Potential Hollywood Writers’ Strike Might Force Late-Night TV To Go Dark

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Late-night shows have provided a unique catharsis under the administration of President Donald Trump. With their endless jabs that have often concealed sober criticisms, shows like “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” “The Daily Show,” Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” and “Saturday Night Live” have provided their audiences a way to laugh off political anxiety.

If a labor dispute between networks and studios and the Writers Guild of America continues, however, all of those shows will immediately go off the air over nine years after a writers’ strike disrupted production on dozens of shows, a union official stated in a letter provided to Deadline

The strike would begin May 2, the day after the entertainment writers’ current contract with The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents their employers, expires.

WGA West executive director David Young sent the letter to media buyers, who purchase time slots to run commercials on TV networks, warning that the potential strike could affect programming for the 2017 to 2018 TV season. (Late-night shows, which reflect the issues of the day, would be affected instantly.) A writers’ strike that lasts for months would not benefit advertisers, as networks would be forced to adjust their schedules to include reruns or other, less popular programming. The letter comes as media buyers prepare for upfronts, a period where networks debut their upcoming programming at large galas to sell commercial space.

Unlike the writers’ strike that began in November 2007, however, this protest would fall during many shows’ summer breaks, Deadline points out. That’d leave mainly late-night shows vulnerable to…

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