Thursday, January 03, 2008

Sepinwall on TV: Back in business

Because of the weird deadline situation involving late night talk shows, my full column analyzing all five of them won't make it into the paper until tomorrow, but the bosses were cool with me posting the whole thing to the blog today, rather than have me spend time writing the column and doing a second blog entry on Kimmel, Conan and Ferguson:
So what did we learn on the first night of late night's return from the writers' strike? We learned that Letterman intends to keep doing the same show he always does (with writers), that Leno intends the same (without writers), that Conan (without) is going out of his way to point out how much he needs his writers, that Craig Ferguson (with) is doing the same, and that Jimmy Kimmel (without) isn't happy about any of this.
To read the full thing, click here.


J said...

Now I'm sad that I switched off Kilborn after the intro. I like him, but the skits aren't usually his strong suit. (Mostly because of the writing.)

Not that it wasn't obvious this would happen -- and I watched to do the exact same thing -- but we're all overanalyzing four and a half hours on shows normally designed to be disposable programming. While it seems like something important or brilliant should have been said or done, the truth's that you've got folks who haven't worked for two months and are rusty. (You could tell the Letterman crew was.) Even the writers who'd spent eight weeks stockpiling ideas would have to bring them in, pitch them, have producers arrange for materials, etc. The WWP-WGA deal didn't cement until too late in the game to re-grease the wheels.

It would have been great had Letterman pulled out some brilliant stuff. But if the strike keeps going on, he's right to do what he's doing; consistency will win out. OTOH, Jay doing a one-man writing job (if indeed he's allowed to do that) will burn itself out pretty quick.

rukrusher said...

Is the Daily Show/Colbert combo coming back for the Iowa Caucus tomorrow or are they waiting?

rukrusher said...

Never mind, I see they are back on the 7th. Any idea if they sent correspondents to Iowa?

Anonymous said...

Maybe Leno should just resign from the WGA or go "financial core." Maybe all the writers should just do that.

Anonymous said...

I've seen refs to "financial core" or "fi-core," but I'm not sure what it means. Could someone explain it, please? I understand some daytime writers are "fi-core" now. Thanks!

Anonymous said...


In the WGA literature's own words, "Under federal law, members of a union may legally resign from the union and non-member applicants may choose not to join the union, instead electing what is known as 'financial core non-member' status. As long as such person continues to pay his or her financial obligations to the WGA, he or she shall have the right to continue employment and to be represented by the Guild under an applicable collective bargaining agreement in the same manner as a WGA member. A fi-core non-member shall be charged a pro rata share of WGA dues attributable to expenditures germane to collective bargaining and the advancement of employment-related interests of employees represented by the WGA."

"A fi-core non-member shall be deemed to have resigned from membership in the WGA. By resignation, such person has no rights of membership (as distinguished from employment rights under a collective bargaining agreement), such as attending membership meetings or any other Guild events, voting on changes in the credit system, serving on WGA committees or enjoying any other privileges of WGA membership unrelated to the collective bargaining agreements (i.e., strike loans, health care and other WGA assistance programs."

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Dennis!