'Letterman,' 'Ferguson' employees to be paid



NEW YORK -- Strike or not, employees of "The Late Show with David Letterman" and the "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" will be paid through the end of the year.

The programs' production company, Worldwide Pants Inc., notified its employees in New York and Los Angeles on Tuesday that they would be paid regardless of whether the show returned or not. It would make Worldwide Pants, which is owned by "Late Show" host David Letterman, the first known company to guarantee its staff a paycheck during the writers' strike.

The move was made to assure employees who were concerned about making ends meet, as thousands of other employees on other shows that are being idled as the strike continues.

It comes at a time when other shows, like NBC's "The Tonight Show," have told their employees to expect to be idled as the strike continues through its second week. There were rumors, since denied, that "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart had initially guaranteed a paycheck to the writers.

Unlike NBC, which owns "The Tonight Show," CBS does not own the "Late Show" or "The Late Late Show." The network pays a license fee to the production company, which it has stopped due to the strike and the fact that there are no new shows.

It doesn't mean, however, that there will be no work on "The Late Show." Decisions are being made week-to-week on whether the show will return to the air in some form.

The news about "The Late Show" was initially broken by the blog DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com.