18 December 2007

Leno & O'Brien To Return Without Writers

NBC said yesterday that Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien plan to return to the airwaves January 2nd with new episodes, ending two months of reruns brought on by the writers' strike.

But until the strike is settled, the hosts will be on their own sans writers for monologues, sketches, etc.

O'Brien sans writers, I can see, but Leno sans writers is going to be really frightening.

Both said it was a tough decision for them to come back, torn by their support for the writers and knowledge that several dozen other staffers would be laid off if the shows remained off the air.

However, if Letterman's Worldwide Pants production company strikes a separate deal with the union, it raises the prospect of a Letterman show with its writers competing for a prolonged period against Leno sans writers.

It could give Letterman a competitive edge in a time slot where Leno has somehow dominated in the ratings for the past decade.

I wonder how Conan and Letterman's strike beards are coming along. I need an update.

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