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Reality Looms: Writers' Strike Could Change Pace of Television

This time around, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, whose president is Darth Vader, promised to use the Death Star to blow up the rebel base on the far moon of Orange County if writers don't get back to their dungeons and quit whining.

Hahaha! We kid because we love!

Actually, the AMPTP president is Nick Counter, who summed up negotiations earlier this week with the statement: "We are committed to a fair, reasonable and sensible agreement. . . . [but] we will not agree to any proposals that impose unreasonable restrictions and unjustified costs. We will not ignore the challenges of today's economic realities, the shifts in audience taste and viewing habits and the unpredictability of still-evolving technology."

Got it. The AMPTP Web site helpfully notes that writers have been paid more than $1 billion in residuals over the past decade. It also notes that the number of scripted shows hit an "all-time low" this season, at about 67 percent.

Not that they're trying to say writers are ungrateful little snots lucky to have a job or anything.

The shows hardest hit, if a strike actually is called, would be nightly television gigs -- Leno, Letterman, "The Daily Show" -- which need fresh jokes five nights a week. Jon Stewart, he of the "Daily Show," declined to comment yesterday through a spokesman.

Will LaLa Land shut down? Will bad scripts actually not get filmed? Will good scripts get hacked into cliches? Will anyone be able to tell the difference?

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