In case you were too consumed with your Super Bowl preparations to scroll through the scores of "THE STRIKE IS OVER!!!" e-mails filling up your BlackBerry, various reports touting "progress" fueled by a breakthrough in Friday's informal deal-chat surfaced over the weekend, filling Hollywood with the kind of cautious optimism the beaten-down residents of a crippled company town haven't allowed themselves to feel since the AMPTP's Nick Counter stormed away from negotiations after claiming that someone on the WGA negotiating team had given him "the stink-eye" back in early December, ushering in weeks of unrelenting gloom.
But despite the widespread, media-blackout-defying leaks (and mogul-supplied proclamations issued from a luxury suite at the big game in Arizona) indicating that a deal could be reached sometime this week (huzzah!), the Guild quickly cautioned its members not to blow the remainder of their strike funds on lavish going-back-to-work parties based on "rumors about either the existence of an agreement or its terms" (muted huzzah!). So until WGA leadership issues its official announcement of a new contract (to be accompanied by a photo of president Patric Verrone hugging a weeping trio of Les Moonves, Peter Chernin, and Bob Iger), everyone should resume their still-important picketing responsibilities, resisting the impulse to indulge in the occasional high-five recognizing that the end might be in sight.