With reports that David Letterman's Worldwide Pants production company will pursue a separate deal with the WGA, I can certainly see how it makes sense for Dave. He's reportedly paying $300,000 / week in salaries to his out of work staff (and some guess the total expense is triple that) and he'd get on the air with his writers before any of his competition.
CBS head Les Moonves is likely happy too. His biggest problem right now (although bigger problems loom) with the writer's strike is the lack of new late night shows for his advertisers. A deal to get Dave back on the air would take care of that with little risk to CBS, because Dave's show is owned by Dave's production company, not CBS.
Any deal with Worldwide Pants reportedly would be a so-called "most favored nation" deal, that is, Dave's writers would get the same deal as the best deal negotiated elsewhere.
That's great for Dave, great for Dave's writers, great for Dave's non-writing staff (assuming that Dave might eventually stop paying them as he has since the beginning of the strike), but very bad for the WGA as a whole.
It's unlikely that's what the WGA intended when they announced they would negotiate with companies separately from the AMPTP.
If the WGA is OK with having some of its writers writing under a "to be determined" contract, which is effectively what it likely will get with Worldwide Pants, then why did they strike in the first place? Since negotiating a "to be determined" deal while everyone kept working is exactly what they were doing in October.
Piecemeal deals like this addressing the most pressing problem areas for the companies weaken the WGA's position tremendously, it's a wonder why they let them happen.
Let's not forget that Johnny Carson struck a deal like this to come back early during the strike in 1988. (UPDATE: Johnny came back without his writers, as Jay andwill, not with his writers as Dave is rumored to be trying to do.)
As Dr. Phil might say to the WGA, "So, how'd that work out for ya?".
UPDATE: News that will be back without their writers on January 2. I wonder if they will be lambasted as Carson Daly was?O'Brien and Jay Leno
How many of your favorite show episodes are left before reruns? Our latest (updated today!) Show by Show Strike status is here.