Several daytime talk shows may be following the lead of Drew Barrymore in restarting production during dual labor strikes.
CBS’ panel show The Talk and two syndicated talkers, The Jennifer Hudson Show and Sherri, hosted by Sherri Shepherd, are returning to production for season premieres in the coming weeks. They’ll do so amid labor actions by the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA, which have shut down hundreds of TV and film productions over the past five months as the two unions seek better pay and residuals, streaming data transparency and protections against artificial intelligence (among other issues) from studios and streamers.
Barrymore drew sharp criticism from striking writers with her Sept. 10 announcement that she would begin taping shows for the coming season of her eponymous datyime show without WGA writers, which the show has employed in the past. “I am … making the choice to come back for the first time in this strike for our show, that may have my name on it but this is bigger than just me,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “I own this choice. We are in compliance with not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind.”
Writers picketed the show in New York Monday, and two audience members told The Hollywood Reporter they were asked to leave the taping after they wore pins supporting the strike inside.
The Talk is set to begin taping again, sources say, with plans for a Sept. 18 premiere. CBS declined comment. The show, which is a signatory to the Writers Guild’s minimum basic agreement, went dark when the writers strike began in May.
Hudson’s show, which is syndicated by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, is promoting its second season, also beginning Sept. 18 — but has been doing so with clips from season one. The Oscar winner’s show employed WGA writers last season and, per the guild’s website, is also a signatory to the union’s minimum basic agreement. THR has asked Warner Bros. for comment.
Sherri is also going into its second season, distributed by Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury. Like fellow daytime shows Live With Kelly and Ryan — which has been running as normal — and Tamron Hall (whose fifth season debuted Sept. 5), Shepherd’s program doesn’t use WGA writers. ABC’s The View has been running throughout the strike as well, even though it normally employs a few WGA members; guild members have picketed the show.
Barrymore, Hudson, Shepherd and The Talk’s panel (Akbar Gbajabiamila, Amanda Kloots, Natalie Morales, Jerry O’Connell and Sheryl Underwood) would all be in compliance with SAG-AFTRA rules regarding hosting their shows, which are covered under a separate contract — the so-called Network Code — from the one actors are striking.
Not among the daytime shows coming back — at least not yet — is The Kelly Clarkson Show. Syndicated by NBCUniversal, Clarkson’s show is moving from Los Angeles to New York and is currently in preproduction in its new home. NBCU hasn’t announced a debut date for the 2023-24 season yet.