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Thomas Tennant

Leno Paying Tonight Show Staff,
But Could They Be Out of Work?

By December 3, 2007

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In a similar vein as late night talk show hosts David Letterman and Conan O達rien, Jay Leno will pay laid-off non-writing staffers their salary out of his own pocket. The staffers were let go Friday, due to the ongoing writers strike.

Leno will write checks to 80 staffers, but according to Entertainment Weekly, those same staffers were given no guarantee that they would be rehired by The Tonight Show once the strike is over.

Fortuitous for them, talks continue between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, though no deal is currently in sight.

Now, as you know, I知 all behind the WGA. I think those writers deserve even more than their asking and I think a fair portion of people following the story peripherally don稚 understand just how one-sided this battle is.

That said, I feel for the fine folks who are feeling the brunt of the strike without direct involvement in the cause. Folks like those at The Tonight Show. I知 impressed how Dave, Conan and Jay have stepped up for their people.

But if this is true, that NBC may not hire staff back? Well, makes me wonder if the head honchos there go by the names Scrooge and Potter.

Oh, by the way, this week痴 schedules are posted, and there痴 plenty of new TV to watch. Even Carson Daly, who crosses the picket lines this week to produce a fresh batch of Last Call.

Here are three things I won稚 miss:

  • This week痴 Daily Show reruns. Guests are all famous and funny comedians: Jerry Seinfeld, Denis Leary, Steve Carell and Dennis Miller.
  • Monday痴 Inside the Actor痴 Studio, which returns after a short hiatus. This week痴 guest, one of my faves, John Cusack. C知on, from Better Off Dead to Say Anything to Gross Pointe Blank and Being John Malkovich. Is there anyone better?
  • Either OprahHow to Rev Up Your Sex Life or TyraSex Advice from the Stars. I can稚 decide. I can稚 decide between TyraTeenville and Dr. PhilShocking Teen Trends, either. And I thought sweeps was over.

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