The Writers Guild strike enters a critical phase now…Next week, the late-night shows re-enter production, and I got this email today about The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. They’re looking for audience members. And here’s their pitch:

"These tickets are not available to the general public as these will be our very first tapings since the writer’s strike began and the shows promise to be AMAZING.

Tickets are free and only available by using the following private links. Please do not pass them on as tickets are limited and we would like to make this special offer available only to our fans on the waitlist.

The tapings are next Wednesday and Thursday, January 2nd and 3rd at CBS Studios in Hollywood. On Wednesday the arrival time is 3:30 PM and on Thursday we are taping two shows with arrival times of 3:30 PM and 5 PM. As always, the minimum age to attend is 17."

Worldwide Pants, David Letterman’s production company, runs Ferguson’s show. But I don’t get the sense that Ferugson’s show has the same level of bonding that Letterman’s show has — I saw it firsthand last month when, during the strike, the producers and other staffers stood by the writers. They have a connection. They’re in this together. And when Letterman goes on the air, he’ll find a way to make his show happen the way it should. That said…Ferguson doesn’t rely as much on writers. He scripts his own monologue each night. He may have a sketch each night, but losing that doesn’t hurt the flow of his show or his banter with guests, provided he can get guests to cross the picket line. Which brings back to do, do, do, do. We’re at a critical point in the coming week, as the late-night shows try to return to the airwaves, with or without the writers. The networks will launch a bunch of new "midseason" replacements and "reality" shows, too. Will we care? Should we care? The answers, in case you were wondering, are yes and yes.