With talks officially broken down between the WGA and the AMPTP and writers looking for alternate means to a resolution—such as negotiating with individual companies directly—the world of late-night talk shows, hit hardest by the strike, is forging ahead with or without their scribes rather than lay off the hundred or so other people behind the scenes. Today Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien issued individual statements saying they both planned to return on Jan. 2 in order to keep their non-writing staff employed. O'Brien's statement was by far the most candid, saying:
"If my show were entirely scripted I would have no choice. But the truth is that shows like mine are hybrids, with both written and non-written content. An unwritten version of Late Night, though not desirable, is possible – and no one has to be fired. So, it is only after a great deal of thought that I have decided to go back on the air on January 2nd. I will make clear, on the program, my support for the writers and I'll do the best version of Late Night I can under the circumstances. Of course, my show will not be as good. In fact, in moments it may very well be terrible. My sincerest hope is that all of my writers are back soon, working under a contract that provides them everything they deserve."
As for Letterman's Late Show, his Worldwide Pants company confirms that it is seeking an interim agreement separate from CBS that could put both his show and Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson back into production by next month. Also, Jimmy Kimmel Live…aw, who cares.