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Friday, December 21, 2007

TV Hot Spot: News

'Daily Show,' 'Colbert Report' Returning

Post by: Sal

Source: Zap2It

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are joining the rush of late night funnymen returning to are in the new year.

Comedy Central's "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report" are the latest late night shows to announce that they'll return to air in January, albeit without their striking writing staffs.

"'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' and 'The Colbert Report' will resume production on January 7 with both shows returning to air that night without their respective writing staffs," a Comedy Central press release explains. "The January 7 return follows a scheduled two-week, end-of-year hiatus that was previously built into the shows' production calendars. We continue to hold out hope for a swift resolution to the current stalemate that will enable the shows to be complete again."

While both shows will be returning to production on Jan. 7, nobody seems to know what they're going to do to fill their half-hour time slot. Both shows feature opening monologues which, for example, probably won't be up to WGA striking standards even if both Colbert and Stewart -- both Emmy-winning WGA members -- ad-lib their regular political observations. Interview segments are far more likely to be considered kosher.

"We would like to return to work with our writers," Stewart and Colbert said in a joint statement. "If we cannot, we would like to express our ambivalence, but without our writers we are unable to express something as nuanced as ambivalence"

Comedy Central confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that "Daily Show" correspondents, including John Oliver and Samantha Bee, are likely to return to work in some capacity. "The Daily Show" would seem to have an advantage over "The Colbert Report" in that Colbert's persona is more clearly scripted and is central to more recurring segments.

The Comedy Central duo won't be the only late night shows navigating this uncertain landscape in the new year. Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel will all be returning without their writers in early January. CBS' David Letterman and Craig Ferguson will do the same unless Letterman's independent Worldwide Pants banner reaches an interim agreement with the WGA.

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