Last week, network insiders were almost universal in their private predictions that this session would not result in a deal. Given the level of prior acrimony among the two parties, and the fact that a delay until January at this point isn't hugely painful for studios, the current talks were thought to be a likely "second to last" round.
With a new report of backchannel progress being made running up to the talks, hopes are now higher.
Also: A comprehensive survey of issues surrounding the writers strike ... Advertisers might ask for their money back ... For those who missed it, Fox's Mike Darnell talks about his "end of Western civilization" lie detector reality show (once a contestant is asked a question like "Are you sexually attracted to one of your wife's friends?" they presumably realize that going on "Deal or No Deal" might have been a wiser bet) ... Glad somebody pointed this out: The second season of Showtime's "Dexter" has been better than any drama on broadcast this fall ... 91% of reality producers say they receive no overtime pay ... NBC to air "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" episodes from back when he still wasn't funny ... Has Fox broken its fall ratings curse?