Almost Thanksgiving. Is everybody in Hollywood thankful that both sides of the writers' strike are at least going to start talking again on Nov. 26th? But what gives with the simultaneous decision and joint releases about returning to the table? Who blinked first?
I talked to two people close to the negotiations, and...
Both sides blinked. Really.
"Everybody's feeling more pain more quickly than they thought," one of my sources told me.
The studios underestimated the initial solidarity of the writers, and particularly the showrunners. The typically unemployed "rank and file" of the guild the studios could -- and have -- lived without. But the studios needed the showrunners to finish any existing episodes of TV shows for air. The showrunners walking cut into the studios' war chest and actually drew a little blood.
But the writers didn't plan on the studios' scorched earth policy -- shutting down shows, firing staffs, using force majeure, suing writers and showrunners... And let's face it, generally speaking going into a holiday season is not the best time to start a strike. When writers started to realize they were facing at least three months without checks and with holiday-size bills, people started understandably getting a little jumpy. And it didn't help any when that solid block of showrunners started securing their incomes by going back to work from stealth locations.
The question is, if no progress is made at the table which side can endure a longer strike?
The answer is probably a forgone conclusion. But then again, thus far the this strike hasn't played out by the script.
Read more strike coverage on the Huffington Post's writers' strike page.