Talk shows pause returns as WGA, AMPTP set negotiation date


Several television hosts, including Drew Barrymore, have reversed their decisions to return to work amid the ongoing writers’ and actors’ strike in response to criticism from writers and actors. Bill Maher, Jennifer Hudson made a similar decision, and CBS’ The Talk also reversed its course. The shows also cite the new negotiation date set by the Guild and the AMPTP as a reason for the delay.

Barrymore has announced that she will delay the premiere of The Drew Barrymore Show, in response to backlash over her decision to resume production while 11,500 television and film writers remain on strike. In a statement posted on her verified Instagram page on Sunday, Barrymore expressed her deep apologies and explained her decision to postpone the show’s return until the strike is resolved.


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Barrymore posted, “I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over. I have no words to express my deepest apologies to anyone I have hurt and, of course, to our incredible team who works on the show and has made it what it is today. We really tried to find our way forward. And I truly hope for a resolution for the entire industry very soon.”

CBS, the network home of The Drew Barrymore Show, released a statement supporting Barrymore’s decision, acknowledging the complexity and difficulty of the situation.

This move by Barrymore comes after a turbulent week during which she faced criticism from the Writers Guild of America (WGA) for resuming production without WGA writers while dual strikes continue in Hollywood. Barrymore had previously explained her position on Instagram, citing her previous choice to “walk away” from hosting the MTV Movie and TV Awards due to its conflict with the ongoing strike issues involving studios, streamers, film, and television.

However, her statement did not quell the backlash, and the WGA East announced plans to picket her New York-based daytime talk show.

Last week, Bill Maher announced that he would bring back his late-night show, Real Time with Bill Maher, without writers, stating that it was time to bring people back to work. This decision was met with disappointment from the Writers Guild of America (WGA), which had planned to picket Maher’s show.

However, Maher has now changed his mind and cited optimism regarding talks between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), scheduled for later in the week, as the reason for his decision reversal.


CBS, in turn, announced the postponement of the season premiere of The Talk scheduled for September 18, following the decision by Barrymore. Hosted by Akbar Gbajabiamila, Amanda Kloots, Natalie Morales, Jerry O’Connell, and Sheryl Underwood, the show went dark in May as a result of the ongoing writers’ strike.

Jennifer Hudson also decided to postpone the return off her Warner-Bros TV Group-produced show. ,

The decision to delay the shows’ return comes after WGA picketers had targeted The Talk outside CBS Radford and Barrymore outside her New York studios. While sources indicated that The Talk is primarily unscripted and only has one writing position on its staff of around 150 employees, the hosts wouldl be ad-libbing.

In addition to these shows, other daytime talk shows have faced challenges related to the ongoing strike. The View, featuring hosts including Whoopi Goldberg, has also experienced regular picketing by the Writers Guild of America. Live with Kelly and Mark, hosted by Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, recently returned for its 36th season.

The strike began on May 2 and could become the longest in WGA history if it continues past October 4. The AMPTP has not resumed talks with SAG-AFTRA, which also went on strike on July 14, marking the first time in 63 years that both unions have been on strike simultaneously.

For Reel 360 News’ full strike coverage, click here.

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