'Late Show' continues in reruns



NEW YORK -- Worldwide Pants Inc. said Thursday that for the third straight week, "Late Show With David Letterman" and "The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson" would be in repeats due to the writers strike.

"We will continue to make a week-by-week determination about future tapings," said Steven Rubenstein, a spokesman for the David Letterman-owned and CBS-televised late-night talk shows.

Earlier this week, Letterman agreed to pay Worldwide Pants staff members through the end of the year regardless of whether the show would return to the air. Worldwide Pants said it is paying the non-writing staff of both shows, "fully compensating" lower-salaried workers and "a substantial portion" of the upper-tiered employees.

"We all want to get back to work as soon as possible, and it remains our hope that both sides in this dispute will make progress toward that end," Rubenstein said.

Meanwhile, the only winners in the ratings in this strike seem to be over at ABC, where "Nightline" has seen year-to-year increases where both NBC's "The Tonight Show" and CBS' "Late Show" are falling.

Nielsen Media Research ratings for the week of Nov. 5 -- the first week of the strike -- released Thursday showed that "Nightline" was gaining ground on the two talk shows in repeats. "Nightline," which is not affected by the writers strike, averaged 3.8 million viewers to 3.96 million for "The Late Show" and 3.87 million for "The Tonight Show." It was even closer in the adults 25-54 demographic, with 1.9 million for "Nightline" compared with 1.92 million for "The Late Show" and 1.8 million for "Tonight."

"Nightline" is up 6% in viewership last week, while "Late Night" was down 15% and "Tonight" was down 35%, ABC said. It's the best viewership for "Nightline" since April 30 and the best demo performance since Nov. 27, 2006.