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Eva Longoria hands pizza to starving pensmiths

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Striking writers who earlier this week forced The Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to air reruns, while reducing the presenters of Dancing With The Stars to traumatic improvisation, have upped the ante by descending on the LA set of Desperate Housewives.

According to the BBC, Seinfeld luminary Julia Louis-Dreyfus joined the crowd of agitated pensmiths at a location shoot in the Toluca Lake suburb. The offending episode, which is using a script completed before the strike began, is due to wrap shooting today.

In a conciliatory gesture, Eva Longoria used a break in filming to distribute pizzas to the doubtless near destitute members of the Writers Guild of America which is demanding more cash for residuals, including material redistributed on DVD and the internet.

Longoria told the press: "It's in the best interest of the entertainment community to begin a meaningful dialogue as soon as possible."

Previous meaningful dialogue broke down on Sunday, with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers' Nick Counter declaring his colleagues were "hunkered down for a long one".

The unrest has now spread to "at least six TV sitcoms", AP reports, with production halted on The Office when its cast failed to show up for work yesterday.

Stars of ER, meanwhile, "came out to back strikers at the Warner Bros studios".

Ellen DeGeneres, however, continued with a recording of her talk show yesterday with "a pledge of support". She told the audience: "I want to say I love my writers. In honour of them today, I'm not going to do a monologue."

While this threat might strike fear, or not, into producers' hearts, the consequences of the strike could be genuinely serious for some. In New York, staff at The Tonight Show with Jay Leno have been warned their jobs are at risk if the dispute continues. ®

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