It looks very likely the proposed writers strike in America will go ahead – starting tomorrow. Writers for such shows as the Late Show With David Letterman, Late Night With Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and The Daily Show With Jon Stewart are all thought to strike from next week. The BBC News website states “The Writers Guild of America has asked its 12,000 members to stop working and set up picket lines from Monday”. Writers are striking because they want more money for their work that gets published online (like YouTube) and on DVDs. If the strike goes ahead as planned, this will be the first strike action since 1988, where shows like Late Night With David Letterman were taken off-air completely for the majority of the strike. It is thought, this time around, reruns will be shown as is the case when Letterman, Leno et al take vacations.
Other shows likely to be affected are The Colbert Report and the Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson (which goes out directly after the Late Show on CBS in America – and is also produced by Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants – who produce the Late Show). Saturday Night Live over on NBC will also be thrown into turmoil. As all the US chat shows are very topical it is essential they have up to date jokes and material to continue as normal – which is not going to happen if the writers go on strike. At the moment, shows like the Late Show are scheduled as normal for new shows, but this is subject to change. Negotiations are continuing today and into next week in the hope of calling off strike action.