Leno, Conan Win First Round Of Late-Night Ratings Fight Without Writers

· Overcoming the apparently mild inconvenience of putting on shows without their striking writers, Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien still triumphed over fully staffed talk-show rivals David Letterman and Craig Ferguson in Wednesday night's Nielsen battle. In fairness to the WGA-approved programs, however, it should be noted that many viewers might have chosen to tune in to Leno out of irresistible curiosity about how unfunny the host would be on his own. [THR]
· Though the Golden Globes briefly harbored hope that the Writers Guild might give them a waiver for their rapidly approaching awards show, the WGA isn't going to cut them a break and still plans to picket. [Variety]

· In a move sure to broaden the film's appeal among urban audiences but which probably won't be met with approval by hard-core fanboys, Tyler Perry has joined the cast of JJ Abrams' Star Trek, in which he'll play the sassy, fat-suited grandmother figure who runs Starfleet Academy. [THR]
· THR declares the record-setting 2007 The Year Of The Thrilling Threequel, noting that four of last year's 10 top-grossing films were no-brainer third installments of established blockbuster franchises. [THR]
· Meanwhile, the grosses for "specialty" films were down 4% in 2007, which couldn't rely on the public's insatiable appetite for pirates and superheroes to spur them to box office heights. [Variety]