E! Entertainment Television programmers aren’t rooting for a writers’ strike, but if it’s happening, the network wouldn’t mind picking up some nighttime viewers who won’t know what to do without their nightly fix of topical, snarky humor.
So E! will be hyping a couple of shows that don’t use or need Writers Guild of America staff. For starters, it will expand Friday-night popular pop-culture roast The Soup into a series of six half-hour specials that will run Mondays at 10 p.m. starting Nov. 12.
And because it is a nonunion show, new episodes of Chelsea Lately, the 11:30 nightly talk show starring Chelsea Handler, continue, while Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are dark during a strike.
"Everyone’s talking about how the topical shows are where the audience will feel the strike the fastest because you can’t bank them," E! Networks executive vice president of marketing and communications Suzanne Kolb said. "For us, that means our shows could get sampling."
The Soup Presents clip shows, helmed by the irreverent host of the series, Joel McHale, will feature "best of the worst" countdowns on topics such as celebrity families, over-the-top TV moments and fights on TV.
The regular series, which chronicles the week’s funniest entertainment moments, will continue to premiere new episodes on Friday nights. One of E!’s highest-rated programs (it’s up 54% in the 18-49 demo year to year), it is also consistently the network’s most recorded show on digital-video recorders.
"We certainly don’t want a strike," Kolb said, "but we look at it from the audience’s perspective."
Hey, that E! is not just for Entertainment: It’s for Empathetic!
For full coverage of the strike, click here.