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UPDATED 07/29/1996 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 07/29/1996 at 01:00 AM EDT

>The Sitcom 'Strike'

MAKING NEW FRIENDS

HOLLYWOOD EXECS WERE CLUTCHING THEIR CHESTS LAST week amid reports that the cast of NBC's Friends had threatened to strike unless all six received raises from about $40,000 to $100,000 per episode and a percentage of the show's profits. Would they really walk? One insider says no, adding, "There was never a threat to strike," and negotiations "are amicable." Still, with the new season scheduled to begin taping Aug. 12, the producers definitely need to think about replacement Friends. We have.

Out: Courteney Cox Arquette. In: Kathleen Sullivan. Sullivan, off the E! channel but still a Weight Watcher, could continue the tradition of a Monica who keeps getting thinner.

Out: Jennifer Aniston. In: Shannen Doherty. Hey, in real life not every friend is a good friend.

Out: Lisa Kudrow. In: Elizabeth Berkley. They look alike, but would Berkley be believable as a bad folksinger? If you saw Showgirls, you know bad anything won't be a stretch.

Out: Matthew Perry. In: Luke Perry. In TV, when you need a sub and all else fails, go for a similar name. Remember Dick Sargent replacing Dick York as Darrin on Bewitched?

Out: David Schwimmer. In: Fyvush Finkel. Every ensemble show needs a character who is adorably "ethnic." With Picket Fences canceled, Finkel steps right in.

Out: Matt LeBlanc. In: Robert Blake. LeBlanc sure looks like a young Blake. Unfortunately, Blake, since he got a facelift, does not look like Blake anymore.

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