Tags: writers | strike

David Letterman Makes Deal

Wednesday, 02 Jan 2008 07:44 AM

By James Hirsen

David Letterman is one happy guy.

“I am grateful to the WGA for granting us this agreement,” Letterman said in a recent statement to the press.

A few weeks back Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants, went public with its plan to seek a separate deal with the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA). The comedian got what he wanted.

As a result, the Letterman show and Craig Ferguson’s “Late Late Show,” also produced by Letterman’s company, get to go back on the air with help from their writers pumping out jokes.

Unlike their competitors who have no similar agreements, which includes Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien, Letterman and Ferguson are now going to be able to get the big-name celebs on their shows.

Two important facts explain Letterman’s huge score.

The first fact has to do with history. Back in 1988 when the writers last had a strike, the late-night shows affected were the “Tonight” show, then-hosted by Johnny Carson, and “Late Night” hosted by Letterman. Both shows were on NBC at the time.

Carson was able to cut a separate agreement with the Writer’s Guild while Letterman had no agreement and consequently had to host his show for weeks minus the writers. That kind of experience can leave an indelible mark in a late-night comic’s memory bank.

The second fact has to do with business. Sometimes it really does matter who owns the show.

Unlike his competitors, Letterman was able to negotiate directly with the union because his company owns his program as well as Ferguson's.

With shows like NBC's Leno and O’Brien, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel and Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert going back on the air without having made deals with the union, writers intend to exert heavy pressure.

In a joint letter to their members, the WGA East and WGA West said, “In the case of late-night shows, our strike pressure will be intense and essential in directing political and SAG-member guests to Letterman and Ferguson rather than to struck talk shows.”

Also included in the letter was the following: “At this time, picket lines at venues such as NBC (both Burbank and Rockefeller Center), The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and the Golden Globes are essential.”

What does it mean?

“Struck talk shows” is a reference to those of Leno, Conan, etc., who will obviously find it a lot more difficult to book guests. In addition, the shows will most likely serve as targets of intensified picket activity.

All of which means the funny business doesn’t seem so funny right now.

© 2015 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Davos Panelists Foresee the Death of Privacy

Monday, 26 Jan 2015 09:37 AM

Silicon Valley is in the process of developing appliances, systems, and controlling devices that are connected to one an . . .

Eastwood's 'American Sniper' Scores Big

Monday, 19 Jan 2015 08:36 AM

Eastwood’s 'Sniper' has picked up six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor. With an estimate . . .

Golden Globes Officials Cope With Credibility Issues

Monday, 12 Jan 2015 12:46 PM

A problematic situation for the Golden Globes has been a lack of genuine credibility, despite the awards show’s substant . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved