to return, but it seems likely Colbert, Kimmel, Fallon, and Meyers will all return on the same night. The four have been close, working with Jon Stewart on a podcast, “Strike Force Five,” which benefits the striking writers.
What can talk shows look like?
Another issue is what these shows will look like when they do return. After all, the SAG strike means that no actors can appear to promote movies or shows. This wouldn’t be a big deal for Maher or Oliver, who focus more on political matters, but would affect the other shows that rely on celebrity appearances.
There is hope that with the WGA strike settled, the AMPTP will now attempt to reach an agreement with SAG sooner. At least for now, it looks like the writers can get back to work, and thus, your favorite talk shows will soon be back on the air.