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Home » FORBES: Writers’ Strike Might Be Late-Night TV’s Death Blow

FORBES: Writers’ Strike Might Be Late-Night TV’s Death Blow

by Amber Simmons

The late-night gravy train may be coming to an end.

We’ve recently seen key players exit stage far Left.

  • Samantha Bee
  • Desus & Mero
  • Trevor Noah
  • Conan O’Brien
  • James Corden

Now, we’re learning the sky-high price tag to keep a late-night show afloat. The far-Left Brian Stelter reported for LA Magazine that Corden’s “Late Late Show” set CBS back millions each year.

“Well-placed sources tell me The Late Late Show was costing $60 million to $65 million a year to produce but was netting less than $45 million,” reports LA Mag, adding that an executive said, “It was simply not sustainable. CBS could not afford him anymore.”

That explains why CBS isn’t looking to replace Corden, a versatile talent with a penchant for off-screen flare-ups. Instead, the network will likely fill the space with a game show, a far less expensive project.

The revenue issue isn’t limited to CBS’s programming. A recent report says late-night shows are hemorrhaging cash.

Across the top six late-night programs, ad revenue is down more than 50% since 2014, and more than 60% from its peak in 2016.

A separate report offers equally gloomy numbers.

In 2018, seven late night programs — NBC’s “Tonight” and “Late Night,” CBS’ “Late Show” and “Late Late Show,” ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” and NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” — drew more than $698 million in advertising in 2018, according to Vivvix, a tracker of ad spending. By 2022, that total came to $412.7 million — a drop of approximately 41% over five years.

Enter the looming writer’s strike. Should Hollywood scribes close their laptops for any length of time it could dramatically impact the late-night landscape, according to Forbes.com.

The outlet shares a nightmare scenario where everyone from Jimmy Fallon to Seth Meyers moves on to more profitable ventures.

Among the immediate stoppage victims would be the broadcast networks’ late-night talk shows, which depend heavily on topical humor and daily output from their busy writers rooms. Next in line for disruption would be weekly, highly topical programs such as Saturday Night Live, This Week with John Oliver, and Real Time with Bill Maher….

The big broadcast late-night shows may indeed come back even from a lengthy writers strike. But it seems unlikely they’ll stick around for a long time after, especially after Kimmel, Fallon, Colbert, and Seth Myers head off to other ventures or well-deserved retirements.

The pop culture landscape is changing, and that hardly helps a late-night institution that dates back to the 1960s.


  • Streaming platforms
  • YouTube
  • Podcasts
  • Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and more

Each takes a bite out of the consumer’s leisure time, making late-night showcases less vital. Still, the various media pieces ignore the obvious. Most late-night shows are aggressively partisan, uniformly liberal and prefer clapter to entertainment.

They’ve collectively chased half the country away, and they’re not returning anytime soon. In retrospect, that may be the biggest reason late-night TV is on borrowed time.

Not good riddance but riddance,” ABC propagandist Jimmy Kimmel said in 2017 about his shift to the far-Left, and his shtick has only grown nastier since then.

Turns out the feeling may be mutual, with or without a writer’s strike.


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