Late-night will coming back.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers will now be making plans to return to air after the WGA and the AMPTP struck a tentative agreement Sunday.
They will likely mark the first tranche of shows able to return, along with daytime talk shows.
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The late-night shows have been dark since the beginning of May when the writers walked out, becoming one of the first subsects of the TV industry to close down as a result of the labor action.
Sources told Deadline that the shows will likely return a few days after the strike is officially over, once it’s been ratified, time to give the writers the chance to return and the crew to get the production process going again.
They do not need to wait until the SAG-AFTRA strike is over as they are not struck shows, although don’t expect a phalanx of actors to turn up as guests as they are still on strike and won’t be promoting struck work.
While The Late Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Tonight Show and Late Night will be able to return with their hosts, as will weekly show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The Daily Show, however, is in a slightly different situation. The Comedy Central series had rotating guest hosts when the strike began, as a result of Trevor Noah’s departure.
CBS will have to work out plans for its 12:30 a.m. slot after James Corden stepped down from The Late Late Show just before the strike and the network decided to replace it with a reboot of @midnight. That show currently does not have a host.
Bill Maher, who controversially announced that he was planning to return to HBO’s Real Time on September 22, before reversing course after the WGA and AMPTP restarted talks.
It will be a boon for the thousands of people who work on these shows, who have been off work, and largely unpaid, for months.
It’s likely that Colbert, Kimmel, Fallon and Meyers will all return on the same night, particularly as they’ve been incredibly close during the strikes. The group has been hosting a podcast – Strike Force Five – which has so far released six episodes on Spotify.
During the last strike, Jay Leno, who hosted The Tonight Show, David Letterman, who hosted The Late Show, Craig Ferguson, who hosted The Late Late Show, Jimmy Kimmel and Late Night host Conan O’Brien all returned to the air on January 2, 2008, after nearly two months off-air. They were followed by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report on January 7.
Kimmel revealed on Strike Force Five that the other late-night hosts were “mad” that Letterman and Ferguson were able to go back with their writers before the other shows.
“Would it be fair to say that in 2008 the hosts didn’t get along quite as well as we do?,” asked Oliver. “I know it’s an incredibly low bar but that was a sequence of dying marriages that they were engaged in.”
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