When do Drew Barrymore, Jimmy Kimmel and ‘SNL’ return? Plans unclear after writers’ settlement

Many films and TV shows remain on pause until two votes on the tentative deal between writers and studios.

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Drew Barrymore’s planned return to the air was postponed after backlash from striking writers.

Drew Barrymore’s planned return to the air was postponed after backlash from striking writers.

CBS Media Ventures

LOS ANGELES — A tentative agreement between striking screenwriters and Hollywood studios offers some hope that the industry’s dual walkouts may soon be over. But when will your favorite shows return?

Well, it’s complicated. First, the agreement needs to pass two key votes — one involving the boards of the screenwriters union, followed by a vote by the 11,500 members themselves.

Then there’s the fact that 65,000 film and television actors remain on strike. That work stoppage will prevent many projects from returning to normal. Certain paused productions such as “Deadpool 3,” “Yellowjackets” and the next film from Quentin Tarantino will still have to wait on actors to reach a deal with studios.

First to return: talk shows?

Once the contract is approved, work will resume more quickly for some writers than others. Late-night talk shows were the first to be affected when the strike began, and they may be among the first to return to air now. NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and CBS’ “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” could come back within days.

“Saturday Night Live” might be able to return for its 49th season, though some actors may not be able to appear. The actors strike limits promotional appearances that are the lifeblood of late-night shows.

Shows that return while actors are still picketing could prove controversial, as happened when some daytime shows announced plans to return but then retreated.

One show that’s likely to make a speedy return? “Real Time with Bill Maher.” The host plotted a return without writers but ended up postponing once last week’s negotiations were set.

What about scripted shows?

Writers rooms for scripted shows that shut down at the strike’s onset, including Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” “Severance” on Apple TV+ and “Abbott Elementary” on ABC are also likely to reactivate quickly. But with no performers to act out the scripts, long delays between page and screen will be inevitable.

Film writers will also get back to work on their slower timeline, though those working on scripts or late revisions for already scheduled movies — including “Deadpool 3” and “Superman: Legacy” — will certainly be hustling to avoid further release-date delays.

Director Quentin Tarantino’s 10th film, “The Movie Critic,” is among the scripts that are written whose makers are awaiting actors’ return to sets.

What about daytime talk?

Drew Barrymore’s planned return to her daytime television show became a rallying point for picketers earlier this month, prompting her to cancel her plans. “The Talk” and “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” which also employ some screenwriters, also called off plans to return.

Meanwhile, other shows that never employed union writers have returned, including “Live With Kelly and Mark” and “Sherri.” At “The View,” the hosts have been back on and discussing hot topics since Sept. 5 without help from writers, as union members picketed outside the studios.

Barrymore and the other shows have not announced their plans for returning. However, the Writers Guild of America has made it clear: Guild members cannot start working again on projects until the tentative contract is ratified.

That vote has not yet been scheduled.

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