“Saturday Night Live,” the late night NBC stalwart, is also expected to return some time in October, according to a person briefed on the plans who spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made.
Some daytime talk shows, including “The View” and “Live With Kelly and Mark,” have continued taping new episodes during the strike.
It is not yet clear the type of guests the talk shows will be able to book with actors still on strike. SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ union, has forbidden its members from promoting any work done with the studios they are striking against.
The five-month hiatus is unusual for late night. During the early stages of the pandemic, most talk shows returned within weeks, albeit with virtual shows. During the 2007 writers’ strike, which lasted 100 days, hosts of late-night shows stayed off the air for two months, before they gradually returned even with the walkout continuing.
There is also an open question of how big of an audience will return for new episodes of late night talk shows. In recent years, with more and more viewers drifting away from traditional network television in favor of streaming, late night show ratings have taken a hit. During the strikes, viewership totals fell even more.
“Four of the five leaders in late night have seen double-digit decreases in reach during the late fringe time slot, with some losing as much as 50 percent of their audience during those hours,” said Ashwin Navin, the chief executive of Samba TV, a research group. “It remains to be seen how late night will rebound to its previous relevance.”