What's gonna happen Wednesday night?
That's the sort of question seldom raised about late-night talk TV, whose hosts keep the audience content with variations on a durable formula, night after night, gag after gag, guest after guest.
But the late-night landscape is about to change, and no one -- not the hosts, not the viewers -- knows how it will look.
What everybody does know is, on Wednesday, five late-night hosts will return to work. Each host is sure to be stoked after having been sidelined since the writers strike began eight weeks ago.
Welcome back, guys!
But there's a twist. Thanks to an agreement with the Writers Guild of America forged just last week, two of the hosts -- David Letterman and Craig Ferguson -- will be accompanied by their writing teams.
It's a different story for Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel. They will be deprived of their writers' services while, on the fly, they retool the talk-show format and, relying on improvisation, do, well, who knows what?
One more thing: The haves and have-nots will be going head-to-head.
This presents a host (or, rather, five hosts) of possibilities.