The Simpsons courtesy Fox
The past few weeks have been trying ones for anyone who cares about TV and the potentially devastating impact the ongoing writers' strike could have on the current season and beyond. Which is why, being a cockeyed optimist and all, I've been cautiously thanking the fates ever since hearing that the Writers' Guild and the producers' alliance are going back to the negotiating table on Monday. No guarantee, of course, that this will mean a quick end to the standoff that has shut so much production down already. But hey, it's Thanksgiving week, so let's stay in a thankful and hopeful mode, OK?

In that light, here are 10 more reasons to be thankful about the current week in TV as we head into the Thanksgiving break.

1. We're still in a sweeps month, which has allowed us most nights to live blissfully in denial that a strike is even happening, since new episodes continue to abound (including over most of this long holiday weekend). Depending on what happens next, we still won't really feel the pain until the new year.

2. Pee-wee Herman on Pushing Daisies. How perfect is that? Meka leka hi, meka ho-ho-ho! Paul Reubens is one of the suspects in this week's case, which involves an exploding scratch-and-sniff book that kills a scent expert's assistant. I smell a winner.

3. Project Runway is in. And this week, the designers get inspired by a mystery fashion icon. How great to have this reality pioneer back. Meanwhile, Phenomenon is out. Abracadabra, NBC's disastrous dud of a reality magic contest wraps up its run in less than a month. Still took too long.

4. Ava/Rebecca returns to Grey's Anatomy, and a new awkward triangle involving Alex and Lexi, in Part 1 of a two-parter that also features Seth Green as a special guest star.

5. Hodges and the lab rats take center stage on CSI. Love when that happens. Takes some of the burden off of Gil, who's still reeling from Sara's departure.

6. Battlestar Galactica: Razor. Airs Saturday on the Sci Fi Channel. This movie-length special is a must-see for any fan of the smartest, darkest, boldest sci-fi drama of our time. Check out my review while you wait.

7. The Frasier cast reunites on The Simpsons. Kelsey Grammer is back as Sideshow Bob, up to his old murderous ways, but this time he brings along David Hyde Pierce as his brother Cecil and John Mahoney as his dad, Mr. Terwilliger. Can't wait.

8. Dexter! Have you been watching this smashing Showtime suspense thriller? Last week Dexter's nemesis Doakes broke in to Dexter's pad and found his hidden box of blood slides (artifacts from all of his victims). Plus, FBI Agent Lundy is now convinced that the Bay Harbor Butcher is one of Miami's finest. How's our favorite serial killer/blood-splatter analyst going to get out of this one?

9. Richard Chamberlain turns up as Lynette's long-lost stepfather on Desperate Housewives. Considering what a horror-show her mother (the hilarious Polly Bergen) is, no wonder he's never been seen until now. Pause here to reflect on the good old days when ABC on Sundays used to launch epic miniseries like The Thorn Birds (which famously starred Chamberlain) and The Winds of War/War and Remembrance (which featured Bergen).

10. Steven Weber arrives on Brothers & Sisters to "consult" with Sarah on Ojai business. Somehow this excites me more than the prospect of Chevy Chase playing Nora's new/old swain and a Lyle Lovett cameo.

Happy viewing and happy Thanksgiving. See you on the other side on Monday, and maybe there will be more happy strike news to report soon.