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Writers' strike may end within days

2 min

Striking Hollywood screenwriters could return to work within days after union leaders and studio chiefs agreed on a deal to end the bitter three-month old dispute, it was reported Friday.

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Striking Hollywood screenwriters could return to work within days after union leaders and studio chiefs agreed a deal to end the bitter three-month old dispute, it was reported Friday.

The Los Angeles Times reported that major studios and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) were putting the finishing touches to a three-year contract that would be presented to writers over the weekend.

The WGA could formally approve the deal on Sunday, leaving writers who have been on strike since early November free to return to work as early as Monday, the Times said, citing people close to the negotiations.

Writers went on strike on November 5 after talks between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) to replace a previous contract collapsed acrimoniously.

Negotiations broke down over the issue of profits from sales of films and television programs downloaded from the Internet.

The strike sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry, forcing the cancellation or postponement of several popular US television shows and numerous high-profile movie projects.

It also severely disrupted Hollywood's annual awards season, leading to the cancellation of the Golden Globes awards after actors vowed to boycott the event and casting a shadow over preparations for the February 24 Oscars.

"Everyone is motivated to get back to work as quickly as possible," said Jonathan Littman, president of Jerry Bruckheimer Television, which produces "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."

"They want to begin producing as many original episodes as they can."

The Times reported that several films hit by the strike could also swing back into production, including the "Da Vinci Code" prequel "Angels & Demons" and Warner Bros.' "Shantaram," starring Johnny Depp.

 

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