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Wednesday: The Return of Late-Night TV

[IMG:L]The Return of Late-Night TV — 11:35 p.m.-1:35 a.m. on ABC, CBS and NBC

They’re baaaaack!

Tonight is all about the return of our late-night institutions, the talk shows, after a writers-strike-induced hiatus that lasted almost exactly two months (although it feels much longer, doesn’t it?).

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Whether crossing picket lines (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live) or fully staffed with the Writers Guild of America’s blessing (Late Show with David Letterman, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson), all the shows return tonight. 

[IMG:R]Letterman and Ferguson–whose show is owned by Letterman–will have their regular WGA writers coming up with material; LenoO’Brien and Kimmel, meanwhile, are on their own, having not struck a deal with the Guild.

Of course, not everyone tunes into these shows for their hosts, but rather for their guests.

Unfortunately, the networks remain tight-lipped regarding the guests scheduled to appear on their “comeback” shows, especially ABC and NBC’s shows, which might have a harder time booking actors and actresses worried about crossing the picket lines.

[IMG:L]All that is known is that The Late Show will welcome Robin Williams and musical guest Shooter Jennings, while The Tonight Show will feature Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee.

Beyond that, for the first time in recent memory, the networks are literally forcing viewers to watch to find out who’s appearing and what kind of hijinks the hosts will be engaging in. But hey, it’s a start, and so much better than reruns!

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