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Last Updated: Friday, 21 December 2007, 12:55 GMT
Daily Show to return in January
Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart is a member of the Writers Guild of America himself
US talk show star Jon Stewart has said production will resume on his programme next month, despite the continued Hollywood writers' strike.

His award-winning Daily Show will return with new episodes on 7 January, but without its writing staff.

He joins fellow hosts Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel, who have all said they will resume work on 2 January with or without their writing teams.

Writers have been on strike since 5 November in a dispute over royalties.

The Daily Show's spin-off series, The Colbert Report, will also resume on 7 January, with both shows airing on the Comedy Central TV network.

'Ambivalence'

As both Stewart and Colbert are members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA), they are barred from penning any material - even for themselves - that their staff writers would normally handle.

In a joint statement, the hosts said: "We would like to return to work with our writers. If we cannot, we would like to express our ambivalence, but without our writers we are unable to express something as nuanced as ambivalence."

The WGA reacted angrily to the announcement, saying: "Comedy Central forcing Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert back on the air will not give the viewers the quality shows they've come to expect."

Channel 4 said it had yet to decide when it would start screening new episodes of the Daily Show on its digital channel, More 4.

Meanwhile, the WGA plans to meet with chat show host David Letterman's production company in an attempt to reach an interim deal that could return his Late Show to the air, along with its writing staff.

The union also announced this week it would refuse to grant a special waiver to allow producers of the Oscars and the Golden Globes to hire union writers for their shows.

However, the WGA said its members would be allowed to work for the Spirit Awards, which honour independent film, in February.

The guild said in a statement its members could work because the show's producers asked for permission before the strike began seven weeks ago.



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