After a five-month hiatus, hosts announced on social media Wednesday morning that most late-night shows will return next week with new episodes as the 148-day scriptwriters’ strike has been resolved.
The late-night show, hosted by Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers, will air Monday, the hosts said. John Oliver will return to his HBO show “Last Week Tonight” on Sunday.
Late night shows were the first casualty of the writers’ strike, and they’ve been dark since early May. The Writers Guild of America, the union representing more than 11,000 writers, reached a tentative agreement with major entertainment studios on Sunday night. Board members of the Writers Guild approved the deal on Tuesday, and announced that the strike would end Wednesday morning.
Over the past few weeks, five late-night hosts have launched a podcast called “Strike Four Five,” donating all proceeds to the non-working staff of their shows.
“This marks the signing of Strike Force 5 and the re-signing of Night 5,” the hosts said in their statement. Social Media News.
With tens of thousands of actors still on strike, late-night and daytime talk shows are among the only television genres likely to resume production. Most other scripted television and film productions remain idle until the actors’ strike is resolved.
Other talk shows, including those hosted by Bill Maher and Drew Barrymore, are expected to return soon — weeks after those two hosts reversed their decisions to return to the air, even as their own writers still walk the picket lines.
On September 13, Mr. Maher announced he was withdrawing his weekly HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher” without writers, but he reversed that decision a week later. Mrs. Barrymore put her planned comeback on hold amid social media backlash the day before her talk show, “The True Barrymore Show,” aired. He was also removed as host of the National Book Awards. “The Jennifer Hudson Show” and “The Talk” also withdrew previously announced plans to begin airing new episodes.
The late NBC stalwart, “Saturday Night Live,” is expected to return sometime in October, a person briefed on the plans said, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcement has been made.
Some daytime talk shows, including “The View” and “Live with Kelly and Mark,” continued to record new episodes during the strike.
It’s not yet clear what kind of guests talk shows will be able to book with the striking actors. Actors union SAG-AFTRA has banned its members from promoting any work done at striking studios.
A five-month gap is unusual for late night. In the early stages of the pandemic, most talk shows returned within weeks, albeit with virtual shows. During the 100-day 2007 writers’ strike, the late-night hosts were off the air for two months, and they gradually returned even as the walkout continued.
There’s also the question of how big audiences will return for new episodes of late-night talk shows. Late-night show ratings have taken a hit in recent years as more viewers move away from traditional network television in favor of streaming. During the strikes, the number of visitors dropped even more.
“Four out of five leaders in the middle of the night have reached double digits in the late fringe time slot, with some losing 50 percent of their viewership during those hours,” said Ashwin Navin, chief executive of Samba TV. , a research group. “It remains to be seen how the night will recover to its previous relevance.”