As the Hollywood writers strike nears the one-month point, a certain void in pop culture is becoming palpable.
Many TV shows are stuck in reruns because of their missing writing staffs. The Writers Guild of America has been talking with studios this week in hopes of making headway in contract negotiations, but there's been no sign of an imminent solution.
In the meantime, many Web sites are picking up the slack. Here are some that might give viewers what they're missing:
For the "Daily Show" fans:
Satire junkies should make a beeline for the Onion's Web site. Most are familiar with the Onion's famous mock-headlines, but its site has grown considerably over the years to expand into multimedia. Fake news videos and radio reports are among the site's fixtures. The Onion doesn't update enough to match nightly "Daily Show" broadcasts, so satisfy any remaining need for parody and puns at http://www.TheDailyShow.com, where all Jon Stewart-hosted episodes are archived.
For "Late Show with David Letterman" fans:
Tom Green's Web talk show is a truly a marvel. Broadcasting more-or-less nightly out of the living room of his California home, Green conducts a lo-fi late night program nearly revolutionary in its ramshackle, can-do approach. The guests on his show can occasionally be almost as A-list as on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," though it often encounters many more technical difficulties. You can also still get "Late Show" humor straight from its writers at http://www.lateshowwritersonstrike.com, where they are posting videos, blogs and jokes about their strike experience.
For "Saturday Night Live" fans:
There are several places to find sketch comedy online, including the Web site for NBC's "SNL." But not to be forgotten is Jack Handey's "Deep Thoughts" site. The site includes a "Deep Thought of the Day," as read aloud and accompanied by the music typical of the old "SNL" segment. It also includes Handey's "Warm Fuzzy Thoughts" and his audio description of a nature documentary. Though many assume that with a name like Handey, the comic couldn't possibly be real, he is real — and has in recent years contributed several memorable humor pieces for the New Yorker.
For "24" fans:
The much-loved Fox series was to begin airing in January, but its season premiere has been delayed indefinitely to prevent the network from having to stop halfway through. The production value and action effects of "24" can't be found in any Web-only show. But instead of the 24 riveting, adrenaline-fueled hours in the life of Jack Bauer, you can experience a day in the life of Bishop John, who is lifecasting at http://www.justin.tv. Broadcasting every minute of his life, he says he's a bishop living in Italy and serving for the Philippines-based Apostolic Catholic Church. He recently messaged his viewers: "I decided to become a priest coz I'll like to serve in teh vineyard of the Lord." Perhaps his life isn't as action-packed as Bauer's, but it's more realistic.