Writers get a leg up at Pants


Strike or not, employees of the "Late Show With David Letterman" and the "The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson" will be paid through year's end.

The programs' production company, Worldwide Pants, have notified its employees in New York and Los Angeles that they will be paid whether or not the shows return. 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.

It comes at a time when other shows like NBC's "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" have told 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 his 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 since there are no new shows.

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