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Studios Begin Filming, Stockpiling Sit-com's Under Federal Grant
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HOLLYWOOD, California - NBC, FOX, and The WB are the first studios to qualify for grants to develop and film sit-com's under the government's new "Project TeleShield" program. "Terrorists have invaded our soil, poisoning our will to laugh," explained Senator Ted Kennedy, of Massachusetts, "Project TeleShield creates a laugh-saving partnership between the government and the private sector to develop the television programs needed to provide our citizens with the humor they crave."

Blamed largely on terrorist involvement, the media sector has recently churned out an endless stream of drama and reality programming. "If I'm gonna watch two women on TV, I want them living with a guy that pretends he's gay," said one thirty-something man, browsing the DVD's at Best Buy, "Not running around milking cows and acting like they're idiots." Another man indicated his frustration with Law & Order spin-offs, "I liked Ben Stone, I even like that other guy. But come on, give it up. How many times can you 'rip from the headlines' before you don't have any paper left? I half expect a 'Law & Order: Truth and Truancy' or some such lame thing."

"We go where the money is," explained NBC executive producer Thom Tomlikoff, "The advertisers tell us, 'Everybody likes drama, do more drama' and 'Everybody liked Survivor, do another Survivor'. What are we supposed to say, 'No'?"

The aim of the federal money allotment is to allow the studios to produce the laughter-inducing situation comedies that flourished in the 80's without concern for the potential advertising loss. "If we get another 'Night Court' or a 'Cheers' out there, get people laughing again, then we've shown the terrorists that they haven't won," said White House Spokesman Scott McClellan, "If on the other hand, the studios hand us 'Survivor: Newark Underpass' or 'Inner-City Kids Say The #%$*@est things', then we'll know the program failed."

"We never entirely walked away from the sit-com genre," said Tomlikoff, "But we'll certainly give it a closer look with the federal carrot dangling in our face."
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