Letterman now has writers. Letterman can now get the big guests guilt free. Letterman’s quips are as funny and inspired as ever.
And Leno still kicks his ass.
It’s time to call it, ladies and gents. After fourteen straight years of winning night after night after night and now finishing first with his writers tied behind his back -- Jay Leno is the king of late night. CBS will claim it’s still too early to make that call, and the public just needs to become more aware of Dave, but who are we kidding? Give Letterman the Emmys, give Leno the crown. And CBS should save that spin for Katie Couric.
Personally, I question the wisdom of the WGA's decision to grant Letterman’s company a waiver allowing his (and Craig Ferguson’s) writers to go back to work. At a time when the Guild is trying desperately to maintain unity, letting some writers go back to work while everyone else can’t is potentially very damaging. And it’s not like morale is at an all-time high anyway. Despite those stirring chants.
Supposedly the big rationale for the waiver is that it will lift Letterman's ratings, and NBC-Universal-GE will see its long time franchise, THE TONIGHT SHOW finally collapse after 40 golden years and so to avoid that calamity the network will press the other death stars to make a settlement. Considering Letterman's track record that feels a little like Wile E. Coyote sending away for the ACME Strike Solution Kit.
And yet, I shall continue to follow the marching orders. I’ll be out there again Monday with my trusty sign (unless I have jury duty in which case I’ll long to be out there with my trusty sign). I’ll be picketing the Golden Globes (of course I do that every year whether there’s a strike or not). And I hope that any member who, like me, is uneasy with this waiver move will still consider the bigger issues and stand strong with the rest of us.
Oh, and how dumb is NBC? How do they recognize and reward Jay Leno, this juggernaut who has preserved their franchise beyond their wildest dreams? By booting him out in 2009.
These are the people we’re negotiating against. Hang in there members. And Dave.