As we wait for the WGA to ratify their tentative new mutual bargaining agreement, here are some housekeeping notes as the writers’ strike winds down. First, while scripted shows, and films, will be slower to come back, with production delays likely to continue for at least another month as the actors head to the negotiating table next, late night TV and SNL could be back within the next few weeks—SNL could be back as soon as October 7.
Obviously, as long as SAG-AFTRA remains on strike, the late-night shows won’t have celebrity guests plugging upcoming films and whatnot, and SNL will rely on non-acting hosts. That is going to make for a real mixed bag of SNL shows, for sure. Sometimes with non-actors you get a game host like Travis Kelce or Adele or Charles Barkley or Chance the Rapper—that “hockey reporter” sketch does not get enough credit for being as good as it is—but sometimes you get, you know. Donald Trump.
Anyway, I am interested to see how fast the late-night guys wind down the Strike Force Five podcast, since they won’t need to cover their staffs’ decimated wages much longer. Their hearts are in the right place with that podcast, and putting it together certainly allowed them to avoid the “we must return to work” pratfall that knee-capped Drew Barrymore, but you cannot convince me any of those guys actually like Jimmy Fallon. I know he has SNL in common with Seth Meyers, but you especially cannot convince me Seth Meyers has anything to say to Jimmy Fallon on a daily basis. That podcast has done nothing but convince me that Jimmy Fallon doesn’t have friends.
Speaking of Drew Barrymore, though, the daytime talk shows are also looking at returning in October. Realistically, assuming there are no holdups with ratifying the WGA deal, all talk shows and unscripted shows should be back on the air within a month (Dancing with the Stars is already returning tonight). Just imagine, all Drew Barrymore had to do was not say anything for two more weeks, and she would have made it through the strike without controversy. Somewhere, Kelly Clarkson is sipping her tea and smiling to herself.