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Green Bay Press-Gazette

Monday, December 17, 2007

Return of Letterman, Leno could be music to bands' ears

The trickle-down effect of the writers' strike has apparently caused the music industry to spring a leak. In case you haven't heard, that's a sinking ship that can't really afford to take on more water.

With CD sales down a whopping 14 percent -- the equivalent of the size of oh, say, Kanye West's ego -- from last year, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the music biz is not only hurting, it's on track to end the year with its steepest losses yet.

One of the problems --besides the fact that not everyone considers Hannah Montana a must-own for their CD collection -- might be the writers' strike.

“You don’t have late-night shows promoting new albums or songs getting placed on new shows,'' Daily Variety associate editor Phil Gallo told USA Today.

The chance to perform live on the "Late Show with David Letterman'' or "Late Night with Conan O'Brien'' is huge exposure for an artist. Take away that outlet, and they're left with things like radio airplay, and we all know how non-artist-friendly that can be, particularly for acts who don't fit neatly into a specifc format.

Even Larry the Cable Guy, who has a new "Christmastime in Larryland'' CD to pimp, made note of the lack of opportunity recently on his Web site.

"I was supposed to be on Leno tonight (December 4), however it was canceled because of the writers strike,'' he writes. "I will say right now, I support all the writers in this except for the ones that wrote anything for UPN, the caveman show, and the guy that came up with Jar Jar Binks.''

It also knocks out The Fray/"Grey's Anatomy'' factor, by which lesser-known bands have a shot at breakout success, thanks to one of their songs getting played during a McDreamy/McWhiny love/breakup scene, for example.

But there is hope. USA Today reports that Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien's late-night shows will return to the air with fresh episodes on Jan. 2 -- without writers supplying jokes. It also reports that Letterman may be back on the air in early January with new episodes -- with writers. (We're pretty sure Leno more desperately needs the help of writers to be funny, but that's just us.)

Check out the full story.

Also interesting is a breakout with another USA Today story on the subject that provides a network-by-network breakdown of how many episodes remain for each of the top shows and what will be taking their place after the first of the year.

Did someone say "Farmer Wants a Wife''?

-- Kendra Meinert,

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It's about time those shows come back. I don't need to see anymore reruns.

By Anonymous Anonymous, At December 19, 2007 at 12:24 PM  

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