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Cheers: Daily Requirements

Jon Stewart courtesy Comedy Central

Cheers to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert for proving The Daily Show and The Colbert Report must go on. The Comedy Central cutups returned without their writers and mined rich laughs from the strike (Stewart's "solidarity unibrow" and reference to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers as "NAMBLA") as well as the presidential campaign (Colbert's suggestion he should run as Mike Huckabee's vice-presidential candidate on the "Huckleberry" ticket). Sure, some of the jokes could've used (re)writers: Stewart's facetious likening of the strike to the AIDS crisis and 9/11 fell flat. But I'm voting with my remote — Stewart/Colbert in '08!For another take on the returns of Stewart and Colbert, read the Roush Dispatch. • Read and react to Bruce's opinions on Desperate Housewives, Celebrity Apprentice and more!• Share your own raves and rants about other shows on the Reader Cheers & Jeers discussion board.• We may feature your Cheer or Jeer on TVGuide.c... read more

For Stewart and Colbert Fans, Good Newsy News

Both The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report will resume production of new episodes starting Jan. 7, returning to the airwaves that night sans their striking scribes. In a joint statement, the newsmensches say, "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." Adds a less-funny Comedy Central rep, "We continue to hold out hope for a swift resolution to the current stalemate that will enable the shows to be complete again."Related:• Stewart and Colbert Return, But WGA Isn't Laughing read more

A few strike-related ...

Question: A few strike-related questions for you. I'm familiar with the basic reasons behind the writers' strike but not the fine details, so I'm still wondering why the late-night talk shows are affected. Conan, Letterman, Leno, Jon Stewart and the others are all accomplished comedy writers and I'm sure could write their own monologues and comedy skits. Couldn't Dave throw things off the roof of the building or play Show and Tell with the audience without the help of writers, and then still do interviews? Are they showing reruns because they actually have to, or because they are choosing to show their support? The same goes with shows like The Office, where many of the cast members are also writers. I'm sure if you put the cast of The Office in a room together and asked them to write a few scripts, they could come up with material at least as good as what they're already working with, so why not do it? I'd love to see a resolution to this situation as soon as possible, but in the ... read more

Chris Matthews' New Book: A Political How-to

Chris Matthews by Lisa Berg/NBC

Chris Matthews recently celebrated his 10th year as the host of MSNBC's Hardball, and he spent a few decades in politics before that tenure. He's distilled his observations into a new Random House book, Life's a Campaign: What Politics Has Taught Me About Friendship, Rivalry, Reputation and Success. Ah, but can politics teach you how to handle Daily Show host Jon Stewart when he calls your book "sad," as he did when Matthews recently appeared to get a plug? Matthews tells The Biz how he survived what he called "the worst interview I've ever had in my life."TVGuide.com: What made you think your experience in politics would make a good advice book?Chris Matthews: It's what I know. You write what you know. I've spent 36 years watching politicians, and I've learned the traits that work with people. The absence of those traits usually suggests the failure of a career. I'm talking about people who get elected time and time again and succeed in American politics: Generally they have a set ... read more

In the Works: Hulk Grapples with Gladiators, and More

NBC has recruited wrestling legend Hulk Hogan to host its revival of American Gladiators, which is slated for a midseason bow, Variety reports.... Jon Stewart's production company this week can expect a series pickup for Important Things with Demetri Martin, a sketch-variety show fronted by Daily Show contributor Martin and eyed for a late 2008 launch.... HBO is developing a movie based on the book Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case (shop Amazon). read more

Emmys: Bravo to Winners, Boo to Show

Katherine Heigl and Kevin Dillon by John Shearer/WireImage.com

And some people worried that getting Ryan Seacrest to host this year’s Emmy telecast was going to be the producers’ worst idea. That’s before we got a look at the set, an unwieldy and unappealing theater-in-the-round setup that looked more suitable for the new American Gladiators revival than for an awards show. The nominees, half of whom saw only the backs of the various presenters and performers, had a deer-in-the-headlights look every time Seacrest approached them or the cameras awkwardly cut to them. They appeared to be sitting in penalty boxes, not deluxe auditorium seats.Honestly, though, we poor schnooks at home were the ones suffering the penalty here: as in, confronted with one of the worst Emmy telecasts I can remember. As Emmy years go, I’m actually at peace with the majority of the winners, given who was and wasn’t nominated (and we’ve been over that frustrating ground plenty of times since the July nominations). Learning who won was a lot m... read more

Live Emmy Blog

9:20: Steve Carell just threw to a clip package that makes his costars all seem jealous of him. Cool of Fox — or maybe just smart — to let them do their thing even though The Office is on another network.9:23: "What a great show... this part of the audience has seen," Best Comedy, Music or Variety Show winner Jon Stewart says, poking fun at the Emmys-in-the-round conceit. You just know they've got poor Mitovich stuck behind the stage. Hopefully he's at the bar getting scoop from Vanessa Williams instead. He's enterprising that way.9:25: Tony Bennett's special won best music... er, special. Oh, gee. Now the producer is kissing up to him right on stage for the world to see. Wait, the guy just called Tony "Dad." In that case, it's sweet. If they aren't actually related, it's just creepy.9:27: Mark Harmon and Marcia Cross — hot coupla presenters. And Marcia's totally got the girls out. Let's hear it for breast-feeding. 9:28: Oh, Toni Collette is nominated. And just like t... read more

Jon Stewart Is Awarded Another Oscar... Hosting Gig

Jon Stewart by Frank Ockenfels/Comedy Central

Despite having participated in the lowest-rated Oscars telecast of the past three years when he hosted in 2006, Daily Show anchor Jon Stewart has been asked back to oversee the ceremony when it airs Feb. 24, 2008, on ABC. "I am thrilled to be asked to host the Academy Awards for the second time," Stewart says in a statement, "because, as they say, the third time's a charm." As previously reported, the 80th Annual Academy Awards will be produced by Gil Cates, who amid his 14 turns at the helm was on hand when Stewart braved his first, Brokeback-tastic hosting gig. read more

Emmy Presenters Include Office Boss and Jack Bauer

Steve Carell, Kyle Chandler, the cast of Entourage, Back to You's Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton, Katherine Heigl, Hayden Panettiere, Jimmy Smits (Cane), Jon Stewart, Kiefer Sutherland and Kate Walsh have been confirmed as presenters for the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards, airing Sept. 16 on Fox. Yes, Ryan Seacrest is still scheduled to host. read more

Stewart-Colbert, Ugly Betty and More Short Cuts

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are Nos. 3 and 4 on the list of 32 who have been called upon to give testimony as YouTube fights a $1 billion lawsuit by Viacom.... The season premiere of FX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia will be streamed on the show's MySpace page starting Thursday, a month before its on-air broadcast.... ABC is producing music videos, 11 in all, to promote many of its fall shows and the artists whose songs are used on them. Among the pairings will be Ugly Betty and Mika's "Big Girl" refashioned as "Betty Girl," available Thursday at ABC.com.... Al Gore's Current TV cabler has launched a music blog called The Daily Fix. read more

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