The Strike, Day 15: A New Hope; Also: Shemale Hookers

As Hollywood breathes a collective—if cautious—sigh of relief following some happy weekend news, here's the morning round-up of StrikeWatch news:

· Late Friday, the Writers Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers released statements announcing that contract talks, which had ceased when the AMPTP took the news that the strike had begun on the east coast to bolt from the negotiations and get a good night's sleep before the picketers started showing up on their doorsteps, will resume on the Monday after Thanksgiving. In a word: Huzzah! "Leaders from the WGA and the AMPTP have mutually agreed to resume formal negotiations on November 26. No other details or press statements will be issued." We can only hope that significant progress is made before the studios leave the table in a huff, complaining that the WGA reneged on a promise to bring leftover turkey and stuffing to their renewed bargaining sessions as a show of good faith. [WGA.org]

· We assume that these dueling opinion pieces, in which chief negotiators David Young and Nick Counter take their cases (WGA: The studios are only giving us one-third of a cent per dollar on downloads; AMPTP: We don't know why the writers keep saying we're not paying them download residuals when we've generously showered them with millions of penny-thirds to date) to the public, were penned before the two sides agreed to a media blackout leading up to their post-Thanksgiving session. [LAT, AMPTP]
· The Guild will get in two more days of picketing—including a big rally in Hollywood tomorrow—before breaking for the Thanksgiving holiday. [THR]
· Today's theme-picket, scheduled to begin shortly at the Fox lot, is Bring Your Newly Laid-Off Assistant To The Strike Day: "WHAT: TV and film assistants will be picketing in support of striking WGA writers today from 12 Noon - 2 pm at the main gate at Fox in Century City."
· In an e-mail to Guild members, WGA president Patric Verrone reminds striking writers that returning to contract talks is a positive step, but it's important they not get so giddy by the forward progress that they accept another DVD-style residual-diddling: "'For 12 days, I have repeated that a powerful strike means a short strike. ... Now it is equally important that we prove that good news won't slow us down, either,' Verrone said. 'We must remember that returning to the bargaining table is only a start. ... Accordingly, what we achieve in negotiations will be a direct result of how successfully we can keep up our determination and resolve.'" [Variety]
· CAA partner Bryan Lourd's efforts in facilitating a secret backchanneling session at his home were instrumental in making possible a return to the bargaining table. [DHD]
· A United Hollywood blind item invites you to guess which network is being driven crazy by a fan phone-in campaign on behalf of the writers: "Which of five networks is said to have been forced to hire extra people to handle all the calls flooding in from angry fans demanding a fair deal for writers? Our source says an assistant to the CEO of the network's parent company contacted a fan site that posted the CEO's phone number and pleaded, 'What do I have to do to get you people to stop this?'" [United Hollywood]
· Back in NY, the cast and writers of SNL put on their unauthorized live show; happily, NBC officials let the evening of giddy solidarity proceed without raiding the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. [NY Times]
· The Daily Show writers (and some friends) strike again via the YouTubes, where they brag about all the imaginary shemale hooker compainonship their download residuals make possible: