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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 February 2008, 20:53 GMT
Writers' leaders back strike deal
Writers Guild of America East President Michael Winship in New York, 9 February 2008
Michael Winship praised the deal

Leaders of striking US film and TV writers have voted in favour of a deal that will end their three-month strike.

Union rank and file members are now set to ratify the decision in a vote on Tuesday, after which they are expected to return to work.

The strike centred on payment for work distributed on the internet.

The row crippled film and TV production, left many film workers out of jobs and led to the cancellation of last month's Golden Globe awards.

The deal should also guarantee the Academy Awards ceremony will take place as planned on 24 February.

"While this agreement is neither perfect or all that we deserve, our strike has been a success," guild members were told in an e-mail earlier on Sunday.

'We get paid'

Writers Guild of America (WGA) members discussed the settlement plan at meetings in New York and Los Angeles on Saturday.

"We had a very lively discussion. I'm happy with what happened," said Michael Winship, president of the WGA, East, after the meeting in New York.

Earlier, Mr Winship and his West Coast counterpart, Patric Verrone, told their members the proposed deal was "an agreement that protects a future in which the internet becomes the primary means of both content creation and delivery".

Writers' strike
The proposed deal got a positive response from writers

"It creates formulas for revenue-based residuals in new media, provides access to deals and financial data to help us evaluate and enforce those formulas, and establishes the principle that, 'When they get paid, we get paid'."

The full agreement has been published on trade journal Variety's website, a week after a breakthrough in informal talks between the guild and studio bosses.

Industry hit

Some 10,500 writers stopped work on 5 November, a few days after their old contract with studios ended.

The strike has said to have cost Los Angeles' film and TV industry at least $650m (330m) in lost wages, with the wider economy losing over $1bn (508m). Studio executives say it would take about two months for new TV programmes to emerge.

Studios will have to decide which of the 65 affected series will come back, with hits House, CSI, Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives likely to get priority.

Movies have been less severely affected because they have longer production times.

Two high-profile productions, the Da Vinci Code prequel Angels and Demons and Johnny Depp's Shantaram, could be up and running quickly.


The WGA cancelled their own awards ceremony this year, announcing the winners on Saturday in a press release that was largely overshadowed by the strike developments.

Juno, a comedy about a teenager who falls pregnant, won an original screenplay prize for its writer Diablo Cody, with the adapted screenplay award going to Joel and Ethan Coen for No Country For Old Men.

The Wire was named best dramatic series, with 30 Rock winning the comedy equivalent.

Mad Men, a drama about New York advertising men in the 1960s, was named best new series, with further prizes going to The Sopranos and the US version of The Office.

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