After a deal was struck between David Letterman's Worldwide Pants, which handles The Late Show and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and the WGA, Letterman and Ferguson will return to the air tonight. Since Letterman, not CBS, produces the shows, a deal could be struck.
What about the other late night hosts?
This move prompted NBC and ABC, who do produce the late shows on their channels, to force Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, Carson Daly and Jimmy Kimmel back on the air. (Daly was recording shows to keep from possibly losing his show permanently, according to some reports. He also asked for jokes to be sent in from non-union, everyday folks.)
The WGA will now be striking the studios except CBS, because of Letterman's deal. There may be some contention with the Letterman deal and some WGA members. We'll see how it pans out.
Rumors also persist that The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report will next week on January 7, minus writers. Many late show hosts returned to the airways during the WGA strike of 1988. Thought I was 12 years old, I remember Letterman not being really funny without his staff. So good thing a deal was struck there!
My guess, ultimately, for everyone's return? Letterman's deal, for one. The other is unemployed, non-writing staff may have pressured the networks. Finally, struggling shows like Daly's and Kimmel's can't be off the air too long, as they'll never recover.