Daytime Shows Follow Drew Barrymore’s Lead in Pausing Until Strikes End


Drew Barrymore reversed course on Sunday, announcing on social media that her daytime talk show will not be returning to the air until after the Writer’s Guild of America strike is resolved.

Just hours after Barrymore’s about-face, CBS said that another of its popular daytime talk shows, The Talk, would pump the brakes on the premiere of its 14th season—presumably until after the labor action had concluded.

“We will continue to evaluate plans for a new launch date,” a spokesperson told Variety.

Also on Sunday afternoon, Deadline reported that Jennifer Hudson would no longer premiere the sophomore season of her own talk show on Monday, as previously planned.

Along with Sunday’s announcement that her show would indeed a strike-related hiatus after all, Barrymore issued a heartfelt statement apologizing for her actions.

“I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over,” Barrymore wrote on Instagram. “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.”

After her decision to break the strike was announced in a similar fashion last Sunday, the actress and host was snowed under by criticism from all sides, including from her own co-head writer. Cristina Kinon told The Daily Beast on Thursday that she “would love to see the show stand in solidarity with us, and it’s not too late.”

In a statement to The Daily Beast, a spokesperson for CBS Media Ventures, which produces The Drew Barrymore Show, said, “We support Drew’s decision to pause the show’s return and understand how complex and difficult this process has been for her.”

After initially defending her decision, which was met by swift backlash, Barrymore put out an emotional apology video on Friday. At the time, however, she stopped short of pulling her show off the air.

“I believe there’s nothing I can do or say in this moment to make it okay,” the host said.

The video was met with yet more excoriating criticism, and she deleted it soon after.

The major daytime talk shows have split over the issue of whether to stay dark amid the strikes. Some, like Tamron Hall, Live With Kelly & Mark, and Sherri, are not WGA-covered struck shows, and can resume production without it being considered scabbing.

Others, like NBC’s The Kelly Clarkson Show, which concluded its fourth season in June, have not yet set return dates.

Among the shows that continue to attract the guild’s ire, however, is The View, which never halted production and has been airing new episodes throughout the strike. The ABC show has at least two WGA writers, and has been regularly picketed since the beginning of the strike.

The Talk, which reportedly has just one writing position on its staff of 150, had initially been scheduled to come back Sept. 18. A rehearsal show that was filmed at CBS’ studios last week was picketed by striking writers and their supporters, according to Variety.

Though not a daytime host, Bill Maher attracted similar fury when he announced earlier this week that HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher would soon be returning to air—without its unionized writing staff.

“It has been five months, and it is time to bring people back to work,” he tweeted on Wednesday. “The writers have important issues that I sympathize with, and hope they are addressed to their satisfaction, but they are not the only people with issues, problems, and concerns.”

The WGA called the decision “disappointing,” and confirmed the guild plans to picket the show when it returns.

Five other late-night hosts—Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, and John Oliver—have refused to cross the picket line, instead teaming up to produce a podcast. Proceeds from Strike Force Five are set to go to staffers on their shows impacted by the strike.

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