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Talk-Show Hosts Try To Find a Way Back

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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NO LAUGHING MATTER Leno

Are the late night talk shows ready to return? Variety reports that representatives from the major late night talk shows "including Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Late Night with Conan O'Brien, have been engaging in secret back-channel conversations with each other about when it might be appropriate for their hosts to return to their studios."

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Since no one wants to be the first show to metaphorically cross the writers' strike picket line, the talks are aimed at finding a mutually agreed upon date that for at least two of the programs to go back on the air. For Leno, a return can't come soon enough: Every second that his show is in repeats, dozens of viewers realize that what little intelligence they have is actually being insulted by a lackluster menu of "funny headlines" and terrible monologues. Give it another month and they might, God forbid, try reading a book. Variety

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