As predicted, David Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants, struck an interim, independent deal with WGA to allow its two late-night shows to return to production with their writers on the CBS TV network. The Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson returned yesterday. "I am grateful to the WGA for granting us this agreement. We’re happy to be going back to work and particularly pleased to be doing it with our writers," Letterman said in a statement. "This is not a solution to the strike, which unfortunately continues to disrupt the lives of thousands. But I hope it will be seen as a step in the right direction."
Said WGA: "Today’s agreement dramatically illustrates that the Writers Guild wants to put people back to work, and that when a company comes to the table prepared to negotiate seriously, a fair and reasonable deal can be reached quickly. It’s time for NBC Universal to step up to the plate and negotiate a companywide deal that will put Jay Leno, who has supported our cause from the beginning, back on the air with his writers."
AMPTP responded: "While it is good news for viewers that the jokes will be back on the late-night shows, the biggest joke of all appears to be the one the WGA’s organizers are pulling on working writers. The people in charge at WGA have insisted on increasing their own power by prevailing on jurisdictional issues such as reality, animation and sympathy strikes. Yet today, the WGA made an interim agreement to send writers back to work that by definition could not have achieved these jurisdictional goals — gains that would at a minimum require the company making an agreement to actually produce reality and animation programming. The WGA’s organizers are also misrepresenting the fact that Worldwide Pants is an AMPTP member. Today’s agreement is just the latest indication that the WGA’s organizers may not have what it takes to achieve an industry-wide deal that will create a strong and sustainable economic future for writers and producers alike."
Letterman’s lineup this week:
*Wednesday, Jan. 2 Actor Robin Williams; musical guest Shooter Jennings
*Thursday, Jan. 3 Comedian/talk show host Bill Maher; actress Ellen Page; a performance from the Broadway musical "Young Frankenstein"
*Friday, Jan. 4 Donald Trump; musical guest Lupe Fiasco