Late-night talk shows, true classics of American television, will be back on screens in less than a week thanks to the end of the strike by the powerful writers’ union, their hosts said Wednesday.
• Also read: In Hollywood, screenwriters can work again
These late-night shows — carefully scripted, with a mix of current events, celebrity promotions and orchestras — had fallen by the wayside since the writers put down their pens, or rather their keyboards, in May to demand a raise in their compensation and to demand protective measures to regulate the use of artificial intelligence (AI).
But leaders of the Writers Guild of America (WGA), the powerful screenwriters’ union, approved the recent pay agreement with studios on Tuesday night and on Wednesday reported the return of their members to work after a nearly five-month strike that paralyzed Hollywood.
Specifically, the agreement can theoretically still be rejected by the 11,500 screenwriters represented by the WGA in the USA: it must be the subject of a vote that will take place “between October 2nd and 9th,” the syndicate said.
However, most industry experts believe that this ratification should be a formality. Meanwhile, the industry’s feathers went back to work on Wednesday.
And since talk shows are one of the easiest productions to start because they are lighter, they will be back on the small screens in less than a week.
“Blitz! With their mission accomplished, the founding members of Strike Force 5 will return to their respective television shows on Monday, October 2nd and one of them on their cable channel on October 1st,” shared X (formerly Twitter) the joint account called @StrikeForceFive of the five major American talk show hosts.
Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers and John Oliver named their collaborative podcast “StrikeForceFive,” created while their respective shows were on hiatus due to the writers’ strike.
“Happy and proud”
“I’m so happy with the profits we’ve made,” Leila Cohan, screenwriter of the “Bridgerton” series, told AFP. “And I’m very proud because we pushed for certain things, it was very difficult for some of our members and we still won,” she added.
The agreement includes “significant improvements” in compensation as well as protections to regulate the use of artificial intelligence.
Many American series and films that are still in the early stages of writing can be rebooted in this way, even if Hollywood is still far from a return to normality because the actors, represented by the SAG-AFTRA union, are still on strike .
A solution to this social conflict, which has been going on since mid-July, could take several weeks, as some of the actors’ union’s demands go further than those of the screenwriters.
And even if an agreement is reached, it will certainly be months before everyone gets back on set and can make up for the delays caused by countless Hollywood productions.