Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Meanwhile, Back at the Union Wars

So Dave Letterman and Worldwide Pants have made peace with the WGA and return to the air tomorrow with a full complement of writers ... and big stars:

Donald Trump has been bumped for Robin Williams by David Letterman. Although it was heralded that Trump would be Letterman’s first guest on his return show, Dave has bigger fish to fry as his WGA deal gives him access to stars Leno and Conan can’t touch ...

It’s smart for Letterman and his savvy producers to go with Williams, to emphasize their sudden advantage. Williams is an A-lister, comedian and a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild. It is likely the conversation will touch on the strike which has kept late night dark and in reruns for more than two months. Williams’s appearance is a signal to the rest of Hollywood that it is safe to visit with Dave.

Williams would not be appearing if Letterman’s company, Worldwide Pants, had not struck a deal with the Writers Guild of America late last week that allows the union writers to return to work ...

Leno, a mere (high-priced) employee of NBC/Universal/General Electric, is trapped in the middle here ... and so is stuck with second-string guests and ad-libbed shows for as long as the WGA strike continues. (Which will be, what? Two more months? Nine?)

I can't imagine that The Tonight Show will remain top dog for long with guests that range from second-string politicians to starlets nobody's heard of as guests. I can't imagine that NBC will like seeing one of its cash cows displaced by The Late Show With David Letterman.

But will it make General Electric and the AMPTP rethink their positions? That, of course, is the big question.


Anonymous said...

I don't believe the ratings for Jay and Dave during the WGA strike will indicate anything much more than they do now -- that most people just prefer Leno over Letterman.

I know I do.

Anonymous said...

Leno over Letterman? Yuck.

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