Comedy Central will bring back fresh episodes to its late-night lineup, beginning Jan. 7.
The network said today that production will resume for both The Daily Show with John Stewart and The Colbert Report on that date, keying its usual Monday through Thursday schedule. However, the series will return without their respective writing teams.
The shows’ return will follow their scheduled two-week, end-of-year hiatus, previously built into their production calendars.
Since the Writers Guild of America went on strike Nov. 5, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report have been in reruns.
“We continue to hold out hope for a swift resolution to the current stalemate that will enable the shows to be complete again,” Comedy Central said in a statement.
For their part, Colbert and Stewart issued this joint statement: “We would like to return to work with our writers. If we cannot, we would like to express our ambivalence, but without our writers we are unable to express something as nuanced as ambivalence.”
The Daily Show and The Colbert Report will follow the scheduled Jan. 2 returns of NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Meanwhile, Worldwide Pants, David Letterman’s independent production company, continues to seek a separate pact with the WGA, which could get The Late Show With Dave Letterman back on CBS, early in 2008.
The Writers Guild criticized Comedy Central’s move to return its talent to the schedule. “Comedy Central forcing Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert back on the air will not give the viewers the quality shows they’ve come to expect. The only way to get the writing staffs back on the job is for the AMPTP companies to come back to the table prepared to negotiate a fair deal with the Writers Guild,” the union said in a prepared statement.