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[ # ] Latenight talk shows coming back January 7th?
December 14th, 2007 under Jimmy Kimmel, Talk Shows

(photo from Late Late Show)
Variety is reporting that the Latenight Talk Show hosts on NBC and CBS are in talks to return to TV on January 7th.

Nothing's been officially decided, and nobody will comment. But with the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers so broken up, people familiar with the situation said several hosts are nearing the conclusion that it's time to return.

Latenight hosts have stayed off the job since the strike began out of deference to their scribes. And while talks were ongoing, they didn't want to take away any leverage from WGA negotiators by returning. They even went so far as to begin paying their nonscribe staffs out of their own pockets.

So who will come back first? There's some talk that the Big Four hosts — David Letterman, Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Craig Ferguson — may all return around the same time. While informal discussions between the NBC and CBS camps have continued via backchannels throughout the strike (Daily Variety, Nov. 16), absolutely nothing like that has been agreed upon.

Latenight insiders, however, believe Leno and O'Brien are most likely to return in early January, no matter what Letterman decides. NBC has to be concerned about the plunging ratings for both shows, which in recent weeks have lost nearly half their audience.

I don't think it as much the ratings decline, but the fact that they are paying the non-writing staff out of their own pockets. Also according to the trade, the writers of Letterman and Ferguson would understand if the shows went back on the air after all they were off the air for two months.
Finally they talked about Jimmy Kimmel, who is sadly not part of the talks maybe because his ratings have actually been doing OK and might be picking up viewers from the other 4, and they said he might also be returning soon too. Kimmel has not been vocal about his status, so there is no way to know if he will be returning soon too but I miss him and want him back!
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