While the networks have been repeating the mantra that “screens will not go black,” it won’t take long for TV viewers to see the impact of a Writers Guild of America strike.
The canaries in TV’s creative coal mine are latenight hosts such as David Letterman and Jay Leno, whose monologues and sketches are dependent on union writers. If history is any guide, both shows will almost instantly go dark, as would “Saturday Night Live.” Comedy Central’s latenight stalwarts “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report” would also likely switch to repeats in the immediate aftermath of a strike.
“Boom — our show just shuts down,” said “SNL” vet Amy Poehler. “It’s just done. There is no backlog of scripts.