The Screen Actors Guild and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are poised to get back to the bargaining table soon , but the more important question is whether either side is inclined to budge enough to reach a deal.

The AMPTP is expected to confirm as early as Thursday that it has agreed to resume contract talks with SAG with the help of a federal mediator. SAG's national board issued the request for a mediator to step in following the guild's board meeting last weekend.

If the sides do set a powwow date with federal mediator Juan Carlos Gonzalez, it will be their first face-to-face sesh since July 16.

After more than a three-month standoff between the sides, however, there's skepticism in the biz as to whether the new round of talks will amount to anything. The request for the mediator appears to have been a compromise between SAG factions at odds over what the guild's next move should be.

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