TV and film writers and producers reach deal, averting costly strike

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Writers Guild of America says the tentative deal reached early Tuesday will cover its television and film writers for three years if ratified by its member, averting a costly strike that would have blacked out popular television shows.

The guild released a one-sentence statement confirming the deal and its length. There were no details on the terms of the agreement, or how it addressed compensation and health care issues that had been the major sticking points of this contract’s negotiations.

The deal’s announcement came more than 90 minutes after the previous contract expired. Pickets could have started Tuesday morning, immediately sending late night talk shows into reruns and eventually impacting scripted series and feature films in development.

The previous writers’ strike occurred nearly 10 years ago and gradually took a wider toll on Hollywood TV and movie production and the California economy.

Producers’ spokesman Jarryd Gonzales confirmed the agreement early Tuesday, but no further details were immediately available.

The two sides held to a media blackout during negotiations. The issues at stake include compensation and health care.

The previous writers’ strike occurred nearly 10 years ago and immediately sent late-night talks shows into reruns. It gradually took a wider toll on Hollywood TV and movie production and the California economy.

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