LOS ANGELES — As late-night talk shows return after a five-month hiatus due to the Hollywood writers’ strike, actors will begin negotiations that could put an end to their own long working hours.
CBS’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” were the first shows to go off the air when the writers’ strike began on May 2, and now Monday night will be among the first programs to return.
Comedian John Oliver enthusiastically returned to HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” Sunday night to join the strike for the first time and lend his full support to it.
Oliver gleefully recapped the stories of the last five months before turning serious, describing the strike as an “extremely difficult time” for everyone in the industry.
“To be clear, this strike happened for good reasons. “Our industry has seen its workers severely squeezed in recent years,” Oliver said. “So the writers’ guild went on strike and thank God they won. But it took a lot of sacrifices from a lot of people to achieve this.”
“I’m also outraged that it took 148 days for the studios to come to an agreement that they could offer on day one,” Oliver said. He added that he hopes the writers’ agreement will give other entertainment industry guilds, striking auto workers and workers in other industries an advantage in getting better deals.
Warner Bros., which owns HBO. Discovery is among the studios on the other side of the table in the writers’ and actors’ strike.
The network’s late-night hosts will hear back later Monday.
Colbert’s first show will feature Astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson. Kimmel will host Arnold Schwarzenegger. Matthew McConaughey will be in Fallon’s seat.
All of the hosts will definitely mention the strike in their monologues.
“See you Monday and every day after!” An enthusiastic Colbert said in an Instagram video last week from the Ed Sullivan Theater, which was packed with writers and other staffers for their first meeting since the spring.
The hosts are not completely idle. During the strike, they came together for a podcast called “Strike Force Five.”
Writers were allowed to return to work last week after the Writers Guild of America agreed to a three-year contract with an alliance of the industry’s largest studios, streaming services and production companies.
Union leaders touted the deal as a clear win on issues such as pay, headcount and the use of artificial intelligence to enable months of furlough. Writers will vote on the contract in person in a weeklong vote that begins Monday.
Meanwhile, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists will begin negotiations with the same group, the Motion Picture and Television Producers Alliance, for the first time since the historic bilateral strike of writers on July 14.
Actors have walked out over many of the same issues as writers, and SAG-AFTRA leaders have emphasized that they will closely examine the gains and compromises of the WGA agreement but that their demands will remain the same as when the strike began. .
It was just five days after writers and studios resumed talks that an agreement had been reached and the strike ended, but an attempt to restart negotiations a month earlier broke down after several meetings.
There will be significant limits on guest lists for late-night shows. If the movies and shows are for studios that are subject to strikes, the bread-and-butter actors who show up to promote the projects will not be allowed to appear.
However, there are many exceptions. For example, McConaughey appears onstage with Fallon to promote his children’s book, “Just Because.”
SAG-AFTRA has provided temporary agreements that allow actors to work on many productions, and with that comes the right for actors to publicly identify them.