And in 1988, the networks didn't have as much 'reality shows' going to try and plug the gaps in schedules like they'll be doing now, so there was possibly a greater incentive for them to hammer out a deal. On the other hand, in 1988 there weren't as many entertainment alternatives (DVD/Internet/gaming consoles etc) as there are now. TPTB knew back then that people would return to watching TV because there was little other choice. But now, there's a danger that if the strike goes on too long, then people's viewing habits will be changed completely and even when new episodes do air, there's a possibility that ratings will never be as high as before. AFAIK, most shows seem to have a few episodes left in hand which will probably get them through to the February sweeps. May sweeps will have to be repeats or reality shows unless a deal is agreed in time to create new eps, and I think it's that deadline that's going to trigger a deal.