Politicians beware: Parody is returning.
"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report" will resume production on Jan. 7 without their striking writers, the Comedy Central network announced Thursday.
Both late-night shows were shuttered after the Hollywood writers strike began seven weeks ago. The comedy duo are the latest late-night hosts to announce their return to the air while the ongoing writers strike continues to devastate much television and film production. Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel have all recently said that they will resume their programs on Jan. 2 with or without their writing staffs.
On Friday, leaders of striking television writers plan to meet with David Letterman's production company in an attempt to reach a separate deal that could return the "Late Show" to the air with its writing staff.
But "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" rely far more on scripted material than those shows, which are more centered around interviews and musical guests.
In a joint statement, Stewart and Colbert said: "We would like to return to work with our writers. If we cannot, we would like to express our ambivalence, but without our writers we are unable to express something as nuanced as ambivalence."
A spokesman for Comedy Central, which is owned by Viacom Inc., said neither the network, Stewart nor Colbert would have any further comment. A call to the Writers Guild of America was not immediately returned late Thursday.
When "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" last aired, both hosts implied their support of the writers, albeit veiled in irony. A key point of argument between writers and the studios is over residuals for content that is rebroadcast online, and both Comedy Central shows have robust Web sites with considerable video of old episodes.
"So we won't be here, but while we're not here, you can check out all of our content on our new Web site, TheDailyShow.com," Jon Stewart said wryly. "Every 'Daily Show' since I got here is on it, free, except for the advertising. So support our advertisers."