NEW YORK - "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 yesterday.
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 strike continues to devastate much television and film production.
Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel have recently said they will resume their programs on Jan. 2 with or without their writing staffs.
Today, leaders of striking television writers plan to meet with David Letterman's production company 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 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 yesterday. *