When the writers’ strike began in May, it meant that all late-night talk shows had to close because they employ staff from the Writers Guild of America to write monologues, questions for guests and skits for the hosts.
Additionally, the hosts themselves are WGA members and would not cross picket lines to work.
But after the Writers and the AMPTP, which represents the studios, struck a successful deal, the WGA officially ended the strike at midnight today (Wednesday, September 27). And that means the hosts of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” will all be back on Monday.
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” returns on Sunday and the hosts wrap up their “Strike Force Five” podcast. It will take a few days for shows to go back into production, guests to be booked and other necessary work to be completed.
What was Strike Force 5?
During the strike, Oliver, Kimmel, Fallon, Colbert and Meyers created and hosted a podcast called “Strike Force 5.” The proceeds from the paid subscriptions went to the crews who needed support during the closure of the various shows.
“With their mission complete, the founding members of Strike Force 5 will return to their network television shows this Monday, 10/2, and on 10/1. return to premium cable shows,” the hosts said in a statement.
They followed with a typically humorous summary of the entire situation:
“Of course, Strike Force 5 in the broader sense will never end, because Strike Force 5 is not a place, Strike Force 5 is not a people, Strike Force 5 is hardly a podcast, no, Strike Force 5 is an idea.” One idea, five men could talk about each other for 12 episodes and maybe someone would listen. As we say goodbye we would like to thank everyone, really, you were the heroes. Most of the time we were the heroes, but you were there too. We would like to thank the entire Strike Force 5 team, our wives and our special guests and apologize to Conan O’Brien who agreed to take over the pod but Stephen forgot to send him possible dates and the Strike ended.”
Related article: Writers Guild makes tentative deal with studios to end strike
The Bill Maher question
Some of her talk show colleagues, including daytime hosts like Drew Barrymore and “The Talk” team, had planned to return before the strike ended, but abandoned the idea due to public backlash and comments from guild members.
Bill Maher, host of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” is typically something of a headstrong instigator and isn’t known for going with the flow.
On September 13, he announced via social media that he planned to resume his show on September 22.
Here is Maher’s original statement:
“’Real Time’ is coming back, unfortunately without writers or writing. It’s been five months and it’s time to get people back to work. The authors have important issues that I sympathize with and I hope they are resolved to their satisfaction, but they are not the only people with issues, problems and concerns.”
There was predictable backlash from those who knew he would cross strike lines to work on the show himself, and Maher later announced he was putting the return plan on hold.
He will now be back on Friday this week.
This was Maher’s announcement:
“My authors and Real Time are back! See you Friday night!”