Peace breaking out in Hollywood

The writers’ strike is close to being officially over after the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) finalised an agreement with the studios and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

The WGA is currently presenting the details of the agreement to its members, who will vote on the terms on Tuesday (12 March). If, as expected they vote yes, writers will be back at work on Wednesday, a move that will both salvage this season’s current batch of shows and the pilot process for next year.

Both parties appear to have reached a compromise. The deal covers new media payments, more than doubling residual payments from the previous home video formula to 1.2% of the distributor’s gross, as well as allowing the studios a streaming deal that offers a 17 day promotional window.

Ken Levine, a writer who has worked on Cheers, Frasier and The Simpsons, says: “The main points of the deal are that it gives writers jurisdiction over new media and a share of distributor’s gross, which is hugely significant since any other formula is just monkey points.”

Lawyer Nathan Handel says that the terms of agreement are much improved from the studios’ original offer. “This deal is an enormous improvement over studio rollbacks of three months ago, and is also an incremental improvement over the DGA deal.”

The agreement, if approved, will run until May 1 2011.

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