Letterman, WGA: Still No Deal

NEW YORK Negotiations between David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants production company and the WGA wrapped without an agreement.

Both sides said the talks would resume sometime this week, though it isn’t clear whether that would happen Christmas Eve or the day after Christmas.

Meanwhile, Late Show With David Letterman and The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson remain the only two late-night talk shows without firm plans to return to the air. But there were indications that the CBS shows might return in January even without an interim agreement between the guild and Worldwide Pants.

Apprentice star Donald Trump is booked for the Jan. 2 Late Show, though it wasn’t clear whether that show would go on.

Both sides released terse statements about the negotiations for an interim agreement (independent of Hollywood producers) that would return Late Show and Late Late Show to the air with contributions from their writing staffs. (Their late-night competitors are coming back in early January, though without writers.)

“We had a substantive discussion today with the WGA, and look forward to continuing these talks next week,” Worldwide Pants president and CEO Rob Burnett said Friday. Burnett had flown to Los Angeles to meet with the WGA negotiating committee.

“A lively exchange of information took place,” the WGA said in a statement, declining further comment.

Worldwide Pants has made no secret of the fact that it hopes the guild would OK an interim agreement allowing both its shows to return without an overarching deal in place. That presumably would also be agreeable to the WGA, which said in early December that it would seek separate arrangements with the companies affected by the writers’ strike.

NBC last week announced that The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and Late Night With Conan O’Brien would return Jan. 2. ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live also will return on that date, and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report are back Jan. 7.