The Writers Guild of America Tuesday chastised Carson Daly for his plans to return to work on his NBC late-night show.
“We’re disappointed at Carson Daly’s decision to return to work. Mr. Daly is not a writer and not a member of the WGA, unlike other late-night hosts Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, who have all resisted network pressure and honored our writers’ picket lines," the WGA said in a statement. "We’re especially appalled at Mr. Daly’s call for non-Guild writers to provide him with jokes. We hope he’ll change his mind and follow the lead of the other late-night hosts.”
NBC's Last Call with Carson Daly is the first late-night entry to go back into production since the Writers Guild of America strike shut down Hollywood more than three weeks ago.
The news comes on the heels of new -- and, by all accounts, civilized -- talks between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers Monday and Tuesday.
Daly will begin taping new shows this week that are scheduled to air next week. The half-hour show, which airs weeknights at 1:35 a.m., is heavy on musical performances and guests and light on scripted comedic sketches. And while Daly has traditionally opened Last Call with a monologue, it's unclear if the shows taping this week will feature one. Daly is not a member of the WGA.
Like the other late-night talkers, Last Call has been in repeats since the strike. But such topical shows have a finite shelf life, and three weeks of reruns have sent most ratings into the doldrums. (Last week, ABC's Nightline beat CBS' Late Show with David Letterman in total viewers and news' target demographic of 25- to 54-year-olds.)
David Letterman's Worldwide Pants -- which produces Late Show, as well as Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson -- will pay the staffs of both shows through the end of the year. And the staffs of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O'Brien have been told that they will be paid at least until the end of the month.
Additional reporting by Ben Grossman
For full coverage of the strike, click here.
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