It’s the Tonight Show with [insert guest]?

As Day 5 of the WGA strike rolled on, more big names joined the picket lines including stars of Ugly Betty.

Robin Williams bantered with David Duchovny. The cast of Everybody Loves Ramond had a mini re-union. Roseanne Barr, Holly Hunter and David Hyde Pierce joined the New York picket line. Scrubs‘ creator Bill Lawrence found himself torn between loyalty to non-writing crew members trying to shoot an outdoors scene that was interrupted by WGA strikers. His crew thought he had alerted the Union to the outdoor shoot, which he hadn’t.

As the first working week of the strike nears an end, other crew members face stand-downs.

NBC has declared it will lay off other crew on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno by the end of next week. But it is also looking at returning the show with guest hosts from Nov 19. Same for the staff of Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

“I talk to Jay every day, and he will not be the first [late-night host] to cross the picket line,” said Tonight Show head writer Joe Medeiros.

During the 1998 strike Johnny Carson and David Letterman eventually returned to work out of respect for their non-writing crew.

CBS has confirmed another week of repeats coming for The Late Show with David Letterman.

Both 20th Century Fox and CBS Paramount have sent breach-of-contract letters to showrunners refusing to perform non-writing duties. But for these creatives, overseeing casting, editing and directing is still an adjunct of their role as a screenwriter. To them, it’s impossible to pinpoint where the writing stops and the producing starts.

Ellen is being criticised for only taking one day off from her show before resuming work. “We find it sad that Ellen spent an entire week crying and fighting for a dog that she gave away, yet she couldn’t even stand by writers for more than one day,” said a WGA statement.

Ellen’s reps defend that her syndicated show cannot be compared to network-owned late night shows.

Rage Against the Machine also played at a 3,500 strong rally outside 20th C Fox.

Sources: LA Times, Yahoo, Hollywood Reporter, NY Times, Broadcasting and Cable,

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