Late-night TV comedian David Letterman has reached a deal with the union representing
striking screenwriters that will let his show return to the air next week with his writing staff, the union said Friday.
Letterman, who has kept his CBS "Late Show" off the air and in reruns since Nov. 5 in support of the striking writers, has said he wanted to return with fresh broadcasts Jan. 2 if his
production company, WorldWide Pants, could reach agreement to do so with the Writers Guild of America.
Negotiations between the WGA and major studios on a new contract covering 10,500 striking film and TV writers broke down Dec. 7, but the union has been pursuing separate talks
with smaller, independent production companies.
A WGA executive, Jeff Hermanson, told Reuters that talks between the union and Letterman's company had produced a "full, binding, independent agreement" that includes provisions for
paying writers for work distributed over the Internet.
Compensation for Internet content has been the main sticking point in talks aimed at ending the WGA strike, now in its eighth week.
Several other late-night television hosts, including Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien of NBC and Jimmy Kimmel of ABC, are on with new episodes on Jan. 2 without their writers.
NBC is controlled by General Electric Co, ABC is a unit of Walt Disney Co and CBS is owned by CBS Corp