Hollywood waits for imminent end of writers strike

Other News Materials 9 February 2008 00:42 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Striking screenwrites ara set to authorise an end to their three-month old strike Saturday in meetings in New York and Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Representatives of the major studios and the Writers Guild of America were putting the finishing touches Friday on a deal to end the costly walkout, the report said. The new three-year contract would be similar to a deal reached last month between producers and directors that includes increased payments for work distributed through digital media - a key sticking point that led to the strike.

According to the report lawyers are due to finish a draft copy of the agreement, which will then be examined by the negotiating committee and board before thousands of writers vote on the proposal. If the contract is approved, writers could return to work by Monday, sparking a furious rush to get the TV and movie production schedules back on track.

Production shut down in December and January after the supply of TV scripts had been depleted and it will take four to six weeks and tens of millions of dollars to ramp production back up to pre-strike levels.

Only about 10 to 20 prime-time network programs are likely to return this spring with fresh episodes, including some of TV's biggest hits, such as "Grey's Anatomy" on ABC and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" on CBS.

But other shows - especially those with complex plots, large casts and complicated production elements, such as Heroes and 24, are not expected back on screen until the fall.