The Revolution Will Be Televised Part One: Coming Soon

Earlier this week, I started talking about a television revolution. It was going to come anyway, but the Writers’ Strike of 2007 is pushing the schedule forward a bit, or has the potential to do so, anyway. But even if the long-term ramifications of the strike are potentially dramatic, what about the short-term?

Late Night: This is how it begins; as of Monday, November 6, all late-night talk shows are in reruns. (The only thing worse than Jay Leno is a Jay Leno rerun. It’s inconsequentiality compounded with obsolescence. And yes, despite evidence to the contrary, Jimmy Kimmel’s show does have writers.) What’s yet to be decided is how long they’ll stay out; in the 1988 strike, both Carson and Letterman (then NBC’s late-night lineup) returned to the air before the strike ended, to varying degrees of success. Letterman’s show actually produced some memorable moments, though, including “Hal Gurkner’s Late-Night Timewasters”, which more or less became the forerunners of the same sorts of things Dave still does today (novelty stage acts, etc). And honestly, it was fun to watch both these entertainers (and former comedians) wing it onstage a bit.

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Sean Cronin