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January 2, 2008 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | January 2, 2008 |

If y’all are sick of hearing me talk about strike-related stuff, well, I’m pretty sick of it myself. But there’s really nothing else to talk of, particularly because of the holidays. So we’ll start with this — last Friday, Letterman’s production company surprised lots of folks by announcing that it managed to put a deal together with the WGA. So when “The Late Show” and Craig Ferguson’s “The Late Late Show” return to the air tonight, they’ll be the only two guys in town with writers. This interim deal between the WGA and Worldwide Pants is the first deal the WGA has made with any studio since going on strike in November, and while it’s certainly a good thing for Dave and Craig’s return to TV, it has yet to be seen whether it’ll be a good thing for the WGA’s greater goals. If Dave manages to put a dent in Leno’s ratings, it would certainly help the WGA a little by giving it a little leverage, but it won’t likely help the WGA out otherwise. Particularly because either way, the AMPTP isn’t quite as willing to move on the New Media issues as Dave’s company, so they’re not going to be looking to this agreement for any sort of guidance in any ongoing negotiations (whenever it is that they all go back to the negotiating table). Plus, some other writers might be a little pissed off that the Worldwide Pants folks get to go back to work and earn some paychecks, while the rest of the scribes are stuck on the picket line. So this could cause some breaks in the WGA’s ranks, which have been pretty tight in solidarity up until this point.

Personally, I gotta say that I’m pissed off at Dave. But not for making this deal. That’s fine. But here’s the thing — he knows I’m going to tune in to watch his first night back, as are a lot of other folks. And tomorrow night, he’s got Bill Maher and Ellen Page as his guests. Awesome. But tonight? Shooter Jennings and Robin Williams. Robin fucking Williams. He’s going to make me try to sit through Williams’ insufferable shtick? … I hate you, Dave Letterman. (Bite your tongue, Mr. Whore. — DR)

In other strike-related news, I previously told you that the WGA decided not to give the Golden Globes a waiver, meaning it wouldn’t have writers to put together words for all the wonderful patter that takes place during the show. Well now word has it that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the folks behind the Globes) may decide not to allow NBC to air the January 13 program at all. While this is partially to avoid the inevitable adlib awkwardness, it’s more to do with the fact that they hope more celebrities will show up to an unaired ceremony. See, there’s a concern that many of the SAG actors will stay away in a show of solidarity to their writers and apparently, the foreigners thinks that more folks will cross the picket line if the ceremony isn’t on TV. Because if it’s not on TV, it doesn’t really happen, or some such.

Meanwhile … … … seriously, I got nothing else. That’s all the TV news for the week. So a Happy New Years to y’all and … OK then.

(Save the Contest. Save the Lion.)

Seth Freilich is Pajiba’s television editor. Seriously, Robin Williams might be his least favorite television talk show guest ever and how anyone can stand Williams’ insufferably forced manic machinations is beyond his understanding.

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Industry | January 2, 2008 |

Seth is a Senior Editor and sometime critic. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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