Drew Barrymore decided Sunday to delay the debut of her eponymous daytime talker until the writers’ and actors’ strikes have ended, a reversal of the prior plan to go forward.
CBS Media Ventures, which produces and distributes the show, stood behind Barrymore’s decision after a tumultuous 48 hours.
“We support Drew’s decision to pause the show’s return and understand how complex and difficult this process has been for her,” a spokesperson for CBS Media Ventures said in a statement.
Warner Bros. Discovery’s Jennifer Hudson, which is also syndicated to TV stations across the country, and CBS’s The Talk, which is a nationally broadcast daytime talk show, also decided to delay their debuts. Still unknown is whether NBCUniversal’s Kelly Clarkson will open its fifth season next month.
All three shows had planned to open their new seasons on Monday, September 18. Barrymore created an uproar on Friday when she took to her Instagram and posted a lengthy video apology for making the decision to go forward. After comments of protest poured in — including from actors Bradley Whitford, Debra Messing and Alyssa Milano — Barrymore deleted the video. On Sunday morning, Barrymore and CBS announced that the show would be put on hold until the strikes end.
“I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over,” she said, returning to Instagram to make the announcement. “I have no words to express my deepest apologies to anyone I have hurt and, of course, to our incredible team who works on the show and has made it what it is today. We really tried to find our way forward. And I truly hope for a resolution for the entire industry soon.”
The Talk, also produced by CBS, quickly followed suit.
“The Talk is pausing its season premiere scheduled for September 18. We will continue to evaluate plans for a new launch date,” according to a CBS statement.
The Talk is hosted by panelists Akbar Gbajabiamila, Amanda Kloots, Natalie Morales, Jerry O'Connell and Sheryl Underwood. The WGA had been picketing the show outside of its CBS Radford studio since it announced it would be returning.
Other daytime talk shows – including ABC’s The View, which has two WGA writers on its staff who are currently sitting out of work – have already premiered. Disney’s Live with Kelly and Mark and Tamron Hall are produced without WGA-member writers as is Debmar-Mercury’s Sherri, which is debuting this Monday as planned.
Unless they have monologues — like Warner Bros. Discovery’s Ellen DeGeneres, for example — daytime talk shows are not heavily written. That said, if the show employs WGA-affiliated writers, the guild considers them struck shows if they are produced while the guild is on the picket line. The View has been picketed throughout the strikes but the show has remained on the air.
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Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.