‘Jennifer Hudson Show’ Follows Other Daytime Shows in Delaying Premiere During Strikes

The Jennifer Hudson Show is joining other daytime talk shows in postponing its season premiere while writers remain on strike.

Hudson’s syndicated show, distributed by Warner Bros., was slated to premiere Monday but is now on hold. The decision follows that of The Drew Barrymore Show and CBS’ The Talk. Sources say Hudson advocated for the postponement.

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All three shows are signatories to the Writers Guild of America’s minimum basic agreement and employed WGA scribes in the past. They had all been scheduled to open their seasons Monday but came under scrutiny — and sharp criticism — in the past week.

The catalyst for that was Barrymore’s Sept. 10 announcement that she’d be debuting the fourth season of her show. “I own this choice,” she said in an Instagram post. “We are in compliance with not discussing or promoting film and television that is struck of any kind.”

After a backlash from striking writers and actors, including pickets outside her New York studio, Barrymore issued an apology Friday but did not announce plans to pause production. That came Sunday, with the host writing on Instagram, “I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show’s premiere until the strike is over,” Barrymore wrote in a statement on Instagram on Sunday. “I have no words to express my deepest apologies to anyone I have hurt and, of course, to our incredible team who works on the show and has made it what it is today.”

Though much of the criticism focused on Barrymore — partly because of her public statements and because of the fact that she opted out of hosting the MTV Movie and TV Awards in the early weeks of the writers strike — striking writers also questioned the decisions by The Talk and The Jennifer Hudson Show to announce Monday premieres (Hudson’s show did so several weeks ago). The Talk was picketed as it did some pretaping last week.

A fourth daytime talker that’s a WGA signatory, NBCUniversal’s Kelly Clarkson Show, is in the midst of moving production from Los Angeles to New York and hasn’t announced a premiere date yet. ABC’s The View has remained in production during the writers and actors strikes (and has been picketed), though it says the work of its striking writers is not being done by anyone else.

Several other daytime shows, including Live With Kelly and Mark, Tamron Hall and Sherri, hosted by Sherri Shepherd, do not employ WGA writers and are in production as usual.

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